Monday, November 11, 2013

State Parking

Shortly after leaving the Sudan Mine we are all set up at Bear Head State Park, the first of three parks we'll be saying at in 3 days. After a night at Bear we go to Tettegouche and then Banning. We had planned to stop at Jay Cook but we'll get to that as well as a doctors appointment for me and a large vet bill for fuzzy muzzle world champion Scooby.

The reason we moved up from tents is to make life easy and to get out more. If we don't care about weather or where we'll stay we can just go and let things work out as they may. With a day trip under our belts we pull a 4 day and the only plan was to get to Tower for the mine tour before 12 on Sunday. After that we have no plans but to park at parks and have a look around.

The parks are empty this time of the year so it's ideal for us. It's been years since I stayed in one of the flagship state parks in MN and I'm surprised at how close you are to the adjacent campsites. Why on earth would you want to be so close to people! At one point there were 2 others camping in the entire campground and we each had a 3rd of the park to ourselves and that still felt too close. I suppose it's something you have to learn to deal with when your tent weighs 11 tons.

After a sunset bonfire we pop in for some dinner, turn the heater to 72 and lump up on the couch to review maps and plan out tomorrows hike. We do a short 5 mile loop out to a remote lake to check out some remote backpacking sites we'll probably never commit to using.

Then it's load up and head over to Tettegouche. This park is so hard to get into during the summer we didn't bother until now. We don't really care to plan and by we I really mean me and to gamble that you can get a camp site or be out on the proverbial street is too much risk. Now that we have a home on wheels we can hide out about anyplace for the night.

Just before sundown we make quick time to the river to see both of the waterfalls so that in the morning we can get right to the long hikes and not have to double back and waste time.
It said no jumping on the bridge so of course I did.

Some time that night I started feeling lousy. Chills started and I didn't have the willpower to stand. I developed a fever as well as other maladies. I know you're probably already tired of the RV talk but that little box really started to pay for itself about now. I have a fever of 101.5 an still shivering under a few blankets on the couch. Kristen makes me some soup and turns the heater up to 75. I don't even have to make long cold walks to the outhouse (it's raining and 45 outside). In the morning I put on some slippers and slide into the booth from a hot breakfast. Sure I'm still sick but I'm not really miserable.

Day Use, no kidding!

We talk about options and we still have 2 days of camping and I'm about as well off as I would be at home so we stick it out and go for a short 3 miles hike in the rain anyway. Scooby isn't himself ether. He isn't interested in eating and is sleeping a lot more. So by the time we finish our hike Scooby and I crash on the couch for a nap while Kristen grills up some lunch. It's about time to get to the next park that was suppose to be Jay Cook but with all the rain and illness we use the remainder of the day to 'beat antiques' to Banning State Park to check out the old rock quarry before heading the short distance home tomorrow.

The weather is still unstable but at least its not raining so we make the hike down to the old stone quarry. I could look at this stuff for hours if I wasn't so sick I wanted to find a hollow tree and take a nap.  

The next day Scooby gets an ultrasound, intravenous antibiotics, and a lot of blood tests to figure out what his liver is or isn't doing and why his numbers are off the charts. I on the other hand have a common case of food poisoning and a course of meds because some slob didn't wash his hands before returning to work so I'll give the replacement signs a try:

Wash your hands before returning to your dead end job!
Wash your hands before returning to work, if this isn't obvious please go home.
Wash your hands with soap REGARDLESS of what you're going to do.

On that I'll return with a primitive camp out, a failed 80 mile Oopita Doopita and a southern tour of Blue Mounds State Park to Sibley tour.

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