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August 16, 2015: Camping excursion to Glendalough State Park

On our day off, some members of Team Echinacea went up to Glendalough state park to camp for a night. It was a great weekend because lots of things could have gone wrong, but we were super lucky and almost nothing did! For example, one of our tents didn’t have a rainfly, but then Stuart and Gretel let us borrow one of theirs! Thanks Stuart and Gretel! But we didn’t even end up sleeping in it—more about that later!! We also didn’t have a reservation, but it turned out that there was a no-show at a campsite, so we got that one! The lady at the park office told us that if a person named Nathan showed up, we would have to tell him that we had taken his campsite, but fortunately Nathan never showed up. Confrontation avoided! It was a canoe-in site, but lacking a canoe, we hiked there. Thanks for carrying the cooler, Gina!

We ate sandwiches and then went to the water. We decided to try to swim across the lake even though we agreed we weren’t very good at estimating distance across water. Then we swam across the lake! The water was really nice and it only took 45 minutes. We saw a loon and a bald eagle while we were swimming. Katherine and Gina walked to meet us at the beach on the other side. Next, we all spent a good 10-15 minutes giggling in the waves by the shore because we were happy and probably a little dehydrated. Then we realized that the beach we were on was being rented out for a family reunion and everyone around us was probably related and wondering who the heck we were, especially because they would have been able to see us bobbing across the lake for the past half hour! Thanks for sharing the beach, Will family!

Intrepid swimmers bob along swimmingly

Intrepid swimmers bob along swimmingly

Next we walked back to our campsite. We built a fire in about 15 minutes which Katherine thought was kind of a while, but many of the rest us agreed was “about as fast as we had ever started a fire before.” We had corn and hot dogs and took a lot of pictures of the fire, hot dogs, and the sunset (see example below).

Dinner time!

See similar pic on Gina’s instagram

Once it got dark we started looking at the stars and were doing that when two park rangers showed up. “Hey folks just wanted to let you know that your tents are a little bit off the tent pad and also there is a storm a-brewing in North Dakota that has hurricane-force winds and golf-ball sized hail and it’s heading this way,” was approximately what he said. We mumbled responses and then he said, “Tell you what, the folks at the yurt campsite vacated the premises early so I’ll go ahead and leave that unlocked so you can go there if things get dicey.” So we said, “Thanks officer!” and after several minutes of discussion we decided that the opportunity to sleep in a yurt was too good to pass up, especially with the possibility of inclement weather. So then we got to sleep in the yurt and it was warm and dry which was nice because it sounded like a pretty gnarly storm!

The yurt was very sturdy and well furnished. We woke up and took some more pics (see below). Next we ate breakfast at a nice little place in Battle Lake, which we all agreed was “a really cute town.” Then Ali drove us home and we made it back to Town Hall safe and sound! What a great and lucky weekend!

Da yurt!

Da yurt!

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