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April 25, 2015 Our first camping adventure!

We had our first camping adventure!

On Saturday we awoke early with the promise of a beautiful sunny day and multiple adventures. Dylan had been asking to take a train ride adventure, and, as fate would have it..... the Northstar announced an open house event at their Big Lake facility that included a free train ride to Minneapolis and back.

So, we would go!

We packed the car chock full of all the camping gear we could think of (including the Dog!) and headed north. We arrived at the Big Lake facility where Dylan was able to take his very first bus ride to the maintenance facility where they take care of the trains themselves. Metro Transit had tables and tents set up, free gifts (key chains and pencils) for the kids and of course the chance to meet Skip Transit! They also had a number of the Metro Transit police and their K-9 partners there. Dylan got a chance to meet with them all (and pet them of course).

Afterward, we took the bus back to the train area and boarded the train bound for Minneapolis. It was a direct trip there and back without stopping. We were able to secure a table on the top story of the train car so Dylan had a great view of the countryside.

After the train ride, we let Bug stretch his legs a bit and then went off to find the Ann Lake Camp area. It turns out that I am absolutely horrible at reading the maps that Troy prints out. I got us just a little bit off track. Eventually Troy got us back in the right direction, we found the campground and picked out a site.

While it was a bit windy putting up the tent (for the first time I might add), we eventually got everything all set up and were ready to explore. While we were setting up camp, Dylan and Bug had a ball chasing themselves around the campsite. In the tent, out of the tent..... they were happy, it was great.

We had a nice relaxing afternoon, topped off with stuff pork chops for dinner and a beautiful sunrise. The moon rose earlier and Dylan spotted it above us early in the evening. We roasted marshmallows for smores and watched the stars come out (each one pointed out by Dylan excitedly) before retreating to the tent as the last of the sun disappeared and the cool, clear night took over.

I have to admit that it was cool that night. I think the low was 32 degrees. At one point, all four of us were in the same bed together, keeping each other warm. We didn't really rough it, with air mattresses, a camp kitchen, a drip coffee maker and warm water and all..... but it was a great time.

The next morning the air was bracing, but as the sun rose it warmed the air. Dylan and I got up together and he showed me the lake and all the sparkles on it (the sunshine reflecting). The lake had visitors from all sorts of fowl from ducks to trumpeter swans. It was a great campsite and very quiet (unsurprising given the weather). I would recommend it to others!

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