Drawn to nature - Campin' instead of workin'.

Camped this weekend at Willow River State park. Barely an hour away from the Twin Cities, this was a beautiful place to get away for the weekend (and good for a group camping trip, too.)

We arrived late Friday night and woke up early on Saturday. The deer checked out of the campsite next to us a few hours into the morning, well in time for Britt and Sarah to safely set up their tents.

Later that morning we took a really long morning hike to the falls and all around the park.

The falls were crazy from all the rain we had last week.

We walked up the Many Stairs to get a view from the top.

Wisconsin = gorgeous.

As we walked through the fields in the park, tons of these little guys were fluttering around by the flowers.

Beautiful wildflowers...

super cute caterpillars...


and we also found Tim Burton's garden. :) (I still have no idea what this is. Any help?)

Here is the view from behind the damn. The water is much higher than it usually is.

When the others arrived, they set up tent and we walked back to the falls.

You can see the overlook deck nestled in the trees at the top.

Elusive froggie hopped away quickly before I could get a very good shot.

I'm not good at taking random pictures over my shoulder while walking... but I'm not bad, either.

Later that night we all shared dinners then hung out by the fire eating marshmallows, telling ghost stories and singing songs. Yes - we those people... but it was so much fun... and at least we had good songs, none of that kumbayah nonsense. ;)

Danno and Kevin in the "Featured Artists Sitting Pose..."

The park ranger came by and said we were being too awesome and had to tone it down.

The weekend away was fantastic and very needed. I am sore and tired from hiking all day yesterday, but I feel great. Up early tomorrow for Caribou and an evening board meeting tomorrow night... Too much work lately and not enough posting, I know. It will get better soon.

Camping in Banning

Nick and I had an awesome weekend camping in Banning, Minnesota. Ruins

Some of the ruins in the area. It is amazing how fast nature can take over.

Kettle River

Kettle River

Kettle River is awesome.

Kettle River

By the River We're getting pretty good at that one-armed picture taking thing.

Kettle River


There were beautiful flowers everywhere.



one, two, three...


four... five...


... ten gazillion trillium. They were EVERYWHERE!


More flowers...


This cute little purple guy stood out in a sea of white snowy trillium.


Flowers We don't want weeds in our bed... (but dandelions can be cute too!)


This butterfly stopped in the path right in front of us, sat long enough for me to take a picture, then flew away.  He was going to show me his magnum pose, but then realized he shouldn't even be talking about it right now.

Mr. Toad Mr. Toad says hi.

Robin A robin visited our campsite in the morning before we left for the day.



The best parts about the weekend: flowers, the river, hanging out by the campfire.  The worst part: TICKS!  omg. So. Many. Ticks. In the woods, on our pants, ick ick ick. Unbelievable. ::shiver::