Wednesday, August 15, 2018

MN State Parks: Crow Wing

We visited Crow Wing State Park in early fall. The weather hadn't turned yet so the trees still had their leaves. We decided to put in our kayaks. Others were just getting of the river and the sun was shining.  

We tend to be pretty conservative and I have to admit we were pretty nervous. The Crow flows into the Mississippi here and the water in the river was high and running fast. We gave strict instructions to our girls about staying focused and being extra careful not to tip. It was a beautiful float, but I think we will keep to calmer waters in the future.

Enjoying a beautiful day on the water.

There are plenty of other things to do off the water. Pretty trails take advantage of the river's beauty. The campground is like many of the other State Parks of MN. Drinking water throughout the grounds, warnings about raccoons, an amphitheater for educational presentations during peak seasons.

In the park there is a Historical Land Mark the "Old Crow Wing Village". There is a modernly build board walk with historical plaques, and an old building to view. 

The Park's best feature are the gently sloping, easy to walk, paths that crisscross throughout. 

 We had one day of beautiful weather. Then we were reminded it was October in MN and it got cool. No problem, that's what a campfire is for and we like to sleep in the crisp fall air.  We used the fire to roast marshmallows and to keep a pot of water hot for cocoa, tea, and coffee. We prefer a crackling fire when it's cool not when it's hot and you just want to get away!

Sometime during our planned final night of camping it started to rain. We checked the radar and the best was going to be a short window when it slowed, no stopping for the day. 

Womp, Womp, Womp.

We enjoy tent camping, but we don't attempt to make it fun when it's not. So we quickly loaded up. Here is where it comes in handy to camp frequently and each person always helps with set up and tear down. We all quickly did our parts, and everything was quickly and securely stored for transport home. We then dashed to the bathroom to brush our hair and teeth so we could head into Brainerd.

MN State Parks provide fire rings with grates.

Yelp helped us find a cafe where we got hot coffee and breakfast before heading home to unpack and dry everything thoroughly before storing for the season. (We do this step every time we get rained on, no one wants to sleep in a moldy tent.)

Camping will always have it's ups and downs, but so does everything else. Choose to have fun and roll with it. Our best memories are usually when something went wrong. So smile, snap a photo and show your kids how to handle bumps with grace.

Late night visit from a lock smith and we are back in the car!

**I do want to note that when we visited there was signage stating that the bathrooms were going to be replaced in 2018. They even had a suggestion box! I really hope they use my suggestion of a dish washing station like they have at Baker Park Reserve. If you plan on visiting Crow Wing in 2018 you might want to call ahead.

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