Flentje.com

Random thoughts, rants, raves and photo opportunities

2017 - Elba Fire Tower, Elba, MN

While camping at nearby Whitewater State Park, our gang decided to visit and climb the Elba Fire Tower. Located just a couple of blocks east of the town of Elba,MN, the tower sits atop the blufflands and requires climbing the 645 stepped staircase to cover the 342' elevation change. Once atop the hill, it's another 100' to the top of the tower. Wow, what a view.

Enjoy the photographs (click thumbnails for larger view)..

2017 - Whitewater State Park, Elba, MN

We wrapped up the summer with three nights of camping during Labor Day weekend at Whitewater State Park. We managed to enjoy all of the parks primary features; we hiked to Coyote Point and the Hiking Club password, climbed to Chimney Rock, swam in the Whitewater River, and climbed the nearby Elba Fire Tower. All in all it was a fantastic weekend.

Enjoy the photographs (click thumbnails for larger view)..

2016 - Lake Bronson State Park, Lake Bronson, MN

What turned out to be our last camping outing of the season, our gang hauled our rig up to the northwest corner of Minnesota to camp at Lake Bronson State Park. Located just outside the town of Lake Bronson, MN, the state park nicely maintained and provided us with a joyful weekend of camping with family and friends. We experienced torrential rains during one full day but we didn't let that get in the way of a relaxing weekend.

Enjoy the photographs (click thumbnails for larger view)..

2016 - Big Bog State Recreation Area, Waskish, MN

I dragged the rig up to the north woods to camp at Big Bog State Recreation Area for the weekend. It was my base of operations for a hiking and geocaching excursion to complete my fourth tour of the Minnesota State Park System. I was pleasantly surprised at how nice and well kept the campground is here. Located on Upper Red Lake, this area is a fisherman's dream. The mosquitoes were a treat but I would for sure return to stay here again. The highlight for me this weekend was the hike to the Hiking Club password located at the end of the bog walk. What a splendid experience.

Enjoy the photographs (click thumbnails for larger view)..

2016 - Schoolcraft State Park, Deer River, MN

Laura and Bart like to hit the camping season early to work the kinks out of the travel trailer and camping gear. This spring they headed to Schoolcraft State Park. It's located in Deer River, MN, which is about eight miles west of Grand Rapids, MN. Located on the banks of the Mississippi River, Schoolcraft might be one of Minnesota's smallest state parks. When we originally reserved our site, the entire campground was nearly completely booked. When it came to camping weekend, Laura and Bart were quite literally the ONLY campers in the entire park. I suspect the 3" of snow that fell on night #1 had a lot to do with park attendance.

While visiting the park, they found the park's wildflower geocache, acquired the State Park Passport stamp, and hiked the Hiking Club Trail. It was a cute little park but fru-fru campers beware, there is no electricity or showers here. And in spite of what the online Reservation System says, site #3 will be very difficult to back your travel trailer into as there is a Norway Pine tree blocking the approach.

Enjoy the photographs (click thumbnails for larger view)..

2016 - Picos de Europa, Asturias, Spain

As we made our way through the Asturian countryside, our itinerary had a scheduled stop to hike Los Pico de Europa. Though we did not plan to hike the entire 24Km from Puente Poncebos to Cain and back, we did have the idea we'd attempt to hike at least 3 to 4Km to the high point at Los Collaos. Unfortunately, less than 1Km from the parking lot, a storm rolled in packing horizontal rains and wind gusts of up to 30mph. We thought it wise to turn back and save this National Park adventure for some future trip to Spain. During our short hike we did manage to take a few photographs of the spectacular views and we found a geocache.

Enjoy the photographs (click thumbnails for larger view)..

2015 - Hiking the Mountains of Idaho, Pocatello, ID

We stopped for a short but brutally steep hike in the mountains just on the outskirts southwest of Pocatello, ID. Our goal was to find the second oldest geocache in Idaho. We had to crawl to the top of a small sunflower covered mountain top in order to score the find.

Enjoy the photographs (click thumbnails for larger view)..

2015 - Lake Louise State Park, Leroy, MN

I went on a solo camping outing to Lake Louise State Park this weekend to enjoy some hiking and geocaching. The park is located near Le Roy, MN, just north of the border with Iowa. I was concerned that camping here would be a bad experience as the park is one of the smallest parks in the system and most people I speak with have never even heard of it. But I was pleasantly surprised that with only 20 campsites, the quaint little park it was cute and very well maintained. Along with the Hiking Club trail I completed, I also spent part of my weekend biking on the Shooting Star Bike Trail. I would definitely return to Lake Louise at some point in the future.
  

Enjoy the photographs (click thumbnails for larger view)..

2015 - Lac Qui Parle State Park, Montevideo, MN

I went on a solo camping outing to Lac Qui Parle State Park this weekend to enjoy some hiking and geocaching within Minnesota's state park system. Located near Montevideo, MN, the park doesn't have much to offer unless you're into fishing or hunting, but the campground was grassy and well groomed. In all of my state park travels, Lac Qui Parle consistently earns the Most Mosquitoes in a State Park award. If you want to camp here, I strongly suggest you do it early spring or late fall. Any other time of the year will put you in the running for Blood Donor of the Year.

Enjoy the photographs (click thumbnails for larger view)..

2015 - Father Hennepin State Park, Isle, MN

Our first family outing in the new travel trailer was at Father Hennepin State Park on the beautiful Mille Lacs Lake. We joined with friends and managed to have a pretty full weekend which included geocaching, hiking, biking, hanging out at the beach, and bowling. This was one of the more enjoyable camping outings in quite some time.

Enjoy the photographs (click thumbnails for larger view)..