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Random thoughts, rants, raves and photo opportunities

2012 - Split Rock Creek State Park, Pipestone, MN

We spent Labor Day weekend camping at Split Rock Creek State Park. Located six miles south of Pipestone, MN, Split Rock Creek is one of Minnesota's smallest state parks. The quaint little park is a four hour drive from the Twin Cities. Because of this distance, we were worried about the condition of the camping accomodations. We were all pleasantly surprised at how well maintained it was and enjoyed the weekend. The quiet and laid back atmosphere of this park allowed the kids to ramble around and hang out with little danger.

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

2012 - Lake Bemidji State Park, Bemidji, MN

Anna was away for her second stay at Catholic Youth Camp so the rest of us spent the week camping at Lake Bemidji State Park. Located on the north shore of Lake Bemidji, near Bemidji, MN, this state park has the best maintained amenities of all the state parks we've camped at to date. While it can't compete with the north shore or the iron range state parks in terms of scenery, Lake Bemidji is easily tops on my list of state parks I'd return to.

Besides being just a couple of miles from town, what made Lake Bemidji attractive to me was the vast potential for outdoor activities which include miles of hiking including a trail through a living bog, biking on the Paul Bunyan Trail, fishing on the pier, a swimming beach, paddling the canoe, bountiful geocaching opportunities, etc.

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

2012 - Zippel Bay State Park, Williams, MN

One of the goals on my lifetime bucket list is to camp at each of the Minnesota State Parks that offer camping.  Wanting a bit of adventure, I spent the weekend camping at Zippel Bay State Park with Molly and a group of friends.

Located on the southern shore of the Lake of the Woods, Zippel Bay is Minnesota's most northerly state park. Our stay was very pleasant and the weather was perfect. The park is spectacular but also very remote. If you want secluded and quiet, this is a place for you. The only negative thing I can say about this park is that the showers were about a mile from our campsite and we had too drive to get there. Beyond that, if you can handle no electricity while camping and a seven hour drive from the Twin Cities, Zippel Bay is well worth the visit.

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

2012 - Mount Margaret, Snoqualmie, WA

The goal today was to climb Mount Margaret and find Washington's oldest active geocache, aptly named, Geocache (GCD). The hike of Mount Margaret goes down as not only THE, MOST, spectacular and gorgeous hike I've expereinced, but also as the most brutal and physically exhausting. According to the track log of my GPS, each direction of the hike was 2.3 miles in length with an elevation change of over 2000', topping out at approximately 5200' above sea level.

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

2012 - Turkey Run State Park, Marshall, IN

On our way to Oxford, OH, we decided to swing down 20 miles off the route to go hunt down Indiana's second oldest geocache Turkey Run Stach (GCC6).  Located in the west-central part of Indiana near Marshall, Turkey Run State Park resides within geological formations carved out by glacial meltwaters.  Hiking the trail system here exposes just how spectacular mother nature can be with its gorges and views.  The park also features waterways frequented by paddlers, an abandoned coal mine, and an old covered bridge.

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