Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Day Three, Delayed

Itasca campsite, with lots of frass
It took me awhile to get this post up, obviously. Last week, our area had some major flooding. Fortunately, we had little damage, even though we live on a seasonal creek that catches a lot of runoff. It was higher than we had ever seen it, but all we had to deal with was a damp basement and a septic system that threatened to quit but didn't.

Anyway, Day Three was pretty laid back. After two days of pushing hard, Day Three was made for a little less urgency.

Our campsite at Itasca State Park was the only place we had any trouble with bugs. All night, we listened to what we thought was a little bit of rain falling on our tent. In the morning we found that it was actually army worm droppings. Fortunately, there weren't enough army worms to make the trip disgusting; that's expected in a year or two, at which point I will either stay inside or possibly leave the state for two weeks.

Will this creek ever amount to anything?
Itasca State Park is beautiful, although it had a lot fewer evergreen trees than I expected. It was also packed, because it is one of the most popular campsites in the state. I'd like to go back and spend more time there, explore the park and do some canoeing. But if you're there for just a day, the one thing you have to do is wade across the Mississippi.

None of us had done this before, so we had to go check this off our Minnesota list. Lake Itasca narrows into a little stream, and the CCC shored it up with concrete and rocks, and people go there to say they've walked across the Mississippi River. It is a little corny but we had a blast.

Next on our travel plan were two historical sites: Little Falls, to learn about Charles Lindbergh; and Sauk Centre, to learn about Sinclair Lewis. But the Lindbergh site was closed, and the pressing need of having to get the oil changed and do some laundry made us forgo Sauk Centre and push on to Alexandria.

My Paul-Bunyan-sized kids wading in the Mississippi
It was kind of a relief to check in to a hotel and sprawl on the bed instead of having to raise the tent before we could relax. Then the kids got some swimming time while I washed clothes. One does not usually get the oil changed on vacation -- that's a really non-vacation thing to do, in fact -- but we did that too, and got the car washed.

The one difficulty we had was finding a place to eat. Matt and I were still in the mood for burgers and beer, and the local burger place looked odd. Anyone have an idea on where to eat in Alexandria?

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