Sunday, November 6, 2011

Fall Camping by David

Towards the end of October we went to the Baker Near-Wilderness Settlement, not far from Minneapolis, where we "camped" in cabins, participated in many indoor and outdoor activities, enjoyed nature and each other not too far from supermarkets and other advances of our civilization just in case. We did forget the marshmallows! Good thing we could just go pick some up. What is camping without S'mores?

Enoch enjoys a fresh cup of hot chocolate available at every activity that took place at the lodge. That's roughin' it!
Friday night there was pumpkin carving. Pumpkins knives and spoons were all provided. Seeds were collected from all the pumpkins and toasted for eating. Yum! We couldn't agree on how to carve our pumpkin so we cut two faces.

Taran and Calvin pose by our pumpkin's "scary" face.

And now the happy face.

Archery was one of the favorite outdoor activities. Below, Emma poses with her "left-eyed" bow. Most of us are right eyed. The instructor asked us to put our hands out in front of our selves making a "pumpkin nose" (a triangle) and then to look at her nose through it. She would look at us looking through our hands and tell us what eye we favored.

Calvin was a crack shot; hardly missed. When they put out the animal targets (you can see the pile of parts in the background) those in Calvin's sites didn't survive.

Enoch was super friendly with everyone on the range but his family. He wasn't angry with us just avoidant. He asked all the other adults if he could shoot with them. Here, someone else's grandmother helps Enoch nock an arrow.

We cooked over an outdoor fire. For dinner Saturday night we had chicken and dumplings and peach-berry cobbler. Delicious.

That same night an expert on Lewis and Clark came to the camp with many artifacts. Emma holds up a replica of Lewis' log.

Enoch is wearing Native American sunglasses/goggles holding a baby doll clothed in animal skin. People really are clever no matter the time in history or place. The Lewis and Clark expert is in the checkered shirt.
I'm holding Oscar in our cabin in front of the dutch oven with left over peach-berry cobbler. The cabin was heated by a wood-burning stove (to the right). The stove gets very hot. We had to open the windows and the door Saturday night because we were sweating. There were 4 bunk beds per cabin (sleeping 8). We were given a jug of water, cooking utensils/pots and pans, matches, cleaning supplies, and all the wood we could burn. We brought our own food. There was no electricity in the cabins.
Despite how close we were to town, the cabins were near the wilderness. Saturday night, while I was cooling the sweltering cabin (see caption above for explanation) by letting in the freezing air, a chorus of coyotes were howling not far away. It was wonderful, spooky, powerful, thrilling all at the same time. I stood at the open door inhaling the frigid air and lost myself in their song.

This is us at the lodge just before we left for home Sunday afternoon. Willa is in her church attire. The rest of us changed clothes after our morning church services. We wouldn't have gone to church that day but it was the primary program (explanation of "primary" is at the very bottom of the webpage the link takes you to). The primary program is the one Sunday each year that the children put on a presentation speaking and singing for the main worship service. Lisa is in the primary presidency, I am a primary teacher, and Taran, Enoch, and Calvin all in primary had speaking parts--another reason we were glad this place was close to home.
This was a great trip!

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