Posted by: begraceful | November 30, 2011

Camping attempt 2

The whole goal of the camping prep was to go camping for Thanksgiving. As you can gather from the previous post, the first attempt didn’t go so well. That’s ok, it all worked out in the end!

My last day of working at the downtown job was on Wednesday of Thanksgiving week. We actually only worked a half day and worked it from home. Needless to say that was odd because I had to take my laptop and parking card into the office yesterday after I no longer worked there. Anyway, it ended up to be really handy because Wednesday while I worked, I baked. : ) Pumpkin pie and cornbread had been requested for the meal and I couldn’t refuse. The pie was from the side of the can and really the cornbread was from a box too. I added frozen corn to  it though and it was awesome. (I cooked the frozen corn with some garlic and pepper before adding to the batter. delish) I also was able to start packing and checking things off the list.

First things in the car? Propane and the grill of course.

Eric came home in the early afternoon and we packed the rest up, grabbed some ice on the way out and drove to Inks Lake state park in Burnet. Eric is now fond of saying Burnet the CORRECT way – pronounced Burn-it. We had reserved an ‘improved’ campsite and it turned out to be perfect. We had running water, a picnic table and a fire pit and that was about it. Some flat areas for chairs and tents of course. Thankfully the woman who helped us pick out which site to go to told us that 329 is a good one, and it was. We were right on the water with plenty of room for the dogs to roam on their tie out leads. We set up shop and had hot dogs for dinner.

The first night I think it got down into the 40s and the dogs were a bit chilly in the morning. We were in our sleeping bags so we were fine but the pups just had their beds on the floor of the tent. The tent has partial walls of mesh so air could go through and the dogs could look out and bark at things. Not so great at 3am. The second night we fixed all that by adding our rain fly to the tent. It definitely helped keep the tent warm and stopped the wind. As an added bonus, the dogs couldn’t see out and slept all night! The other reason they may have slept through the night is our long hike the first day. Thursday I guess it was, we took off to hike over some rocks and find the trails that run all through Inks Lake park. We were out most of the morning so the dogs were pretty tired afterward. This came in handy as Sydney was trying to bark at EVERYONE who walked by the campsite. She calmed a bit and napped in the sunlight, her favorite place.

We prepped for our Thanksgiving meal by getting out the boxed stuffing mix (surprisingly good for a box), getting the asparagus cut and in some oil, salt and pepper for the grill, and drying the turkey and getting it ready for frying. Yes, FRYING! I was slightly nervous at the prospect of frying a turkey, especially after having to clean the 13 pound bird the day before. I’m sure it was a sight to watch me wrestle that dang thing around to clean it, dry it and rub on the seasonings. Anywho, fried turkey cooks quickly so that was great. We needed to keep him on there a bit longer but oh well, we just had some spots we had to throw out for not cooking. Our meal was very good, especially for just the two of us out in a park cooking on the propane grill and fryer. I think Eric’s favorite part wast the pie.

We drove to see a pretty overlook within the park and stopped at the little store next to the main public part of the lake. There we found out that the burn ban had been lifted for the weekend. Hurray! Also, we felt a bit bad about having given our neighbors the stink-eye as they had a fire going the day before – “I hope they don’t burn down the park!” So we grabbed some marshmallows, firewood, and graham crackers for smores. The store didn’t have any regular Hershey bars so we tried the Mr. Goodbar with peanuts. It was pretty good! I only had one as too many marshmallows give me a tummy ache. We built a fire and sat around with our beer/cider and had a lovely evening.

Friday we decided to head home. The weather was predicted to turn wet that night and we didn’t see a reason to sleep out there and get wet, only to pack up and leave in the morning like we had been scheduled to do. We would have wet equipment but worse, wet dogs. Gross. We’re both glad we decided to pack up since we got at least an inch of rain at our house.

All in all, it was a great Thanksgiving with our little family. : )

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