Thanksgiving Day Camping – 11/24/2016

All of our Thanksgiving plans with family fell apart this year. We didn’t plan to out of town, so we improvised a last minute camping trip. It has been three years since our last Thanksgiving week camping adventure. The kids seemed to miss the camping this time of year. So we quickly shopped for food and packed clothes and bikes into the minivan and took off. Our standard camping destination is Meramec State Park. Its about 90 minutes away from the house and next to the river. It didn’t take long for the park to welcome us with some wildlife!

Our plan was to go for a hike so we quickly parked the camper in our designated spot and went straight to the trail for the hike we had planned for the day. We have not hiked this park before as we mostly just paddle the river, so this was a pleasant change for us. Right off the parking lot, the trail provided us some entertainment!

A short way into the hike, we saw a stone pavilion overlooking the river. This was a fun distraction to look at!

No hike is complete without getting to limbo lower!

Eventually, we got to the most important part of the hike… stopping for lunch! We had deli meat on sandwich rolls and other assorted goodies that we brought with us. Since we were down on a rock bar of the river, we also took some time to attempt to build a rock bridge across the river. We got almost 10 feet across before we gave up to continue our hike.

Now our hike was half way over and we hiked back on the ridge overlooking the river.

We even managed to find a cave and work our way down to check it out!

After our walk was done, it was time to go back to the campsite and check set up camp. We dropped of the pop up earlier, but didn’t do anything to set it up. So after we got the camper mostly set up, we realized that we didn’t bring any water with us. After checking, there were no working water spouts anywhere near us. So I volunteered to go and find water. I ended up checking out several places in the park before driving out into town to look for water. Eventually I ended up at a used car dealership that had a working spigot on the outside of their building. With water, I headed back to our campsite.

From here, we made a fire and I proceeded to burn as many leaves as possible, enjoying the large quantity of smoke!

And being a boy, Corvin found the smoke quite entertaining as well! Since we were camping, we spent lots of time riding bikes in circles and cooking. A very chill evening!

Danelle got into the bike racing with the kids.

After a hard day of camping, we finally packed up on Friday to head out. I decided to take a minor detour after seeing something interesting searching for water the previous day. The remains of a never-finished Sayman Hotel. (Found inside Meramec State Park)

So we ended up climbing around to see what is left of it.

A perfect way to spend a Thanksgiving day/night!

Hogan Haake

Stream Team Picnic – 7.23

Danelle and I went to the annual Stream Team picnic held at Meramec State Park. Its always held on the last Saturday in July. This year, the temperature was quite warm. Danelle’s parents were worried about the kids with the excessive heat, so they kept the kids at their house. Danelle and I were just a couple heading to a party. We were looking forward to hanging out in the heat. Danelle was slightly worried that I was going to be bored in the morning. The party part didn’t really get started until around lunch time, but she was to be there around 9:30am for some training. I told her not to worry as I packed our canoe on top of the van. I had a plan to be paddling all morning while she was in class.

I went a couple miles upstream during the morning. Since I was by myself, I used my kayak paddle and sat in the middle of the boat. This made it easy to control and balance the boat. I had the perfect amount of water for a hard upstream paddle and a potentially casual paddle back downstream. I passed many people two times that morning, once going upstream, and once coming back down!

When I got back to where I started, the Stream Team people had a tent set up with bugs in it. They were demonstrating to anybody interested different bugs in the stream. I spent a few minutes at the tent before I moved all my equipment up to the parking lot to pack it all away.

At the celebration, there were tons of door prizes to help raise money for Stream Teams.

Lots of fun things happen at this event every year. There are several canoe races of which, Danelle and I brought home 2 first place trophies and one second place. The food and company were great.


 

A more official report of the event.

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