We headed fishing to the ONE fishing pier that existed in the entire park. One? Kind of silly. A person can fish off the edges of the lake, but spots that hold more than one person are hard to come by.
There were about three other families fishing off this pier about the time we were there. It added a little extra pressure for casting to fishing novices like us.
It was a very slow day where fish were concerned. Maddie's rod ended up falling apart. First some nut/bolt thing came off her casting wheel. After a bit she came up and whispered, "Mom...my turning thing just dropped in the lake."
She and I shared my fishing rod the rest of the trip which gave me plenty of opportunity to just shoot pictures.
We headed back to camp after a bit with no fish to fry. Not that we would have, but we didn't even have the opportunity to debate it.
The rest of the day we rode bikes, played sand volleyball, rode bikes, explored, and rode bikes. Later that night we rented a fishing boat and headed out on the big lake. Mike and I weren't sure what to expect for water, so I left my camera in the car. I think I mentioned no less than 50 times how much I wish I'd taken my camera along. We ended up seeing a couple Loons swimming very close and Mike caught a Northern. You'll just have to believe me on that one. Coming back we also saw a beaver and got to watch it swim and slap it's tail.
Sunday we packed up camp and headed out. There is a 10 mile trail we had debated biking but decided to drive it instead. Very glad we did that. It was hot and muggy, a little rainy, quite buggy and very hilly. It took us forever to drive it, we can't imagine how long it would have taken to bike it.
Near the end of the trail we came to the old fire tower.
This is a 100 foot tower that you can climb. Only six people are allowed up at a time due to space limitation at the top. We waited our turn and started climbing. About three-quarters of the way up we were even with the tops of the trees. As we went higher, the tower swayed a little. Maddie and Jake said they weren't sure they wanted to go any higher. Being the loving and nurturing parents we are, we told them to keep walking, they'd be fine.
At the top there is a little wooden "shed" for lack of a better term. I'm not sure six people could have fit up there, but the four of us had room to see the views all around...
...and the views straight down...
We headed back down and I believe I had counted around 134 steps.
That was our official end to our time in Itasca State Park. We started home and stopped in Park Rapids for some lunch.
Jake was excited to see an establishment he could connect with.
We stopped at the "Minnesoda Fountain" for lunch. The kids thought it was great that we got to sit at the counter and watch all the shakes and sundaes being made.
The food was okay. The company was great.
Overall a very nice trip. The kids thought they preferred this camping trip to Gooseberry last year. Mike and I agreed we preferred Gooseberry over this trip. We think if we'd brought bikes to Gooseberry the kids would have changed their minds.
Now we have all year to start planning next year's camping trip. Any suggestions?