After working 80 hours a week and not getting a day off for 12 consecutive days, Matt just wanted to go camping for his weekend off. He reserved a site some 4 hours north from the Twin Cities at Bear Head Lake for one night, and after working a 24 hour shift (and taking a quick nap), we were on our way. Yes- it was a far drive for one night of camping. And yes, I'm 7 months pregnant. But when it's in the 70's in August and you live so close to the beautiful wilderness of the iron range, it's like the North is calling!
After we set up camp, ate dinner, and let our fire go out, we walked to this little dock to get a good look at the stars. It was dark, but we walked without flashlights whenever possible to let our eyes adjust. Then we stood on this tiny berth and watched as the stars came out. The lake looked like glass with stars reflected on it; the reflection of the trees looked more like shadows falling on the water. Mist was rising from the lake and dancing across the surface. And every time we looked up, it seemed like the stars in the sky had doubled- I guess that's the advantage of driving so far north and away from it all!
Part of me was sad that we didn't have the camera and that we couldn't capture the moment, but another part of me preferred keeping the moment all to ourselves. I think we stayed a little longer because of that- so we could take in every detail and make it last before it became a memory. BUT we still couldn't resist going back just after sunrise to start our morning with the still peace of the lake and to get some pictures of our little haven :)
Even though it was a quick trip, we really took our time with everything. We stayed by the campfire, alternating between watching it burn and enjoying the heat, reading our library books, and talking about life in the way that only happens when you huddle up around a camp fire. We went on a three mile hike and took the detours for the scenic views of the lakes, stopping whenever inspiration struck to take a picture, sitting and enjoying the views, and letting the dogs explore and swim to their hearts' content. There was no rush.
We took the long way home so we could drive along Lake Superior as we headed south with John Denver playing to accompany the scenery. We were idly chatting when the lyrics, "I know he'd be a poorer man if he never saw an eagle fly," broke through my train of thought and brought a smile to my face. It made me think about our short little trip and the deer we spied along the trail and the sound of the wolves calling throughout the night. I thought of the shooting star we saw from the dock after sunset, and the bald eagle that flew overhead as we drove out of the park, and I was glad we'd been able to be a part of it all, even if only for a short time.
And being 7 months pregnant and camping off the beaten path? Not a problem if you just look up the nearest hospitals beforehand and travel with a doctor to keep your mind at ease :) Honestly, the worst part was the discomfort of all the driving (or maybe being too scared to walk to the bathroom in the night because of the wolves). But mostly it was just a happy reminder of just how different camping next summer is going to be!