Monday, August 27, 2012

BWCA. . . um, and Lutsen

Here is the long version of how our trip to the Boundary Waters went.
We were super excited to have our monstrous canoe on the car!
The girls were thrilled to get their own paddles

I was just happy to be there.  Goodbye car!  Goodbye phones!

Lucy really did try to leave without us.

But, we managed to keep her on the beach until we got in. 
The way out was fabulous!  Everyone was in great spirits.  This picture pretty much sums it up.  I love this one.

The only thing that worried us, was the wall of dark clouds behind us.  Thankfully, the site that we wanted was open and wasn't too long of a paddle from the entry point.  We had the only campsite on a small island and it was fun to have it all to ourselves.  We picked what we thought was a nice flat spot to pitch the tent and got it up quickly.  Just about as soon as we were in, it started to rain.  Not so bad,though.  The girls thought it was fun, we had some games to play.
Then we realized, that our tent was not exactly waterproof.  Our seems and zippers started to fail and leak.  We watched water drip into the tent.  At some point, I moved one of the sleeping pads so the girls had more room.  That is when I noticed that the floor of the tent was moving. . . like a water bed.  Our nice flat spot was a few inches of semi-dry mud over rock. We were basically in a big shallow bowl and that bowl was now full of water.  When we went near the center of the tent, water gushed in a hole in the floor.  The hole, somehow was the exact size of my pinky finger, so for the duration of this rain, I sat in the middle of the tent with my finger plugging a hole.
Then something hit the tent, then something else.  Golf ball sized hail!  After a minute or two, it got smaller and came down about dime sized for a few more minutes.
When it stopped, we were all still pretty happy, just a little wet,but still having fun.  Jer and I let the girls go play and quickly took all of the heavy stuff out of the tent, moved it to a better spot and towel dried the floor with our camp towels.  The bottom of our sleeping pads were wet, but not too bad. 
This is how the girls occupied themselves:
So, by then it was pretty late.  We got the girls washed off in the lake, into warm clothes and into the sleeping bags we went.  At about midnight a flash of light woke me up.  I spent the next 4 and a half hours more scared than I have ever been outside.  I have never seen closer, brighter lightning or heard louder thunder.  Every time it would lightning, Jer and I could see each other staring across the tent.  We didn't want to talk about it and scare the girls.  Lucy woke up several times saying that she wanted to go home and Ellen was curled up with me in my sleeping bag with her hands over her ears shaking.
It was completely overwhelming.  Our tent was once again leaking steady drops.  My feet were soaked and there was constant, bright lightning.  At about 4:30 am, it finally died down to just a steady rain.  We woke a few hours later, pretty soaked.
The weather report showed that there was a chance of storms again the next night, so we decided to pack up and head in. 
On the paddle back to the entry point, there was a break in the clouds.  We stopped at a different camp site for a little break and even got to do some swimming.  It was a good ending to the short trip.  The girls had fun.  There are however, no pictures since we let the girls skinny dip!
Since we had a few days left, we headed to one of our favorite family spots that was pretty close.  Lutsen!
We hit the chair lift and headed for the Alpine Slide.

We spent some time in Grand Marais at the lakefront and found a new favorite restaurant.  Dockside Fish Market.  Fresh, waterfront seating and Delish!!

We did a little hiking too.

So, not quite what we expected, but still a super fun family vacay.

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