Into the Woods

Before our month of vacationing and family time comes to a close today, we were able to squeeze in one last adventure away. Late Friday afternoon, after a 34-hour shift in the ER, we packed up our camping gear and headed up the shore to Tettegouche State Park. Three years ago we made the same journey when Ella was just 15 months old. I realized that this time around, Sam is that exact age. It was a sweet few days away in a woodsy cabin, tucked in the forest along an inland lake, with meals over the fire and plenty of fresh, summer air.

We arrived at the park just after dark, but we weren’t at all concerned since we’d made the trek before. Tettegouche has a set of four cabins, but a good hike in is required to reach them. On our own, the hike would be simple, but journeying with kids and the equipment they require certainly ups the load. Once we strapped on headlamps and got Sam settled in the off-road stroller, we were set. Ella led the way for a good part of the hike, taking us up and down some pretty steep hills for the 1.7 miles in to the cabin. Once we arrived, we pulled out our sleeping bags and hit the hay.

Shortly after breakfast on Saturday morning, our dear friends, the Veseleys, joined us! Having them with us made the weekend even better. Ella & Liam are just a few months apart and get along like brother and sister (loving on each other one moment & arguing the next), while Julianna & Sam are also really close in age. I’ve known Mike since high school and met Jen when she was in med school with Pete. We love their family! Jen & I shared my camera over the weekend, so lots of the following pics are credited to her.

Ella, the fearless water bug. She’s not used to actually being able to swim in a lake since Lake Superior is so cold!

 

Hanging out with Sammy on the dock.

Miss Julianna turns one later this month & is walking all over already! How cute is she?!

Liam!

The dads taking the older kids canoeing.

When I first met Mike like 15 years ago, he was in a punk rock band. He’s passing on his ways to his son.

Rock star dads.

Cuddles with my little loves. (Sam was a little confused by the flash on my iPhone.)

Yesterday morning we packed up and hiked back out. The trip was short, but it was probably just right for the kids. Well, parents, too, since naps didn’t really exist out there. How long can we go without naps? I’d rather not find out.

Carrying a pack and two four-year-olds is no big deal, especially for a guy who just completed his first Olympic-distance triathlon. Nice work, Mike.

It was a pretty quiet drive back down the shore. The kids didn’t last long before they were sleeping in the cool, air-conditioning of the Jeep. We tried to make a stop for lunch at Betty’s Pies (a classic place to stop along the shore) but it was far too busy for our hungry kiddos. Dairy Queen in Two Harbors offered a quick meal..and some Sammy/Daddy cuddles.

Such a perfect trip to wrap up an amazing month.

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