The hiking wasn't challenging, but it went through an amazing amount of different scenery for such a short distance. We covered nearly all of the trails and all but one overlook during our stay. I was especially taken with these trees that looked like they were straight out of a Tim Burton movie. I think they are Bur Oaks, but I am not sure of that.
Due to the absence of rain, we actually got to cook all of the meals we had planned. We enjoyed this foil packet meal of curried potatoes, cauliflower, peas and onions that were cooked over the fire. We served it with brown rice. Yum! We also ate red beans and rice with grilled bananas (the co-op was out of plantains) and avocado for our other dinner. Steel cut oats with strawberry sauce and veggie frittata with goat cheese were cooked for breakfasts. And, we had lovely picnic lunches with cabbage salad, potato salad, cheese, crackers and fruit.
There were many of areas at the park that are undergoing prairie restoration. They were host to a ton of beautiful wildflowers.
The biggest hike we took involved a mid-point picnic atop King's Bluff. It was a gorgeous place with Queen's Bluff in the foreground and the Mississippi River flowing below us on both sides.
There were two sad parts to this trip. You might notice, we normally have one more dog. Jack has shown us over the last year that he isn't up for camping and hiking anymore. He toughed it out last year, but we knew it was going to be too much for him this year. Luckily, my dad was able to take him in for the weekend and was able to cater to his separation anxiety by remaining in Jack's site almost the whole time.
The other sad part was that we had to say goodbye to Paul's trusty camping hat. It was falling to pieces and got left behind at the campground dumpster.
Those two losses aside, it was a great weekend. It was the most relaxed I have felt in a long time. Plus, in order to get Jack from my dad's house in Wisconsin we had a long drive from SE MN to NW Wisconsin. Since we missed a turn right at the start, we deviated from our Google directions. I navigated us through the smaller county and state roads for the 4+ hour drive. I now have a much better mental map of those parts of the country!