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Newborn Camping Trip to Itasca State Park

With Meadow fighting sleep lately I've been getting bored with being in the house all day. Scott had a big job recently and had been working a lot on that. It was time for us to go on a much needed vacation. We decided to go camping since Meadow seems to calm down when we take her outside. Of course we had to make a few stops to feed her on the way. 

  While Brooke fed the little one, I picked up some baked beans, bread and strawberries.

Scott decided on Itasca State Park. We never seem to go Northwest in Minnesota so it was a nice change for me. This park is supposedly the favorite of Minnesotans.

I've heard a lot of good things about it and it's only three hours away. 

We decided against the backpacking sites since at this campground they were one to five miles from the parking lot. I thought a walk-in or cart-in site would be nice so we wouldn't be so close to our neighbors. I was wrong. The campsites here were very dense. 

We stopped on the way to get a mosquito net to put over her car seat so she had something to sleep in. 

I quickly started making smoked franks and beans over the fire.

After a couple stops in the beginning Meadow slept the entire car ride there. Even after I fed her when we got there she fell asleep again. I was worried she was going to be up all night waking everyone around us. 

I couldn't get a good, consistent flame going, but the franks cooked nonetheless. I cut 'em up and threw them in the beans and cooked it for a good ten minutes longer. We used to eat this when I was a kid.

She was so out of it I had a hard time waking her up to feed her after dinner. She hasn't been this sleepy in weeks. 

She even slept through the night. She woke up at sunrise ready to party. 

But I told her it was too early and time to go back to sleep.

It's hard enough sleeping while camping. Add in a little one and you need to sleep in to get a good night's sleep. I don't know how nine to fivers do it.

Mama knows best because she slept longer than us. 

I, predictably enough, made fire pit oatmeal for breakfast.

Brooke decided to wear one of my hats.


Then we took baby on her first hike. 

Again I wish we could have brought our kayaks. We should have went canoeing. Meadow would have loved the motion it would make on the water. 

I'm not sure if it's OK to kayak or canoe with a baby. I'd love to give it a try in a some calm waters.

Our first attraction was an old cemetary. Sadly a lot of the graves were young children. 

Pretty much everyone here brought bikes or rented them here. If only Meadow was a little bigger.

Oh we'll be back with her once she can bike or be towed along.

We read all about the "discovery" of the headwaters by Schoolcraft.

Meadow was getting hangry so we found a spot that didn't have a lot of people. 


Then we made it to the headwaters of the mighty Mississippi. Almost makes me want to kayak the whole thing.

This area was popular with the kids.


The part that winds through the park is little more than a creek, but I guess the river is fed from the moraine that pushes the flow north and than east before heading south near Grand Rapids, Minn.



This park reminded us of Tahquamenon Falls. All it needed was a brewery. And waterfalls. 


Our fellow tourists couldn't get enough of this place.

I finally figured out how to nurse her without taking her out of the Ergo. It made it much easier to not have to stop somewhere. 

Itasca is famous for its red and white pines. They have the most interesting bark. It helps them survive fires (that no longer happen due to dnr policies).

She loves sleeping in the Ergo.

We had a quick late lunch of peanut butter sandwiches and zucchini brownies.


Then we went on the wilderness drive in the park.

At first we went to the wrong end of the one way route. Whoops.

We eventually found our way. Such great bark in this old growth forest.

Here's the view of appropriately name large white pine from down below. Nice pic Brooke.

This little boy wanted to join our family. He kept following us. 

Then we went towards the big red pine.


The bugs were bad back here. We had to keep blowing mosquitos off her. She was also getting antsy from getting in and out of the car a lot. 


Sadly the red giant is dying. Even after seeing the massive redwoods in California, these were impressive.


Scott whipped up some grilled veggies while I tried to get her to sleep.

Campfire potatoes with zucchini, summer squash and eggplant. A hot tip to Brittany's husband Jeff.



I started it on the grill until the fire turned into hot coals

She didn't want to go to bed. Sorry neighbors.

So we ate alongside the little one.

After dinner I roasted some marshmallows for the two of us. Sorry Meadow. You won't be eating these for a while.

After a late start going to bed she slept through the night pretty well. 

She keeps on getting bigger  by the day. I had to adjust her belt before putting her in the car.

We packed up camp and went on a scenic drive home. 

We took a detour to Bemidji for Meadow's first experience of Paul Bunyan. Did anyone else learn about him in school?

I know I did.

A nice old man took our pictures and he asked for some camera buying advice. That happens a lot.


Meadow needed to take more stops this time then on the way up. Scott got us lunch at the American Legion in Pine River while I nursed her. 

We still had a few more hours before we were home.

I think overall this was a success. Next time we'll make sure we don't have any nearby neighbors.

Comments

Julia said…
One should always be careful when camping with children, but some people may not even be aware that camping with a newborn is possible. Your trip may inspire other families to do the same. Looks like you and your family had a blast.

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