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Forestville History Tour x Hipcamp Hideaway on the Root River

We headed southeast on our next history and Hip(camping) weekend. 

Any time we stop, Theo has to get out.

We saw an old A&W along the way and stopped by. You know I had to get a float.

The food is meh, but the drive-in is cool.

That's why I got the float.

I had been wanting to go to Forestville for awhile now. Luckily our Hipcamp location was close by. The campground here always fills up quickly too so we had to wait for a day trip to go.

We made it just in time for the next tour.

I love old abandoned town tours.

This town was built up along the Root River and withered away after rail bypassed the city and Preston became the county seat.

We first took a tour through the storekeepers home.


The kitchen reminded me a lot of my aunt Jill's house.

Except the living spaces were much smaller and the dining room and kitchen were in one room.

Back in the day it was common to have portraits of important presidents and who's more important then these two?

Connected to the house was the General Store. An older woman who was on our tour is from the area. She said she remembered coming here as a teenager and peeking in the windows. She mentioned that everything looked as if someone locked the doors and never came back.

A lot of the stuff in this general store was form the historical societies collection. Whereas the Harkin Store was predominantly original items for sale.

The kids got to try their hand at grinding corn for the chickens. Meadow bravely helped out.

She's suddenly becoming braver around strangers. For a long time she would've never done this.

We tried to feed the chickens with the corn, but they weren't interested.

If there's a cutout Meadow will insist on a photo.

Since going to the Harkin Store Meadow has been asking for a bonnet. We saw some at Fort Ridgely but they came from China. The gift shop here had some made locally, so we gave in and let her get one. It paired nicely with her skeleton shirt.





Next we headed to our Hipcamp spot for the weekend. For the first time ever we were staying for two nights.

Since the campsite was on the river we dusted off our canoe...

and actually brought it along. It was dusty because our garage roof was recently replaced. Sawdust got all over our stuff even though I covered most things.

We setup camp right on the sandy riverfront.

It sure was nice to know we were staying the whole weekend. Usually we are rushing to get to the next place.

Brooke got our camp pads and sleeping bags setup after I put up the tent. 

Setting up our sleeping arrangements is always my job.

Meadow went straight to finding mussell shells.

We tried putting Theo in his little tent, but he just wanted mama.

We didn't bring a cooler so I put our beers in a bag and tied them to a rope.

Our campsite was on the north branch of the Root River.

Theo found the hammock to be much nicer than the little tent.

For someone who says she doesn't like camping she was having a lot of fun.


We brought Meadow's camera along so she could take pictures.

Someday we'll get them off the camera.


Theo liked dipping his toes in the sand.


Then Meadow's friends arrived and they all headed straight for the water.

Anna, Logan, Roman and Lydia were coming to join us for the night.

The Root River is actually more like a creek.

Luckily Logan came along to help start fires. We are horrible at that.

We're more of the easiest foods possible kind of campers at this point.


Besides little bugs that flew by your face there were no other bugs bothering us. Not even mosquitos.

Meadow somehow got someones corn on the cob.

Girl loves her corn.


Anna is our go to babysitter. The kids love her.


I finally got my drone back. I was curious to see what was above the bluff.

Who knew this was right above us.

I decided to try some fishing with my ultralight pole while everyone hung out by the fire.

I managed to catch a smallmouth bass on my rig.

Logan kept the fire going all night long.

After the kids went to bed the grown ups stayed by the fire.

Theo is also a big fan of swinging.

The perfect shady campsite.


I got up and found Anna's kids by the fire. We always sleep in longer than them.

Eventually Meadow emerged.

Everyone loves Theo.

All the kiddos wanted to hold Theo.

I made pancakes for us.


We basically all played in the water all day.

There's no photos of us in the water because the kids decided to skinny dip.

Then the kids played hide and seek in the woods.

Then they built fairy homes.

A bug free outhouse.

It was a pretty relaxing weekend.








Back in the water. It was even shallow enough that Meadow could cross by herself.



Besides some hikers from the nearby county park and a couple kayaking we were on our own.


The kids were having a blast.

After one last swim our friends went back home.

Eventually we were on our own.

I tried fishing again, but only found some crayfish.


After Anna, Logan and the kids left we took our canoe out.

It was pretty shallow in areas so I had to keep getting out to pull the boat.

Then Theo decided he'd had enough.

I paddled most of the way back.

Cleaning Meadow's face off?

Being supermom?


Meadow tried catching fish in the rapids to no avail.

We had more meals you could just boil in their packages. My sister called while we were cooking and we chatted for a bit.

The next morning Meadow and I went fishing while mom and baby slept in.

More play in the water before having to leave.

We explored across the river while Theo was taking a nap.

 The river was spring fed and some areas would be super cold water. I tried to find the source.


We dipped Theo in. I hope he is more comfortable in the water than Meadow is.

We went for a little hike around the surrounding woods before we left for good.

Major Theo wedgie.


We hadn't really explored away from the river.

Occasionally I'd walk in the river pretty far then take the trails back.

At some point Meadow lost the eyepiece for her binoculars.


Goodbye Bluff Hollow. 

I definitely want to go back camping there again.

This ended up being my last Field Scout assignment for Hipcamp. I guess I don't fit the style they're going for these days.  

Nonetheless, it was an awesome experience over the past three years.  From the Boundary Waters Yurt to Appalachia farm camping, the Badlands Tipi to the Texas Hill Country, we got to criss cross the country with our little family and meet incredible people along the way.

We do have a bunch of credits left over for free camping and we also got invited to the new First Campers Club. Not bad, I guess, but I'll miss being a Field Scout. It was a rad opportunity.

We were hungry and decided, "Let's get some tacos." We were near Rochester and ended up at the El Carambas. They had a giant salsa bar, good street tacos and awesome nachos.

It was delicious.

Even Theo wanted some.

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