Tag Archives: dnr

One Last Hurrah

This post marks the end of our first scamping season. It’s hard to believe that we’ve been the proud owners of our bouncing, baby Scamp for six months already! We spent more time camping this year than we have in any other in any other season, but still, all good things must come to an end. Before the snow flies, we had one final outing and then put her in storage for the long, Minnesota winter.
scamp

The sun was shining when we arrived at Sibley State Park:
prairie grasses

The prairie section of the park was alive with Eastern Bluebirds, they were everywhere you looked! This was the only one that was still long enough for a photo:
eastern bluebird

We were so happy to be outside, especially Danny. He doesn’t look like he minds riding shotgun, what do you think?

dog
Danny has had a recent injury so hiking is not allowed, that’s not keeping him off the trail though!

There are a lot of things to love about camping in the off-season. Not only are there no bugs, but the trees are absolutely dramatic without their leaves:tree

And you have the campground to yourself:campground

It was a perfect trip, so peaceful:sibley state park

But all good things must come to an end. Farewell, Geraldine, it has been a great season. I can’t wait to see you again when the snow melts.
scamp

Minnesota’s Last True Wilderness

Sometimes referred to as Minnesota’s last true wilderness, Big Bog State Recreation is home to the largest peat bog in the lower 48 states. It is larger than the state of Rhode Island.
big bog

Home to the Ojibwe Indians until the late 19th century, Big Bog was left relatively untouched when logging spread through the area due to the swampy nature of the land and lack of mature pine trees.
big bog

The bog is now home to many threatened or endangered native plants of Minnesota including carnivorous sundews and pitcher plants.big bog

This area hosts more than 300 species of birds and many mammals including moose, black bear, white-tailed deer, gray wolves and, of course, the woodchuck.
woodchuck

Looking Back: Crow Wing State Park

We haven’t had an outdoor adventure in far too long, sadly work schedules and other commitments have been taking their toll on our scamping adventures. Getaway plans are on the horizon, but in the meantime I have been looking back at outings we had in the spring until we once again find ourselves in the woods slapping mosquitoes.

This week I was looking back to our stay at Crow Wing State Park in the beginning of May. It was a beautiful weekend and our first trip out in our shiny, new Scamp. I hope you enjoy my walk down memory lane.

***

Within the borders of Crow Wing State Park are the remnants of Old Crow Wing, one of the most populous towns in Minnesota during the 1850s and 60s.
house

The town was at the confluence of the Crow Wing and Mississippi Rivers which provided easy travel routes and good hunting.
crow wing river

In early years, the region was inhabited by Dakota and there were conflicts with the Ojibwe who eventually gained control over the area.
dusk

By the late 18th century, European fur traders were in the area and a trading post was opened in 1823. The town slowly grew around it.
trees

The economy boomed and three churches were established, the remains of a small cemetery are visible near the site of the Catholic church.
historic cemetery

At its peak, there were between 600-700 residents in the town, approximately half were Ojibwe.
yellow rumped warbler

Clement Beaulieu ran the American Fur Company’s trading post. His home is the oldest standing structure in Minnesota north of St. Anthony Falls and was considered a mansion when it was built in 1849.
beaulieu mansion

But the success of the town came to a quick end.
robin

In 1868, the Ojibwe were relocated to the White Earth Indian Reservation. And in 1871, railroad magnate James J. Hill decided to route his Northern Pacific Railroad over the Mississippi in Brainerd, 10 miles north of Old Crowing.
boardwalk

Most of the town’s residents had moved on by 1880.
sun through trees

Today, Crow Wing State Park is on the National Register of Historic Places.

mississippi river
“Before him flowed the majestic Mississippi River, opening a delightful vista of sparkling waters, and romantic wooded shores far below, while above on a graceful bend of the river, picturesque little cottages peered out from shady nooks. A birch canoe was drawn up on the shore where he stood and another was swiftly gliding past the bank of the pretty island opposite.” – A description of the town of Crow Wing, published in Harper’s Magazine in 1858