“Mom, this is the BEST morning of my ENTIRE LIFE!” announced Finley, who has circled the sun only 5 3/4 times. We were sitting at a picnic table enjoying hot oatmeal after snuggling in my sleeping bag together in our tent at Jay Cooke State Park.
It was our first mother/daughter backpacking adventure. We reserved the High Landing backpack-in campsite that overlooks the St. Louis River. I had been watching the weather report all week and it looked clear. Alas, here’s what occurred when we pulled into the state park parking lot.
It rained hard, but thankfully, quickly. In less than 5 minutes, the skies were clear again so we donned our packs and crossed the infamous swinging bridge. Finley carried the most important item: the snacks.
We followed the Silver Creek Trail for 2.4 miles (it doubles as the Superior Hiking Trail, which is a family favorite). The path was wide so we could walk side-by-side until we took the spur-trail to the campsite, which was overgrown with grass that came up to Finley’s armpits.
We set up camp; popped the tent and blew up our pillows and sleeping mats. Finley was in charge of filtering the water that we had packed in about a half-mile from the creek and building a fire.
After dinner, we enjoyed s’mores. My marshmallow immediately burned as I held it too close to the coals, while Finley held hers several feet OVER the fire for less than one second.
When we returned home, we were greeted with a welcome home sign in homage to our s’more-making skills.
It was just one night, but it indeed was THE BEST.
Have you camped at Jay Cooke State Park’s backpack-in sites? Share your experiences in the comment box below. Thanks!