Back to the "off the cuff" part...the hubs and I are notoriously "Type B" personalities. At the beginning of summer, we sat down and plotted out our free weekends and discovered that we had one. ONE. One entire free weekend all stinking summer long. Anyway, we decided that we would make that our family trip/camping weekend. Well, days passed, weeks passed and suddenly we found ourselves at the beginning of the week prior to the weekend that we were supposed to go camping...with no plans.
We were about to scratch the weekend, when we decided to just see what we could find. One resort wanted 300 bucks a night (ouch), one campground was full, another full, we weren't finding anything available on the state parks website. In one last "Hail Mary" pass, the Mr. called a campground on the North Shore. The lovely lady that answered the phone was a wealth of information. She told us that while her campground was full, Tettegouche State park was just up the road and she suggested we call the ranger station there.
Turns out there are a couple of State Forest campgrounds nearby...here's something new I learned: State Park campgrounds are 80% reservable sites and 20% first-come-first-serve...however, State Forest campgrounds are 100% first-come-first-serve! The ranger told my handsome groom that we didn't have a single worry about finding a campsite on Friday. One of the two State Forest campgrounds would have availability.
And, we found that out Thursday morning. Yes, the morning before we planned to leave! Enter: Mission: Pack and Prep for a Spontaneous Camping Trip!
Here's the other funny part...we didn't own a tent until Thursday night.
We found a campsite on the Baptism River in Finland State Forrest...our kids bee-bopped the shores of Lake Superior day after day. We visited and swam in Temperance River State Park (in hindsight, not as great of a decision as I originally thought, but definitely the highlight of the trip!), we toured Split Rock Lighthouse, we enjoyed Gooseberry Falls State Park, we put on miles and miles of hiking in the parks, we ended our trip with a stop at Duluth's Glensheen mansion. What a place that is! Of course, my kids kept whispering the whole time, "Is THIS the room she got killed in?!", to their disappointment, the tour guides are instructed not to talk about the infamous Congdon murder...thank goodness for Google! :)