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Campsite Photo Trip - 2013

Send Lawyers, Guns, and Money!

The camping fun continues in Minnesota!

So I'm kicking back at my campsite having trail mix for breakfast after walking Big Sioux Recreation Area in South Dakota.

I hear an SUV pull up in front of my site. I don't turn around. Then it backs up a bit and stops. The engine turns off. I hear footsteps behind me. I turn around. It's a policeman.

The exchange went something like this:

"Is this your trailer?"

"Nope. Never seen it before. Don't know how it got here. Maybe someone forgot it."

He gave me a strange look.

"The reason I stopped was to check out the trailer."

"Take it, it's yours. Nothing in there is mine. Well, except for my clothes. And my sleeping bag and pillows. But I don't know how that happened."

"Um, I just wanted to look at the trailer. It's cute."

Cute. Really? I have heard that comment three times in the past week. I definitely need to put some pirate flags on it. Relaxing some I said,

"Would you like a peek inside?"

"You don't mind?"


I finally looked at his badge. Chief. Brandon PD. South Dakota. Great. But I knew nothing incriminating was inside and the statute of limitations had run out on the other stuff.

"Wow, this is pretty sweet."

"And manly, not cute," I added.

The ice was broken and we started talking about camping, my trip, photography, and eventually, bicycles. I really want to pick up a bike for the rest of this trip. Lots of Rails to Trails coming up.

I ask him about bike shops.

"Well, there is one that I go to in Sioux Falls. Good place."

"Will you go with me tomorrow?"

"No. Why?"

"So I can get a deal. With you wearing your uniform I should get a good price."


"You could dress plainclothes then. Stand in the doorway and fire a few rounds into the ceiling if they're not being cooperative."

He looks at me.

"You're from California, right?"


He laughs, shakes my hand, and says "Have a great day."

That was yesterday, Wednesday. Let's go back to the long weekend at Camden State Park in Minnesota.

I learned that habanero sauce and worms do not mix. My stomach felt like I had swallowed a live cat.

It rained Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Tuesday morning as well. Which was sad because the campground was full.

Camden-Crowds-1 Camden-Crowds-2

The kids didn't seem to mind too much but the parents were a tad disgruntled. I heard that last year at this time it was 85 degrees and sunny. And if you rode a bike and opened your mouth you would fill up on mosquitos. The late cold spring should portend less of them this year.

I made a big batch of trail mix. Really big.


I had a pancake breakfast on Sunday and fireside tacos on Monday. The fire never really got going.

Pancake-Breakfast Fireside-Tacos

I left Tuesday morning.

I have reservations for most of the Minnesota State Parks but they don't start until the last day of May. So I decided to pop back in to South Dakota and stay at Big Sioux Recreation Area in Brandon, about five miles from Sioux Falls.

I stopped at two campgrounds on the way there. The first one was still in the land of 10,000 lakes.


Split Rock is a small place with only 28 campsites.


But they are good ones. It has lake number 4893 out of 10,000 and the obligatory canoe rentals.

Split-Rock-Creek-Lake Split-Rock-Creek-Boat-Ramp

Crossing the border into South Dakota I checked out Palisades State Park.


Another smaller spot with just 37 sites.


No lake here, just a beautiful river. And an old bridge over it.


I didn't take a photo of the other side of the sign. Go there and read it yourself.


Yeah, it was still dark and cloudy. Here is a look east from the bridge.


And a little closer.


Love it! Looking west we get the ominous sky again.


Twelve miles south is my spot for three nights, Tuesday through Thursday.


It had this:


Very exciting. I set up my screen house again.


And my office.


The sun started to come out from hiding on Tuesday afternoon.


This was the view from my campsite.


After a quick shower I made dinner.




Stop drooling. They tasted as good as they looked.

On Wednesday morning I walked the campground and checked out the river.


And the suspension bridge.


It is built in about 8 sections that move independently of each other. So the sections shifted underfoot like the goofy walkway in a funhouse. Interesting.

That's all for now.

Regards, Park Ranger


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