Bong State Recreation Area, Day 2

A view of the camp site in full daylight.

Cleaning up the dishes after breakfast. There was a nice bathroom/shower area, just up the road a ways. It was new and everything, complete with individual shower stalls.

Near the bathroom area, there was a camp site where the “host” lived. The camp host was responsible for our particular loop of camp sites (there were different hosts assigned to various areas). If you had a complaint, or an emergency, or had any kind of question… you could go see the host with your concerns.

We never had cause to go, but it was cool knowing that if we really needed help or assistance with anything, it wasn’t too far away.

Tus, slowly waking up to the day.

Off on a hike. We chose a mixture of paths, and jumped from one color trail to another.

The trails were on the whole… unremarkable. Most of them were like this: flat, with a small bit of vegetation on either side. There were some wooded areas, but the bulk of the walking seemed to take place over flat stretches of prairie.

The dreaded wild parsnip. Actually, I had no idea there was such a thing as wild parsnip.

A little bit of color in a field of green.

Near one stretch of the trail (early on), we walked next to a golf course. It felt weird to imagine ourselves deep in the woods, only to look over and see a guy in shorts clutching a five iron.

Tus, Jake and Lisa, walking ahead.

An old hand-pump, that took all four of us to actually get going. I took a sip, and it tasted pretty good – a lot like drinking right from the hose.

Jake, Liz and Lisa… doing a quick tick check. Every few minutes or so, we’d look and try to spot any ticks working their way up the socks. Me, I was wearing a pair of sandals (no socks), and figured I’d be getting hit left and right. Surprisingly? Not a one. Go figure. It was amazing to me, as Tus was covered with ’em and everyone else would fine one on their person every 10 or 20 minutes.

Back from the hike, some 4 hours later. Peanut butter and jelly never tasted so good.

And trust me, I know my PB&J sandwiches.

Tus, the first among us to succomb to the mid-afternoon nap.

As Liz and I were reading our books at the picnic table, with both hear a jingle in the air and a woman’s voice over a PA saying “Hell-O.” After the neighbor kids rushed the ice cream truck, I decided to go up and get a few treats.

Liz and I, roughing it out in the woods with an ice cream sandwich and a push pop.

After much napping, Liz nad I decided to drive out of the campsite and go get a few supplies from the nearby shops. Among our many errands (we stopped to get some free firewood), we stopped off at the Mars Cheese Castle to pick up some cheese curds.

Justin and Alex used to talk about this place a great deal. And though they’ve been here many times, I myself had never been. I remember eating cheese curds with Alex, years and years ago (around the time this photo was taken)… and wanted to munch on those again. The Mars Cheese Castle is right by the interstate, where we turned off… so it was pretty much a moral imperative to visit and buy cheese.

Behold – cheese curds! I imagined our camp site neighbors looking over, spotting a long-haired asian guy taking a photo of his bag of cheese. For some reason.

Free firewood (with nails). For some reason, I had this worry that the nails would get super hot and shoot off like bullets into our eyes. We had a fire going for almost all of the evening, and not a nail stirred.

Dinner consisted of italian sausage, canned corn, and some rice. Again… I think the waiting and anticipation of food made things even more delicious.

Lisa and Jake, fireside.

Dark self-portrait, me and Liz.

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