Temperance River State Park
Temperance River State Park is one of the most beautiful places in Minnesota, in my opinion. Temperance has camping right on Lake Superior. It’s got beautiful trees, flowers, and wildlife. You can hear the sound of the lake lapping against the rocks, the waterfall roaring, the delicate song of the birds singing in the morning or the wind blowing through the branches of the trees. The wind from the lake keeps mosquitos at a minimum. If you’re there at the right time, you can enjoy being shrouded in the thick fog rolling in off the lake.
1st Day Of Camping
My favorite place to camp is Temperance River State Park. It’s right off of Lake Superior. At some of our previous campsites, we could see the lake from our campsite. This time we chose a new camping spot, closer to the river than the lake. It was my favorite spot so far!
The weeks prior to camping, I prepped to make sure that the day we left wouldn’t be too stressful or crazy. I washed ALL of our dirty laundry. With 6 people, that’s something to be proud of! Ha! I preordered food, prepped and made food, packed up and cleaned.
Even with all of the prep, the day of still had a lot of work. At 7 am a heat advisory alert popped up on my phone, so we were trying to hurry before it got too hot. I finished packing up outfits for myself, Princess and Mr. Awesome. We loaded up the van while trying not to stress or fight.
Our goal was to leave by noon, but we left a little late at 1:30, which isn’t too bad. The temperature was just starting to get unbearable. We cranked up our air conditioning and began our long drive with Nate at the wheel.
Surprisingly, our first bathroom stop was 2 hours into our trip. We stretched our legs and had a snack in the parking lot. An ambulance pulled up next to us and offered the kids a tour. I think everyone was too sleepy and shy to accept, but we thanked them for their offer. We got back on the road with my turn to drive and didn’t stop until we got to Cloquet.
We had to pick up a couple things at Walmart that we’d forgotten. Small mayo, ketchup and mustard, hot dog and hamburger buns, band-aids, butter, sandwich meat, chocolate, a bigger chair for Mr. Awesome, and swimming trunks for Nate. We spent about an hour, at least, shopping.
I was getting really excited as we got back on the road. We were so close to Lake Superior. I was tingling with excitement and joy. As we came over the hill and caught our first glimpse of the lake, my heart raced with happiness.
Usually, after a long drive, I get sleepy staring at the monotonous stretch of road before me. Driving up the north shore, with glimpses of Lake Superior I could barely contain my excitement. At some point, fog began to gather on the Lake and engulf the shore. I think I had a dopey grin plastered on my face for the rest of the trip.
As soon as we pulled into Temperance, everyone else woke up. The office was closed for the day, but we checked our initials off the list for our spot. As we pulled into our new space Nate was also giddy with excitement. The last time we’d been up, he’d scouted all the locations in search of the best one for our large tent and family.
This spot had a large pull through driveway with plenty of space for the kids to run around. There was a huge tent pad and opposite the driveway, a nice large area for the picnic table and fire ring. It was right next to the river, so we could hear it from our campsite.
The first thing we did was unload the topper on our van. The kids set up the chairs while Nate and I set up the travel gazebo for the table. That was, if it rained, our stuff would stay dry on the table. I began pulling out the blankets and bags and handing them off to the kids.
We pulled out and set up our tent in exactly 5 minutes! Sometimes we can do it faster, but we forgot to lock the roof beams before straightening out the legs. I threw in the air mattresses and had the kids start blowing them up. I pulled everything from the van and put the food in the trunk to keep it safe from bears.
After that, we made the beds so that we could fall into bed after we got tired. The big girls immediately crawled into bed to relax. The mattress that had been laid out was so comfy. Cat worked on her sketches and Cupcake read comics.
I was itching to see Lake Superior and let it melt my stress away. I asked everyone if they wanted to join me. Only Mr. Awesome and Princess did. They’re always up for an adventure!
We tried a new path that led to a rocky area by the lake, across from the beach. It felt like we were climbing down into another world. The lake was shrouded by fog which added to the mystery.
After letting the kids climb around on the rocks and try to skip pebbles on the shore, I was ready to head back for dinner. We climbed up the steep stairs leading back to our campsite.
For dinner, we made hamburgers. Princess and I had 100% grass-fed beef and gluten free bread for our “buns”. We cuddled around the campfire and enjoyed the warm fire in the dark. We were happy to climb into our comfy beds once the embers burned down.
It was a fabulous first day of camping! Have you camped at Temperance River State Park? What campsite is your favorite?
Check out our video!
Continue on to Camping, Day 2!
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