Miles driven: 364.8
Pages read: 305
Fish caught: 1
Today we got down to the real business of this road trip: fishing and reading. It was also the day we worked out some kinks.
Last night we pulled in to the camp site we had just reserved with the park ranger to find someone with a tent pitched very close. That didn’t really bother me until it got dark, when a myriad of noises started to come from there. The worse was the snoring at 2 a.m. I was already not sleeping well because I forgot a pillow and my body is foreign to the concept of sleeping outside on the ground. Snoring was not something I had anticipated having to deal with and I had almost resigned myself to only three hours of sleep when I remembered the white noise app on my phone. Once again it was only at 1% (I really need to start charging it more in the car) but it had proven itself already on this trip so I put the air conditioning sounds on loud right next to my ear and crossed my fingers. Apparently it worked because even though I woke up to a dead phone, that was not until 6 a.m. I didn’t think about it until just now, but I’m sure if my dad would have been there he would have appreciated the irony of playing air conditioning sounds to lull yourself to sleep while camping in a park.
We got up early and went in search of a place to get Noah a Minnesota fishing license. This is definitely something we should have done last night, but like I said we’re still working out the kinks. With the help of the kind Minnesotan and my phone whose signal was constantly going in and out, we eventually found our way and made it back so Noah could do some fishing and I could do some reading. We made a successful morning of it: Noah caught his first fish of the trip and I read the first 100 pages of my book.
The river was right by our campsite and met all my requirements for a good reading spot in nature: beautiful and shady.
After that we went back to camp, had lunch, and packed up. Let me take a moment to admit my own inexperience: I have never, in my life, camped outside someone’s backyard. But I don’t do hotels on road trips and I don’t know anyone who lives in this part of the country, so here we are. Of course I also have Noah to be in charge of all things associated with camping. He taught me how to pitch my tent last night and how to pack it up today. He explained that when rolling up your tent, it’s important to keep things airtight. I followed his instructions to the letter, but when I got it all rolled up I noticed something odd. Turns out I had rolled it up airtight…right around a water bottle.
But it was hot and I just couldn’t face unrolling it all and starting over, so there it stayed.
First stop after we left camp was to find the first Target or Walmart and get all the supplies I didn’t know we would need until after actually camping for a night. Also so Noah could get some soap.
I had been looking forward to this day because it was supposed to only be a 3.5 hour drive from Minneapolis, MN to Fargo, ND. I was very disappointed when I put it in my GPS and realized that since we were camping on the northeast side of Minneapolis and several miles west of Fargo, it would actually be almost 5 hours. But we powered through and eventually made it. While checking our directions, I noticed that they really weren’t kidding when they called Minnesota the land of 10,000 lakes.
I was excited about the campsite near Fargo because it was very close to the interstate. Turns out that’s very true…as the bird flies. As the car drives, it was more like five miles on gravel/dirt farm roads. I was really starting to worry there would be nothing at the end of it. When we got there it finally dawned on me that this was one of the free campsites I had found using the website my sister recommended. Then everything made a lot more sense. It was a gorgeous spot and we had it all to ourselves:
The lack of running water was a bit of a bummer, but it was definitely worth it considering we got all that for free!
Noah worked very hard on getting a fire started with limited kindling and we made some delicious brats and s’mores over the fire. I even got the chance to finish my book before going to sleep.
Tomorrow we’re going to cross most of North Dakota, spend the night at Theodore Roosevelt National Park, and see the North Dakota Badlands. I can’t wait!