Monday, August 23, 2010

Next Time We're Going Camping At Johnson's Shut-Ins

This past weekend was the last obligation free weekend for sometime--Friday starts football season...which means marching band.  It will be the beginning of the end.  This time when I say that I really mean the end;  M is my last marching band child.

So what did we do to enjoy our last band free weekend?  We went to Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park for a day trip on Sunday.

A seventy mile drive from home brought us here.

It had been a while since we visited the park-- even a while before the dam collapsed and destroyed the park.  We weren't so surprised to see how many trees were lost from the onslaught of water, still kind of sad to see such vast openness at the parks entrance.  The shut-ins don't look much different at all. The new visitor center was nice, some art outside and inside a few hand on exhibits. (Which lent hand to grown girls acting like children)    All the new day use areas were really nice--shaded solid structure canopies over picnic tables and BBQ grills on concrete pads.

Before we headed for home we checked out the newly located campground down the road from it original location inside the park.  It was really nice.  Bigger than before, five loops, with lots of full  or electric hook-up sites and really nice walk-in sites nestled in the trees for tent campers .  Every site is paved with lantern hooks, fire rings and picnic tables.  We picked out a site in the "electric" loop for our visit--site 310 (it had nice shade trees).  They also now have camping cabins that are quite spacious with little front porch decks. The shower areas (which is a huge pet peeve of mine) were nice and plentiful.  The toilets--flush.  Not just flush but let you choose which way to flush--up for number one down for number two (I'm not going to tell which direction I  moved the handle).  
It was to hot and humid to hike; the trails look they have been restored nicely. For .95 you can get a trail map, not bad considering it cost nothing to enter the park.  However, get there early since they only allow so many cars to enter at a time.  When we left after four hours of swimming and picnicing there were two cars waiting there turn to enter.   

We skipped Elephant Rocks State Park this time.  We really want to try to explore Taum Sauk Mountain State Park next trip out that way.   

As soon as the heat breaks (and marching band isn't all consuming) we plan to head back to the shut-ins for some hiking and marshmallow roasting over an open fire...'cause next time we're camping at Johnson's Shit-Ins!      

10 comments:

Margie M. said...

So are you celebrating the end of Marching Band Kids or feeling sad about it? Could go either way, couldn't it?

Nice park you took us to. Thanks for sharing.

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