Mooch-camping with friends!

Day 108

LOCATION:  Near Battle Lake, Minnesota – in Northwest part of state
CAMPGROUND:  In the driveway of some friends on Ethel Lake.  Nice shady spot.  Beautiful setting!  5 stars out of 5!
WEATHER:  Sunny and nice   High 78

We took a hike in the Gull Lake Recreation Area, where we camped last night.  We found a trail that meanders through the forest with views of the lake, one of the lakes that is the headwaters of the Mississippi River.   George spotted some bear scat, so we were a little wary that we would encounter one around a corner.  (We didn’t.)  We munched on wild raspberries as we hiked.  Quite nice!

This has to be the tidiest campground we have been to.  There are 3 volunteer camper couples for 40 sites.  We watched them meticulously picking up every bit of “mini-garbage” from vacated sites, scrub down the picnic tables, clean the fire pits, then rake the gravel until the sites looked like a Japanese Zen garden! 

We checked out of our site, and hung out in the Day Use area for a picnic lunch.

Then, on to today’s destination.  The landscape has changed – a lot of corn, soybeans, and cattle.  We passed a buggy full of Amish teenage girls who waved frantically at us as we passed by.  So heart-warming!

We arrived at our friends’ house and got situated in their driveway.  They have a home right on the lake.  We sat on their back porch admiring the lake views. 

Then, we drove over to the Sip House, a cidery.  It is right across the lake.  Our friends told us that they WALK there in the winter –  across the frozen lake with their snow shoes!

The ciders were quite tasty and it is a lovely venue.

On to dinner….We went to a restaurant in a golf course/conference center.  When we entered the driveway, I realized I had been here before!  When I was working, our professional association had fall conferences at difference resorts in northern Minnesota.  This one – Thumper Pond – was one of them.  We ate  on the patio overlooking one of the golf course greens listening to some music.  Lovely!

DINNER:  George and I shared a delicious  tuna melt sandwich. 

After dinner, we took a boat ride on their pontoon and said hello to the resident loons there.

As the sun set, we sat on the patio, enjoying the views and conversation.  Wonderful evening.

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