Friday, July 1st was Ryan's birthday. Happy birthday Ryan! I made blueberry birthday muffins for us to nom on before we went on a biking adventure.
We took the bike trail by my house to a nearby town called Monticello. The journey there and back was about 24 miles! I was near dying by the time we finished but am so happy we went! It was a perfect day for biking because the forecast for the day was partly cloudy with a high of 73.
The trail is full of gorgeous country landscapes.
Whenever we'd get to a cluster of farms I'd ask Ryan if we could pretend it was Monticello. I was so grateful to sit down for awhile once we made it! We also rode over probably 20 bridges on the trip!
The town was really cute. Besides briefly driving through when I was in Driver's Ed, I have never actually looked around the town. It's on the way to Madison so we usually just drive right by it!
We stopped at a grocery store and got fresh deli subs to eat under a tree in the park. It was really relaxing. A group of school children were also there fishing, which provided some entertainment!
This is the single photo I took on the way back to town. The trail back is slightly uphill the entire way and I had to focus really hard on not keeling over. When we got back to town we had to run our bikes across the street to make the light and my legs almost jellied out!
I was so sore after the trip that I sat in comfy chair in the living room for 2-1/2 hours afterwards! As soon as my dad got home from work though, we packed up all of our camping supplies and headed out for a relaxing holiday weekend in the park! My parents are so much more experienced when it comes to camping than I am. Watching them prepare made me realize how bare-bones Ryan and I's trips last summer were!
The dogs were super excited for the road trip, though Rusty kept wanting to sit up front!
Eventually Rusty made a nest out of a sleeping bag on the floor while Buzz parked himself on my lap so he could see out the window.
After setting everything up, we had pasta salad and Sun Chips for dinner. My appetite finally came back after the bike ride and I ate about three full plates of pasta salad (no self control). I made sure to mentally note everything we ate to use as ideas for Ryan and I's camping trip later this summer.
The goofy dogs kept getting wrapped around everything imaginable. We put them on their long leashes so they could walk around, but they mostly just got into trouble! Once no longer able to move they would sit and stare sadly at you until you untangled them. Repeat 80x. After last weekend I'm pretty sure I have down the art of building a campfire.
I broke into the trail mix the next morning. Our coffee experience on this trip was actually a good one! We brought our French press and some pre-ground free trade Ethiopian dark coffee. All we had to do was boil water on the camp stove and add it to the press with the grounds, and, whalah! Nice coffee in the middle of nowhere!
For breakfast we had toast and scrambled eggs. After this trip I really want to get a camp stove of my own because it opens up so many more easy food options!
Can I have some too?
Saturday morning my mom and I drove back to town so I could go to work. She made several trips into town for my sister and I to work which wasn't ideal, but this weekend was the most free space our family had all summer to take a camping trip so we grabbed it!
The weather was wonderfully cool all weekend. Our campsite was also under a bunch of trees, so while it was hot when we went for walks it was cool when we got back.
Cheese and crackers for lunch- one of my favorite meal options. I absolutely love port wine cheese.
After I got back from work my dad and I went for a hike. My sister was taking a nap before going into work herself and my mom worked on painting some sculptures she had brought with. We had a nice time debating which states might be cool to visit or live in later in life.
A lot of the trails overlapped with equestrian trails so we had to be on the constant lookout for large piles of poo. Temporary freedom at the bridge!
After awhile my dad and I decided to make a loop back to the campsite. However, the trails weren't really well marked because instead of taking us back to our site we ended up in the equestrian campsite! What?? Oops. It was neat to see all the horses though.
Our originally short hike turned into quite a bit of a workout by the time we made it back!
I got a lot of reading done over the weekend. I finished Too Big to Miss and most of NurtureShock.
For dinner Saturday night we made roasted potatoes and vegetables over the fire along with pulled pork on the side. I learned how to make coals and arrange logs to make a cooking zone in the fire pit.
Awesome pink and yellow clouds.
After dinner s'mores- a camping necessity. I learned that s'mores were popularized by the girl scouts and literally stand for "some more" as in they're so good you want "s'more." Cheesy right!?
Sunday morning we found some black raspberries growing by our campsite and picked some to go with our pancakes for breakfast. Rusty thought raspberries sounded yummy, but he didn't get any.
Pancakes and sausage for breakfast! Nice and simple. The easiest pancake mix to take with on trips is the kind that only requires you to add water and shake it up.
After breakfast our family went for a long walk all over the park. My calves were aching by the time we got back because there were so many steep hills!
We went down to the boat launch to let the dogs cool off. Rusty only wanted to get his feet wet while Buzz jumped right in.
It was super strange because Buzz paddled into the water, turned back to look at me, then slowly barrel rolled so that we could fully immerse himself!
After the water break we sat down to rest them and ourselves before making the return journey. They made dog footie prints everywhere!
After the water visit we took them down to the human swimming area of the lake.
Sunday evening dad took Katie back into town for work which meant I had to build the fire all by myself. It worked though, and I kept it going until they got back at 8:30! It was strong enough that we were able to roast hot dogs on it for dinner! I enjoyed another s'more and then read NurtureShock until it was literally too dark for me to see the pages any longer.
Monday morning we all enjoyed a fancy breakfast of french toast, scrambled eggs, and bacon before having to pack everything up and go home.
On the way back we have a heck-of-a-lotta pelicans sitting on the river shore! It was bizarre and out of nowhere! We pulled over immediately to take pictures.
After unpacking we had a few hours to clean and prepare food for our July 4th family gathering. We had various pasta salads and barbecue chicken before heading over to the park grounds to watch the fireworks.
It was a super memorable holiday weekend! I'm thankful I got to spend so much time with loved ones and that I was able to get outdoors.
Have a great weekend!
Hi my name is Emilee and I am a kinesiology undergraduate student. These are my adventures as a young adult living in Milwaukee. Here I will share my experiences as I navigate through college. Thanks for stopping by!