The first weekend in June was good.
The Iowa Outdoors Unlimited group hosted a camping/hiking weekend at some parks near my old stomping grounds as a kid.
And....if you can believe it....I left my camera in the tent for most of it.
Not on purpose.
We all met up at the campsite Saturday am, got everything settled, packed a lunch...then headed out on a hike.
We were camping at Willow Lake rec area....
......but hiking at Preparation Canyon State Forest, near the campgrounds.
The park had been closed for quite some time.
Even if you don't live in the Loess Hills area, you may have heard about the tornado that struck a Boy Scout camp 2 years ago, killing 4 boys, and hurting many others?
Preparation Canyon is in the same area...and suffered some pretty heavy damage from the storm.
Add that to the fact it had been raining like cats and dogs the entire week or two before this trip, and you can imagine what we found while hiking.
Mud, muck, and water.......lots and lots of it.
The first hour of the hike....we got maybe a quarter of a mile down the trail. People were getting stuck...shoes were getting sucked off of feet. Yet.....onward we went!!!
It was an awesome day!!!!!!!
Because of the damage done at the park from the storm 2 years earlier, most of the trails have turned into heavy machinery paths for the cleanup.
After the hike, we went back to camp and everyone pitched in to make a wonderful dinner!!! Sweet and Sour chicken (cooked in a dutch oven over a campfire)....homemade salsa (and chips for dipping).....and campfire roasted peaches.
This little fella, all covered in burrs....was the friendliest thing. He stole that ball from one of the campsites...and fetches like a mad man.
He also sits on command.
Not sure who he belongs too....we're all guessing a farmstead near the park. He probably comes in to play with the kids camping, and get fed from picnic tables. :-)
All pictures are courtesy of Lorna....she remembered her camera, unlike me!! Thanks for letting me use them!!!!!!! And thanks for organizing the trip...it was a blast!!!!!! :-)