Prairie Bluffs - Ron Lutz II ~ Photographer
After weeks of rain almost every day we were eager to get outside and explore. Teri took some vacation time, and I reserved us a campsite at Nelson Dewey State Park. We'd never gone before, and all we knew was that it was on some bluffs overlooking the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge. That and being only about and hour & half from home made it very appealing for a short trip.

While the actual "camping" wasn't the remote wilderness experience, it was relatively private. And I have to admit, driving into a prepared site makes camping with a 5yo a helluva lot easier! We even set up a dining fly, which made it bearable as the gnats were in HUGE swarms! All the recent heat, humidity, and rain made for a perfect insect breeding season. Also, camping from Monday till Wednesday on a holiday week, July 4th falling on Thursday, meant the place was pretty deserted!
2
Learn more about this photo <a href="http://lutzr2.blogspot.com/2013/07/camping-bluffs-above-mississippi.html" title="To My Blog">on my Blogger Post.</a>

Nelsen Dewey State Park
So we drove up on a Monday, spent a night listening to a pack of coyotes, and had a full day with no real plans on Tuesday. Instead of driving around, looking for something to do, we chose to simply stay in the park. I loaded all our food, kitchen crate, camera gear, toys, and my favorite chair onto the jeep. We then staked out a picnic shelter over looking the Mississippi River, doing nothing but playing, eating, and watching the birds fly around. I believe we spent about seven hours total just relaxing.
The view was amazing. I can't even begin to describe how much I enjoyed looking down onto a "wild" river, it's banks flooded from all the recent rain. As the day passed the light changed, making the character of the view alter as well. The only sounds were the ambient ones from the surroundings as there were very few people about.

We all enjoyed the relaxing setting, and having it basically all to ourselves was wonderful. The kid was able to run around playing. We had a chance to really spend time together, as my kid would say, "as a family!" I know I had one of the best days ever. I think we'll do some similar excursions, where we simply go somewhere and just relax. No worries, no hustling, no having to be anywhere.
In the late afternoon we headed back to camp. There we all took showers, another good thing about campgrounds, and waited for that "golden hour" before sunset. We decided to go on a hike through the Dewey Heights Prairie. You can read that link to learn more about this unique landscape. All I can tell you is that it was incredibly beautiful! There were so many flowers, and the views were spectacular. Also, as a photographer, it was like Candyland with the way the setting sun lit up the landscape!
Powered by SmugMug Log In