We Love Lake Life

There are worse places to write my blog from. Sitting in my lawnchair, just outside a pop-up camper, with the crackling of several fires, the crazy buzz of this camping resort has died down. All around me are people, and kids, and dogs. They are packed in here, tight as sardines, each with a tent or trailer, coolers and kids toys. This is not our usual state park style campground, but the spectacle of it all, has been actually fun to watch.

Just moments ago there was a screaming kid, their raspy voice slicing through darkness. It was a good wail. The sniffles followed and then more screams. In the adjacent campsite, just 20 feet away, another annoyed kiddo was yelling back, “Quiet down over there! We’re trying to sleep!” Funny I but true, everyone did want the little guy or girl to shut up 🙂

We have been enjoying Kamp Dels Resort, here in Waterville, Minnesota for the last several days. Roxy and Lindsay and I, like our roadtrips and campouts, and this is one more good one together. Since I sort of refuse to plan ahead, we found this place just last Saturday, and booked it last Sunday. A last minute decision, for an almost week long vacation.

Luckily my wife is game, and allowed my procrastinational sense of adventure to prevail again. She bailed us out, by finding this open campground and did all the navigation to get us here. I almost couldn’t even tell you on a map where we are. She did all that 🙂

This resort is 60 years old. It is very well operated, a family affair. The grounds are tidy, and everything is up to date. I am using the parks excellent strength wifi right now to type live online. There is a mini-golf here and basketball courts, a fishing pond and lots of playgrounds. They have planned activities several times a day. To top it all off, they have a fancy waterpark/pool combo and a petting zoo too.

This place provides tons of services, and appears to be a thriving profit-making business.

On our first whole day in Minnesota, we took a drive, around to the other side of Lake Sakatah, from where our camp is. The State Park is over there. We pulled in to the driveway, and as we moved forward, nature closed in behind us. The thick trees envelope the little drives down to the picnic area and boat un-loading ramp. We saw a couple narrow hiking and biking and snowmobile trails cutting across the road, and quickly disappearing into the brush. We turned around at one dead end and traveled back to visit the State Park campsites.

Several one-way loops were dotted with the most basic of campsites. There was a marker post and little clearing in the trees. Some spots had a couple large boulders to block a car from driving in too far. All of them had a fire ring, but little else. Lindsay and I have used these kind of primitive areas before. In Colorado, we stayed in Difficult Campground, outside of Aspen. It too was bare-bones, but with a breathtaking mountain view. I saw the thick forest of native trees, the spartan accommodations and was glad we chose the over-commercialized campground across the lake.

Two ways to camp. Two philosophies. Each on it’s own side of the lake. I have now enjoyed my experiences in both types of places. I wouldn’t want to always have to choose one or the other.

Here at Kamp Dels, the nature has been cleared away. A large tract of land has been opened up. It is mowed and has paved roads galore. There is power and water available every 25 feet it seems, for another RV to pull in, right up against our own.

Across the way, the trees are still king. Lots of underbrush and wildlife I assume. No alpacas or shetland ponies, but all the animals over there, don’t live in cages.

On the eve of our nation’s Independence Day, I am reminded that sometimes people have to make a stand for what they believe. I see that there are times to choose your philosophy and create your own future from those ideals. There is a family, who lives on this property, and the entrepreneurial spirit has unfolded into decades of service and improvement and family fun. Across the pond, someone, or some organization, has held dear to the preservation of their property, almost forcing visitors into forgetting the outside world and becoming part of the natural landscape itself.

I am glad today, that I don’t have to choose just one place to drag in a trailer and setup camp. I want to choose both, at different times, for different reasons.

I do know though, that each day I get the opportunity to curate and to cultivate my own personal landscape of philosophies and beliefs. I must believe today, for certain, that I want to spend my time with my wife. Just with her, and I guess, Roxy too. I must have made that my mission, to invest my energy into making time for our relationship to be enriched through visiting downtown Minneapolis together.

I must each day, decide what I want my own experience to look like. Do I want to clear cut and start fresh, do I want business, and service to others and maybe even profit, to be on my own agenda? Would I rather, let the natural world overgrow my day. Would I want to let the flowers and the trees and even the weeds too, be where I spend my time? Just letting nature take it’s course, trying not to tread to heavily upon it?

Today, I wanted to explore. I almost always want to explore. I love that my wife, is willing to do that with me. My navigatress on this beautiful journey, is so special in my heart 🙂

I just hope that this time next year, we can be camping again, with our new little person along for the ride. Hopefully we can still adventure and explore and pioneer, in the next stages to come. Maybe we can be the ones, wishing it wasn’t our baby, screaming with an alarmingly loud raspy little voice, cutting through the almost black darkness of the campground night.

Sounds fun to me 🙂 Like I said, there are much worse places to write my Independence Day blog from 🙂


Aaron Nichols

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