With only 9 days until we leave we’ve hit the final preparation phase of the trip. Fortunately, things are pretty much ready to go. We still have one more trip to Target to make, the house needs to be cleaned, and we have to figure out how we’re going to cram everything into the car. As I’m sure we’ve mentioned numerous times though, none of us are really very comfortable with the camping part of the trip since we’ve only done it once before. We decided that one more trip was in order so yesterday we headed to Rock Cut State Park near Rockford. We found our camp site and headed out for a hike right away. The details are here: http://adventures.garmin.com/en-US/by/zknott/160530-rock-cut-state-park. The trails were, for the most part, exactly what we love. They were dirt, narrow, secluded. We even had to scramble over some trees that had fallen in the trail, the rangers must do a pretty poor job of training them. As we hiked we remembered a few things that we had forgotten to pack for the weekend. Most were pretty unimportant (selfie stick), but as we turned a corner and started down a hill the realization hit me that I had forgotten to pack the sleeping pads hit me. We decided that we weren’t going to let a lack of mattresses ruin our trip though, but I think everyone began dreading the night a little more than they had been already. At least there were only a couple uneventful miles to hike back to camp.
Since cooking isn’t a part of the plan for our camping I found a good looking restaurant for dinner. If you’re ever in Love’s Park I’d highly recommend the Aero Ale House. I know that Ellie wrote about the burger that she and I shared in her post, but I want to make sure proper justice is done to it. Ellie normally eats her burgers plain. No lettuce or tomato, no cheese, and usually no bun. When I saw the daily special I knew that this was my opportunity to get a really good burger into her. The 3AM burger is topped with cheddar cheese, ham, bacon, and a fried egg. There was just no way she’d be able to pass up all of her favorite foods in one sandwich. As I told her last night, there’s not a lot of days of your life where you know without a doubt that you’ve eaten the very best hamburger you’ve ever eaten. For her though, yesterday was definitely one of those days.
After dinner we returned to camp, started a fire, made smores and went to bed. It was actually completely uneventful. Since our plans for camping on the trip involve pretty much the same procedure I think it’s safe to say that we’re ready. I don’t think that anyone but Ellie got a great night’s sleep, but I think that we’d have been OK hiking this morning on the sleep that we had gotten. The morning was pretty smooth too. The car coffee was less than ideal for Mol, but I’m sure she’ll write more about that. We did enjoy some Mariano’s cinnamon rolls as we sat around the remains of our rekindled campfire.