Posted on

Outdoor Family Life Monthly Report – July 2015

IMG_3638

Welcome to my July 2015 Outdoor Family Life Monthly Report!

My kids have now covered camping in 17 different states!  They were excited to check North Dakota off of their list.  We visited another National Park and camped in 2 more campgrounds.  We even added a river crossing in our truck to our adventures.

National Parks

Theodore Roosevelt National Park – Medora, North Dakota

IMG_1890

IMG_3625

IMG_3646

IMG_3621

IMG_1962

We visited the North and South Unit, but spent much more time in the North.  It was evening when we made it to the South Unit, so we ended up driving in far enough for the kids to see the Prairie Dogs and then turned around as the sun was setting soon.  The kids got such a kick out of watching the Prairie Dogs.  We were pretty lucky on our drive through the North Unit to see all the Bison.  They were actually all up on the road for quite some time with traffic backed up.  Somebody in a car was going to try driving through them hoping they would start moving out of the way…  It was entertaining to watch as one of the big bulls turned around, put his head down and slowly started walking toward the car.  He backed that car up about 20 feet when he was done.

Camping

Our camping was from this one trip, in fact we were still in the camper when the month rolled to August, but I will save the rest of the trip for my August report.

Nights Spent in the Camper:  5

Campgrounds Visited:  2

States Camped In:  2

Buffalo River State Park – Glyndon, Minnesota

IMG_3490

We spent 1 night here on our way out to the North Dakota Badlands and Theodore Roosevelt National Park.  This is a nice little well kept park.

Link to my full Buffalo River State Park Review

CCC Campground – Grassy Butte, North Dakota

IMG_3558

We camped here for 5 nights while visiting Theodore Roosevelt National Park and preparing for the Maah Daah Hey 100 Mountain Bike Race that started from this campground.

Link to my full CCC Campground Review

Biking

Biking continues to be a main activity with our family.  I have been doing a lot of racing this year and the kids love riding their bikes as well.  They really enjoy riding new places and also like to see how far they can go. I can’t get enough of watching them ride down the bike path in front of me.  Seems like they always have a little competition between themselves.

Trail Systems Ridden:  5

States Ridden In:  3

Maah Daah Hey Trail – Grassey Butte, North Dakota

IMG_3592

I rode a few miles of this trail leading out of the CCC Campground as this was where the start of the Maah Daah Hey 100 on August 1st would take place.  We arrived a few days early so that I could do some shake down rides on the trail and check out the first couple of climbs.  I ended up taking 10th place overall in the Maah Daah Hey 100.

Here is my race report on my other site if you are interested:  2015 Maah Daah Hey 100 Race Report

Maasto Hiihto / Churning Rapids – Hancock, Michigan

IMG_3387

I have written about these trails in the past, but I really enjoy riding them.  Rarely do you see anyone else out here.  The more I ride them, the more I learn my way around.  I have pieced together a nice loop to ride, that covers single track and ski trails.  I did take a pretty good spill on the one ride, smacking my head on the ground, but my helmet did a great job of protecting me.

Woolly Bike Club Trails – St. Croix Falls, WI

IMG_3484

I got a nice ride in over here on my own to make sure my bike was in top shape for the upcoming Maah Daah hey 100 and then a few days later, the boys asked to go for a ride on the Woolly Trails.  They really like riding Woolly.  The trail system continuously improves and has a great layout.  You can ride a nice 9 mile loop if you want or duck out in certain sections.  It works well for the kids, because we can piece together a couple of the sections for a nice 3 to 5 mile ride depending on how they are feeling.

Sunrise Prairie Trail – Stacy, MN

IMG_3442

I needed to get out for a nice easy ride to keep my legs loose without working them over and my youngest son Reid wanted to go for a bike ride.  He also wanted to break his previous record on the bike path and we ended up riding 16 miles.  He was pretty excited and determined to do it.  He just kept pedaling.  I enjoy taking the kids over to this path as we usually see some deer and a few rabbits along the way and the kids get a big kick out of that.

Elm Creek

I met up with some riding buddies here for a good trail ride workout.  I had the Fat Bike and my buddy kicked my tail through this entire trail.  Elm has an 11 mile loop that you can take and takes about an hour to do.  It is a fun fast paced cross country trail, but there are a few tight sections between trees that you have to be careful of if you run wide handlebars.

Fishing

IMG_1721

States fished:  1

Keweenaw Peninsula – Michigan

The kids did some more fishing off of Grandma’s dock while in Michigan.  They know right where to catch the Rock Bass and have a riot just doing some catch and release fishing.  I swear they just keep catching the same exact fish.

Random Outdoor Fun

Little Missouri River Crossing

IMG_1951

My wife followed the mountain bike race from checkpoint to checkpoint to provide water support to me during the race.  She had an option of driving across the Little Missouri River or take a 3.5 hour drive all the way around to get to the other side.  She chose the river crossing.

Lake Superior Shoreline

IMG_3405

We had the opportunity to join some friends at their cabin on Lake Superior for an evening campfire.  The kids sure enjoyed skipping rocks and playing in the water.

Photography

As I said in previous reports, I enjoy a bit of photography and will continue to share some photos each month.

DSC_0005

IMG_3456

IMG_3421

I post some on My Instagram Account if you are interested in following.

Summary

Another great month of experiences for us.  The kids checked North Dakota off their list of states to camp in and we visited another National Park – Theodore Roosevelt National Park.  The kids have now camped in 17 different states, not bad for 6 and 7 year olds…  Hope you enjoyed the update.  Next months report  should be good as we intend to cover some new ground in the month of August!

Leave a Reply