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Island Camping..pictures And All

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-- Island Camping --
By: Sam


Warning-- This is a very long post with lots of pictures. Though you dont need to look at all the pics, it really adds to the thread...Enjoy!

Well, ladies and gents, the time has come. Island camping is here. As many ( :P ) of you know, I live on the Grand ol' Mississippi. Mississippi is (Sioux or Chippewwa) for "Father of Waters." For some of you who dont know, it is the 3rd largest river in the world, next to the Amazon and the Nile IIRC.

And, living on the Mississippi, we of course have plenty of boats round here. So, one day (about 4 weeks ago) 2 friends and I though "Hey, why not pack up a tent and some stuff in the boat and find an island to go camp on!?" So, we did.

(Jordan packing stuff in the boat)

We ended up setting sail about 4-5 in the afternoon. Heading south down the river, we were shooting for a nice place where we had seen some islands before called "Spring Lake." Which was about 15 miles down river, I'm guessing (didn't have a map).

(view from the dock we launched off of)

Well, there goes home, no turning back now!

(view of the river behind me)

Here we are, little ways down the river. Nice view of the cliffs. And some random bouy I felt like taking a picture of. Its telling you not to go farther to teh side, to avoid the sandbar (mostly for the barges)

(view of the cliff-like side of the river)

(and the bouy)

After a little more cruising, I came upon some more nice cliffs I just couldn't pass up

(Some more cliffs)

On the way to "Island Sam" we find some nice islands to stop and explore. Here is a nice view off one of the islands.

(view from one of the islands looking shoreward)

We explored that island well enough, off we go again! Its getting darker out so we have to hurry up. After some chillaxin' in the boat, and some beverage drinking, we are getting close. After some more cruisin'....we're here! But wait! Disaster. Some lame sign.

(Danger...ha!, I laugh in the face of danger, and at the sign, then throw it in the river. But not before taking a pic!)

After thwarting the sign, we start exploring "Island Sam" for a nice camping spot. We found ourselves a nice island we did! Nice sand and all. Here are some pics of the Island we camped on.

(Up the big sandhill I go. Billy and Jordan started without me :S )

(Just a little bit further then I'll be up there)

(Ahhh, sweet victory! And just look at the view from ontop the hill)

(Yikes, little did we know that the sand was like quick-sand! But, Jordan always manages to stay cool, even when sinking)

(Ah, he finally made it out of the super death sand)

Well, this looks like a good spot for a campsite! We head back down the sand hill and up it again quite a few times until we finall get all our stuff out of the boat and to the site.

Well, here she is, the spot we decide to set up camp)

I think we got things under control down there, so we go off and try and take some pictures that are worth framing (too bad I didnt bring my 35mm :P ). The suns coming down so I head off down the sand bar to the boat to go and get some pics of the sunset on the river. But while I was heading down, I see a great pic.

(Heading down the hill, while Jordan is getting another load from the boat)

(Nice picture of the sun through the trees)

Man was the river nice tonite. And the sun was gorgeous. It was really ahrd to stay still while the boat was swaying though. I did manage to get some good pictures. Here are the best of the 30 some I took of the sunset. And the island in all the sunset pics is of course "Island Sam" :D Ill show one pic with some nice paint skills to show where the tent was.

(Here is the pic with the arrow to the camp spot. The tent it hidden behind some trees. It says 'sandhill' on the top and 'tent' on the bottom.)

(Here is a nice one of the big ol sky)

(And some more)

Back to the island now after some nice picture taken. Time to start the tent settin up and make a fire to cook some din din. Boy was it dark out trying to get that tent up. Luckily for us, we found someones secret wood stockpile while I was finding a good bathroom spot :) . Nice Birch logs really burn nice. So we start the fire. It gpt unexpectadly huge, im talking you could see ot from space huge. I only took pics of it when it was small though. Here is a pic of Billy and Jordan both stadning in front of teh little fire before it got ginormous and a pic of my tent (nice 8 sleeper for 2 people..roomy)

Here is Billy(right) and Jordan(left) in front of the old fire, while still in it's infancy (notice the baby twigs))

(And the tent -1 pole (and +1 arm) because we lost in somewhere in the dark :D )

We got the fire going nicely (very nicely) after that, and cooked up some din din, which consisted of hot dogs and fritos. No more pics from the night, too dark to see anything. So we sat around the fire and BS'd for awhile (about 5 hours actually). Until it was bedtime. Billy and Jordan wanted to sleep in teh tent for some reason (it was a beautiful night out). I decided to pull up the lounge chair and sleep by the fire. I had an awesome view of the river from there, and the starts were amazing.

Now morning time. It was too nice out to sleep in late so I woke them up at 7:00'ish. They werent too happy to see me (well atleats Billy was, Jordan was happy to see me :D ). Here is me(in the white shirt, sorry guys, no sunglasses, just glasses B-) ) and Jordan (teh other one :P ) with Billy behind the camera for a change.

(Me and Jordan in the tent)

Here is the picture of my bed and the view I had all night of the river while those two chose the tent...

(My bed which is actually really comfortable and nice in front of the fire. The tent is maybe ten yards to the left of the pic.)

And here ladies and gents is Minnesota at it's finest. Th eview from my bed

(View from my bed)

Well, after we have some cereal for breakfast and picked up, its time to go swimming and hit the rope swing. The swing i snuts because it is out of a huge oak tree and into the Mississippi's undertow. Which could pull even Micael Phelps under! Here are 2 pics of the rope swing

(Two pictures from the rope swing, with some lame boat parked in the way...so we had to go to the side)


Now some of you may have heard this (or atleast the two native Minnesotaner's on the board that I knwo of). There is a big oil refinery by me that got struck by lightning a few days before tha camping trip. (it is pictured in teh background of the second rope swing pic). It blew up and got ash all over my house and the neighboorhood. It burned 20 some odd million (yes million) gallons of crude oil! Well here is a clear pic of it

(Picture of the oil refinery that blew up)

Ahh. After a nice trip, home sweet home

(pic of house)

Well everyone, I hope you enjoyed my nice camping trip. Please post back with comments and questions you may have. Especially if you ahve heard of teh big oil refinery explosion, im curious if anyone has. It was a big thing down here.
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Thanks all, and yeah, I had a great time. We are planning on going camping again before school starts.

@Desmond: It wouldnt matter if the oil got in the river, it is as gross as its going to get :D

And yes, the refinery hates when you take pics. I was taking pics of the 'skyline' that the refinery has at night and some sercurity gaurds roll up and tell me that it is a big security breach (they think im linked to al-queda or soemthing :D ) Too bad they dont have any actual authoruty B-)

Thanks for the rep Nate and Erik.

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