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Obsessed with bowhunting whitetails and running trail cams! Love fishing, 3D Archery, camping, and teaching hunter education. Been a member of the Mossy Oak ProStaff since 2008 and is excited to become a part of the team here at Victory Outdoors.

Family Camping Trip

We went on our first camping trip of the year Memorial Day weekend with some friends. We decided to head up to Backbone state park in northeast Iowa. We had camped here before but it was a rainy weekend that didn’t allow for a lot of exploring. This year the weather was much better, although we did get some rain Saturday evening. We made reservations as soon as they were available so we were able to get a spot. The campground was full, but the sites are spread out nicely so you don’t feel cramped.

Saturday morning after we had a big breakfast we headed to the lake to do some fishing. The kids all caught some bluegill and green sunfish. My oldest daughter also caught the biggest bullfrog I’ve ever seen. She wouldn’t let us make frog legs for supper, so after a few pictures she put it back in the water. After we had been there for about an hour Caitlyn noticed a snake in a small bush at the water’s edge. We had been within a few feet of it nearly the whole time but it didn’t seem to mind our presence. We took a few pictures and it was content to hang out for the duration of our visit. The afternoon was spent hanging around the campers and the park until we broke out the CanCooker for a great meal of barbeque chicken and vegetables.

Sunday morning involved more time at the park for the kids and a little more campground exploring. After lunch we headed into the main part of the park for some hiking. There are 21 miles of trails throughout the park and we still haven’t seen them all, so we have plenty of incentive to go back in the future. We opted for the Backbone trail which is roughly one mile long along rocky bluffs and through mature timber. This was a nice trail for our group since we had six children under ten, as well as three dogs. It wasn’t terribly crowded and wasn’t so long the little ones couldn’t complete it, but offered some great views of the surrounding valleys. After our hike we headed out to a graduation party but returned in time for a campfire and some treats.

Monday morning we started packing everything up since the forecast called for showers. Our friends had plans so they headed home shortly after breakfast. The rain wasn’t materializing so we decided to check out more of the park. We started on the bluebird trail which is just over two miles long, but we met the east lake trail halfway through and followed that along the lake to get back to the truck. There were several places to stop and take pictures and we were able to find mushrooms and wildflowers. We also saw a few various animals and unfortunately found a leg from a fawn that had likely been killed by a predator of some sort. After our hike was finished we hooked up the camper and headed back to reality.

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