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Some friends of ours gave us a 1980s pop up trailer, and we only used it once last summer, so this summer we pledged to use it more. This Tuesday, I discovered that the upcoming weekend was the last open weekend in awhile so: We’re going camping!


Debbie pointed out that (A) we had too little time to get ready, and (B) Friday was supposed to be in the 90’s and very humid. So we compromised and decided to head up early Saturday.


Friday night, while we were trying to get packed up (around 8:00) when a storm hit the Twin Cities. It was windy and we were seeing distant lightning. Suddenly we heard a very low hard rumbling noise that I thought was thunder, but my wife thought was a branch falling. My wife was correct. Out to the back yard and a very large branch* had fallen on our garage. We looked up and saw that the branch had punctured the garage roof in two places and we could see the branch from inside. We were very blessed that it didn’t hit other parts of the house.


So we spent some time clearing in the morning and (for that and other reasons) didn’t get to our destination (St. Croix State Park) until the afternoon (80 miles north – just east of Hinckley!). As we were driving in, we noted large branches down on near the road and we thought – what are the chances that they’d have storm damage here, as well.


When I went in to register for a site, the lady ranger looked a bit frazzled. She didn’t have computer and the center was on a generator. She told us it was a ‘free-for-all down there’ – who knew where people had taken campsites – and she suggested we go down and choose whatever open site we wanted.


It was a dramatic experience driving through the campground. Nearly every site had a large tree down, there were smashed picnic tables and barely passable roads. When we chose a site, we had to pull a large branch out of the drive way.


But once we got in, we had a very enjoyable stay. We continually thanked God for our safety and prayed for more. He granted this request. Also perfect weather, a nice campfire (with marsh mellows) and a beautiful time wading in the beatified waters of the St. Croix.


*Can I just suggest to all homeowners that if there are holes in your large trees, do not patch them with cement. The previous owner of our house did this, and it appears to be causing rotting. These are large silver maples, planted in the 1880s for a road (which used to go through our back yard 100 years ago). They have lasted a long time, but now, a few years after the cement patching, they are dieing from the inside. And it looks really goofy to see gray cement in your trees.

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July 2008