Sunday, September 25, 2011

Hawn State Park Backpacking

As Tom has worked at American Recreation Products over the last year we have acquired a number of awesome backpacking/camping items. We get to use them often as we camp about 2-3 times a summer, however we had not had a chance to go backcountry with our gear. I have my backpack from college and Tom borrowed one from a friend so that we could head to Hawn State Park in Ste Genevieve this weekend. We originally planned to go on Saturday but changed our plans for a party on Saturday night. We left St. Louis around 3:45 on Friday evening and stopped by my sister's house in Ste Gen. We were at the trail by 5:45 packed up and ready to go.

Tom and me at the Trailhead in Hawn State Park

Tom heading out on his first backpacking trip!
The trail was beautiful with tall pines and nice overlooks.

Tom started to get a little ahead of me as he got nervous about the setting sun. I figured we had until 7:00 to get to the campsite. We passed one backpacking campsite in hopes of getting to the one a little farther down the trail. However, darkness was creeping in and we also just happened to drop our headlamp and break it. Tom got nervous and walked pretty fast. I stayed behind and snapped some pics :)
Thank goodness he walked fast. We got to the campsite at 7:00 on the dot. Camp was set up by 7:15. It was dark at 7:18 and it was raining by 7:30. I could not make this stuff up. After a feeble attempt to light an illegal (not allowed in the park) campfire in the rain we crawled into the tent as it turned from a sprinkle to a downpour. That is where we stayed until 9:30 the next morning.
We classed it up a bit with some twist top red wine, cheese and crackers. It poured all night making for a nice little background noise to sleep during.
The next morning we got up, packed up our campsite, ate a clif bar and were on our way. Below are some pics of Tom at our campsite.

The rain gave everything a fresh look that morning and the scenery was absolutely beautiful.

We crossed this stream 3 times trying to figure out which way to go. We eventually opted to follow a trail that would hopefully lead us to the "most beautiful Missouri trail" Pickle Creek.

We were kind of lost when we came upon this sign. Whoopeee! We could find our way back!
We followed the beautiful Pickle Creek Trail for a mile to our car.
When we found this beautiful site we decided it was time for some timer pics. It was set to nine continuous photos so we took the opportunity to strike a few poses!

Thumbs up for a successful first backpacking trip! Timing of things we couldn't control (ie sunlight and rain) was perfect. We had a wonderful time and are anxious to go out again.
We culminated the trip with La Pachanga Mexican in Crystal City... then came back to St. Louis for a much needed nap!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Brunch and Parade

Ever since Tom signed the lease for his apartment on the Greentree Parade route I've been excited to host a brunch there. Not only did I get that opportunity, but it ended up being the first chance for my family to meet his family. (our parents met a few weeks back) We spent a lot of time creating a spread of food which I thought was delicious. I made homemade pumpkin cream cheese pastries, an egg croissant dish, potatoes, and mimosas. I enjoyed preparing all morning and was so excited when everyone came. It was hard to get pictures with the 14 people in the apartment, but I was able to get some of the kids during the parade.

The Frosts were not able to come to breakfast because they were in the parade but I did snap some pictures as they passed by.
The Adorable Bussen Family (Tom's Sister)
Connor had some mixed feelings about all the noises in the parade
Taylor danced by with the high school poms squad
Joe, Dane, and Claire Checking out some of the candy they snagged
Dane was so sweet. He sat and waved at everyone who passed by
The loved running around the front yard with their balloons

Obviously the Rau neices and nephews are a bit more wild than the Mueth side.
Connor was a bit overwhelmed by all the noise and action!
It was an absolutely wonderful morning. We had a great time watching the kids play and it was such a fun way for the sisters all to meet.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011