Monday, July 28, 2014

Brunet Island State Park

Brunet Island State Park was our "plan B" destination last weekend, but don't let that fool you - this park gets an A+! We headed out with a specific plan but with enough wiggle room in case something didn't go as planned, which is always a good idea when it comes to outdoor adventures. Since our first destination didn't turn out to be what we had in mind and there were no vacant campsites anyway, we headed a little further west to Brunet Island State Park in Cornell, WI.

Upon arriving at the ranger station, we were told there were only 2 campsites still available. I took site 58 - sight unseen and hoped for the best. As it turned out, site 58 actually was the best!

We were welcomed by a huge site with a trail leading down to our own private waterfront. Charlie was in heaven.

View of lagoon from campsite 58.

Campsite 58... our home for the weekend.

Cruising around the park to explore the island, we found friendly and playful deer. Almost every campsite had waterfront access, being an island and all, and all the campers were quiet and respectful, allowing us to have a peaceful and relaxing Saturday. Most of the campers had dogs with them - all very well-behaved as well!

This is definitely a destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Many campers had canoes or kayaks with them and took full advantage of the easy access to the Chippewa River.

We set up our chairs near the waters' edge at dusk on Saturday, delighting in the dragonflies dancing over the water and watched a big cloud bank slowly move in and frame the sunset while painting a pretty picture on our lily pond.

As the sun set and the sky darkened, the cloud bank began to flash with lightning. Hmmm... not a welcome sight for campers, but we settled in for a great light show as the storm front moved from west to east just north of our campground.

After lounging around the campfire all evening we went to bed around 10pm, the thunder began to rumble and the light show intensified. We sat watching the sky flash and boom like it was our own private showing of Mother Nature's finest programming. Charlie was happily curled up on her bed in the corner of the tent, content from the day's activities and not afraid of the storm at all.

Eventually the pitter-patter of rain on the tent lulled us to sleep as the storm tapered off and moved on, never amounting to much of a storm but definitely quite a cool memory!

Lightning over our lily pond.

The following morning, Charlie was back in the water swimming and digging up sunken root balls. She is in her element when there is water nearby! The day was filled with exploring the Chippewa River Valley, including a scenic road trip and hiking on the Ice Age Trail, but I think Charlie most enjoyed her riverfront property for the weekend.

Charlie gnawing on a saturated root ball from the shoreline; she's in love!
After a long day of exploring, swimming, stick-throwing and hiking, we were all content to watch another sunset over the lily pond back at the campground.

Charlie chilling in the sunset; another amazing day gone.
Our Sunday evening programming included watching a Great blue heron strut around in the middle of the lily pond, collecting that night's dinner.

Great blue heron
Monday morning we were provided another opportunity to watch this beautiful bird catching a sunrise meal while we savored our own breakfast cooked over the campfire. Charlie fetched sticks around the shore and enjoyed one last swim before we packed up and said good-bye to this magical spot.

Charlie enjoying the last morning of her riverfront property, with Great blue heron in background.