Getting to Carpenter Half the Fun over Weekend

America celebrated another birthday as Lauren and I ventured back to the farm for the three-day weekend, but this time we decided to make the drive there more of an adventure.

Thursday after work, we drove to the Granite Falls area where we set up camp for the night at the Upper Sioux Agency State Park.  I made sure to make a reservation online to ensure we’d get a spot for the busy 4th of July weekend, but it turned out we were damn near the only ones there.  We had a “rustic” walk-in site, where we pitched a tent and Lauren started a roaring fire.  We cooked up dinner over the fire and listened to the sounds of nature on a picture perfect night for camping.

Our rustic camp site at Upper Sioux Agency State Park.
Our rustic camp site at Upper Sioux Agency State Park.

In the morning, we packed up and headed west to Toronto, SD for the novelty of visiting a town by the same name of Lauren’s alma mater.  Lauren proudly got pictures of the city sign while wearing her U of Toronto sweatshirt.  While in town, we stopped in at the local cafe for lunch.

As the rains came down, we made our way over to Lake Norden to the South Dakota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum, a site I’d long been interested in visiting but never had the chance.  Surprisingly it was a very nice museum, full of uniforms, photos, and memorabilia from South Dakota baseball.

We finally arrived in Carpenter early Friday afternoon, where we were quickly greeted by the Krogmans, minus Calvin.  The family is busy moving this week to another house in Vermillion, and Jordan came home to leave the kids with Grandma and Grandpa for a few days so she could get some work done.  As usual, spending a couple days of quality time with Peyton, Emerson, and Hudson made Lauren and I think long and hard about any plans to give the Krogman kids some new cousins anytime soon.  They are very nice to see, of course, but there’s always massive commotion.

Saturday, I had the bright idea to go fishing.  I haven’t gone fishing in at least ten years and thought it would be a good way to spend the afternoon.  Lauren, Alex, and I first tried our luck at Dry Lake and failed.  It was mostly due to fishing pole malfuctions and lack of patience, but we packed up after about 20 minutes and went to Staum’s Dam near Carpenter, where again we cast out just a couple times before giving up.  We then moved on to Lake Byron, where at one point Lauren felt like she had a bite.  Beyond that, our afternoon outing was a lost cause!  Lauren and I got sunburned too.

The highlight of our fishing trip was probably riding through Carpenter’s muddy roads that were in terrible condition.  This is what Mom has to drive through every day on the mail route!

That night the Bells were out and fireworks were set off for the Krogman kids.  On Sunday morning Dad replaced my washer fluid pump before we had lunch and took off for Minneapolis.  The ride home was uneventful, but we did stop at Knit Nook in Watertown for Lauren as usual!

Check out the Facebook photo gallery of my trip here.

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