I keep meaning to post about our camping trips, but gosh, there have been so many they are starting to blur together. The gear is finally packed up for the season. We camped quite a bit this fall, it’s something we’ve talked about doing in previous years. The weather cooperated this year so we wandered a bit more. We also started experiencing with night photography. There’s a lot to cover in this is an image heavy post, so let’s get to it.
September 26 and 27: Moraine View State Park
This was our first time camping at Moraine View. We had been to this state park only a couple of times before, once with the bikes and another time to do a quick drive through to check out the camp sites. The weather was cool with a high in the low 60’s. We picked a site near the woods in the electric area and spent a couple of days exploring. This is a really basic park with a few trails and a man made lake. The best thing about it is that it’s really close to home and doesn’t have room for too many campers. Most of the campers were in RV’s and believe it or not, spent most of the time in their RV’s watching tv. As much as we dislike this atmosphere, it meant we had the run of the park.
October 2 and 3: Moraine View State Park
We booked a couple of nights for the following weekend while were were there in September. The experience was nice enough to make us want to come back right away. This weekend was far cooler and wetter. We explored more of the trails and discovered a rather vast primitive camping area with the nicest forest around there. We plan on coming back in the early spring to camp again. These are not well explained in the literature so we had no idea they existed.
October 7, 8, and 9: Lake Glendale and the Shawnee National Forest
We’d planned on heading down to the Shawnee National Forest around the 21st of October. The long range weather forecast showed it to be cold and wet then so we jumped at a mid-week excursion. We had highs in the low 80’s and only one day of cooler weather with little rain. We timed it just so that the leaves at Lake Glendale turned while we were there. It’s such a charming little camp ground and I can’t really explain why we like it so much. Everything about it is perfect.
We started to play with night photography while down there. There’s a steep learning curve to night photography. I managed to eek out a couple of shots I like. Husband was so impressed with his phone shots that he finally broke down and bought a dslr with a lens for night photography. He’s thought about it for years but never pulled the trigger. Since then, we have put a lot of energy in to learning how to do it.
We went to explore Ferne Clyffe State Park. We were impressed with the cliffs and bluffs. The hike is easy and short. I think this will be our next Shawnee camping experience. I highly recommend this as a quick stop or day hike. I can only imagine how impressive it is when the water is flowing.
October 25: Hiking at Turkey Run
We took the new camera for a drive over to Turkey Run on a Sunday. This was probably the worst time to try and hike over there for those who hate crowds. We hiked trail #3 with about 1000 other people. It bordered on unpleasant a good portion of the hike because of the mobs and dogs.The trees were spectacular and almost made up for the crowd. Almost. Most shots required waiting until people moved out of the area.
Previously, I’d only been to Turkey Run a couple of times and had encountered large numbers of people each time. I’d long since dismissed the place because of that. We love the area but find it necessary to visit when less people are there. Which leads me to this….
November 4 and 5: Camping at Turkey Run
We had one of those freak breaks in the fall weather where the temperatures were getting up in to the mid-70’s. It just so happened to coincide with the Taurid Meteor Shower and a good chance of seeing the Aurora Borealis. We didn’t hesitate to pack and head out for a couple of days during the week. We had almost the entire park to ourselves. The leaves had all pretty much turned and fallen, but there was still plenty to see.
We took boy on trail #3 and only saw a few other people. We logged over 17,000 steps on our health apps. The next morning we hit trail #9. It’s short and sweet but takes awhile to get there. I was tired for two days from all of the hiking.
I saw one flash of the Aurora, just enough to make my heart flutter. There was a lot of ambient light at the campgrounds where we were shoot the night sky. I kept trying to get away from the lights and then realized they were lighting up the trees. Nice.
That’s the end of the fall camping season for us. We will be doing a lot more night photography over the winter. I’m excited to see what we find to do next year.