River Camping for Christmas

This past Christmas, my mother-in-law had the best gift giving idea. Each couple gifted an experience to the family. Five times this year, we’ve all gotten together and done something that’s important to the hosting couple. Clay pigeon shooting, a hockey game, making Grandma’s famous pizza, and a favorite, nostalgic restaurant that holds years of memories have all been enjoyed to date.

This balmy September weekend was my husband’s and my turn, and we took everyone river camping. Ten people, from 25 to 64 years old, one who had never been in a canoe and several who hadn’t done it in many years. Yesterday morning, we all pushed off, in three canoes and four kayaks, with weather that could not have been more perfect – abundant sunshine, 70 degrees and a tailwind.

A few miles up the river we landed two big, beautiful campsites with great fishing and a big sandy beach. It’d beat a 5 star hotel any night. The rest of the day, night, and morning were full of food, fun, and family.

The best cornbread is made in a cast iron Dutch oven

Though only 24 hours, our Christmas canoe trip was chock-full of amazing memories. “Packing light” with a three-room tent that stands almost 7 feet high for just one couple. Our first go at cast iron Dutch oven corn bread (holy cow was it delicious!). Playing card games in the dark to great hilarity. Lounging around the fire, loving our family.

Because family is everything. Merry Christmas!!

don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @the_mn_homestead for more camping and homesteading adventures!

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