Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3
Hello Courageous Travels!
Today, we made our way to Minnesota for a couple of days of glamping (glamor + camping) at Cedar Valley Resort! We started off our day picking up our travelers. Volunteer Carolyn, met us at camp. We then packed the bus and made our way to Walcott where we picked up Jeremiah and Karen. Our next stop was Coralville, where we met Kata, Brandon, Nicholas and LeAnne. Our last stop was Marion where we met up with Toni H, Chris, Mike, Norman and Toni M.
We then made our way to Back Bone State Park where we had a picnic lunch. Charlotte took us to a picnic shelter near a creek, it was a beautiful spot of a picnic! We had a delicious lunch which consisted of sandwiches, chips and blueberries! Once we all had our fill of food we hopped back on the bus and continued our drive to Minnesota. We had just under two hours to drive to get to our resort. We watched a movie along the way and we arrived in no time! The travelers enjoyed looking at the windows and seeing all the cool scenery as we drove.
The travelers were getting excited as we pulled in to the resort! They couldn’t wait to relax in nature for a couple of days! We stopped at the office to grab our keys and drove down to Eagle Cabin, our home for the next three days. The travelers were excited to explore! We unload the bus and explored our cabin! The travelers thought the cabin was so cool! They quickly made themselves at home! Norman and Nicholas played a game of tic tac toe, Mike jumped in the recliner and relaxed while Brandon relaxed up in the loft. Others went outside and sat on the porch. We got everyone settled in their sleeping area then started preparing dinner.
Chris, Karen, Mike and Nicholas played a round of ladder golf and Norman tried out a hula hoop while we prepared dinner. Our cabin had a charcoal grill and fire pit right outside! We fired up the grill and made hamburgers and hotdogs. We also had strawberries and blueberries along with pasta salad. Brandon, Kata and LeAnne enjoyed their dinner outside while others sat around the big table inside the cabin.
After dinner we made our way back outside to play more games and to build a fire in the fire pit; Norman, Kata, and Nicholas helped by gathering twigs and small sticks. Karen, LeAnne and Chris threw a frisbee around, Mike played horseshoes and Kata brought some yarn so she worked on making a scarf. It was a nice relaxing evening and now that dinner was over, it was time for dessert, s’mores! Norman, LeAnne, and Chris helped roast the marshmallows. All of the travelers enjoyed this classic camping treat! We then put on some music and had a dance party! Chris, Norman and Toni M were leading the group in singing and dancing the night away! It was a perfect end to our first night of clamping!
Everyone is now getting ready for bed! We have a fun filled day of exploring the resort tomorrow!
Glamping by our definition is glamorous camping. I must say, Cedar Valley Resort in Whalen, MN is exactly that. The Glampers woke to a beautiful sunny day. As each person woke and took their time coming to breakfast. Melissa, Kody, Carolyn and Charlotte made pancakes, bacon and cantaloupe for breakfast. Everyone got their fill and then relaxed a little more. The group gathered and headed out to explore the resort. All our neighbors greeted us as they headed out to explore as well. The Glampers went on a nature walk. We found a beautiful river and everyone who wanted to watched as it flowed tubers and kayakers down stream. The walk continued on this beautiful morning and ended in the resort gift shop. Almost everyone in the group found something they couldn’t live without as a souvenir from this amazing place. Kata got an elephant backpack, an umbrella hat and a watch. Toni M. got a new sweatshirt. Toni H. got a new purse. Brandon got a tshirt and a stuffed dog. LeAnne bought a stuffed animal and a tshirt. Norman bought a tshirt for himself and gifts for friends. Karen got a tshirt and a koozie. Jeramiah bought some new sunglasses. Nick couldn’t find anything he liked in the shop but he still looked around. Chris purchased a shirt. Mike bought a sweatshirt. As we left the gift shop we were greeted by the resorts yellow lab Jax. Jax enjoyed some petting from our animal loving group.
The group returned to the cabin and put away their treasures. Some of the group played inside games like cards or put a puzzle together and some chose to play games outside like corn hole or horse shoes. When lunch was ready everyone gathered and enjoyed a great lunch of taco salads and watermelon. After everyone had their fill some chose to rest while others chose to sit on the large front porch and visit. While everyone was relaxing Melissa and Kody filled water balloons for a water balloon fight.
After everyone felt rested again the group gathered in the front lawn and prepared a water balloon battle. Even some of the neighbors participated. It appeared the goal eventually became to see how west the group could get Melissa. They attempted to get Kody, but he’s really fast! After everyone cleaned up and dried off the group set out to utilize the camp facilities. Kody took Mike, Norman, LeAnne and Karen to play frisbee golf. Chris, Nick and Jeremiah chose to shoot some hoops while Toni M. cheered them on. Kata walked the close trails taking pictures of the beautiful scenery. As it got closer to dinner time the Glampers made their way back to the cabin.
While dinner was being prepared one if the neighbors visited with a guitar and the group sang camp songs. When dinner was ready the group feasted like kings and queens on barbecue chicken, corn on the cob and home made French fries. No one left the table hungry tonight. After dinner was cleaned up Kody built a fire for another round of s’mores. When camping you can never get enough s’mores. As the night wound down the group started packing up and talked about wishing they could stay longer and about coming back again next year. Everyone tucked into bed to be prepared for a busy morning of packing up and heading home.
Hello Courageous Travels!
Today was our last day of Glamping, and our travelers absolutely loved the experience! We started our morning by getting ready for the day and making sure all of our suitcases and bags were packed. Charlotte whipped up a breakfast casserole, fruit salad, and pancakes for breakfast. After breakfast was cleaned up, we all made sure that the cabin was cleaned up a little. Norman was a big help with helping us pack the bus! Then we were ready to load and once Melissa checked us out, we were on the road headed back to Iowa.
On our drive, we watched a movie, Scooby-Doo, and the travelers sang along to the radio. We stopped at the Osborne Conservation Center in Elkader, IA to use the restroom and enjoy a picnic. Some of the travelers walked around and looked at the historic buildings and trains before we loaded up the bus, turned on the radio, and made our way down to the traveler pickup locations.
Our first pickup location was in Marion where we said goodbye to travelers Chris, Mike, Toni M, Norman, and Toni H. The next stop was in Coralville and we parted ways with travelers Kata, Nicholas, LeAnne, and Brandon. The final traveler pickup was in Walcott where we said farewell to Karen and Jeremiah. Once all the travelers were picked up, we made our way back to camp.
This was a great trip and we would like to thank our amazing volunteer Carolyn and all of our fantastic travelers for making it such a wonderful trip!
*Please visit our Facebook page, Courageous Travels for all of the pictures and videos from this trip!*