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Camping season has arrived

State Parks popular destinations

Kim Fundingsland/MDN Stan Rowe, Surrey, and his son, Weston, enjoyed camping out over the Memorial weekend at Fort Stevenson State Park.

GARRISON – Camping season is here! That was very evident at Fort Stevenson State Park over the long Memorial Day weekend. Many campers arrived a day or two early to stretch out the early-season camping experience.

Among the early arrivals was Stan Rowe of Surrey. Despite less than agreeable weather, a bit cooler than expected, Rowe and his son, Weston, were sitting around a campfire ring. Each had a long-handled fork and were making s’mores over the fire. S’mores are a camping stable, a marshmallow, chocolate bar, and graham cracker sandwich heated over open flame.

“It’s the life, you know,” said Stan Rowe while seated in a comfortable camping chair, enjoying the warmth of the fire on a cool afternoon and toasting a s’more. “You gotta’ get a break, camping and s’mores.”

Rowe was watching his son, who would celebrate his fifth birthday a day later at the campground, doing his best to make the perfect s’more. Weston Rowe got his over-sized marshmallow a little too close to the fire, causing the marshmallow to quickly turn from fluffy to burnt. Stan Rowe reached into the nearby bag of marshmallows so his son could try again.

“We’re just happy we could have a fire with the terrible drought stuff going on,” remarked Stan Rowe. “It was nice to get down here and see the “do” on the fire indicator. We got some rain this morning too. We needed it.”

Kim Fundingsland/MDN Riding bicycle through the Fort Stevenson State Park campground last week was Harlan Germundson, left, and Rodney Berry, both Tioga. The long-time friends said they and their families enjoy camping whenever possible.

Rowe said the annual SkyFest Over Fort Stevenson is a fun event and one he and his family were looking forward to attending. He was even going to participate.

“We’re going to attempt to fly kites,” laughed Stan Rowe. “I might be terrible at it, so, hopefully, nobody cares.”

The Memorial Day weekend at the campground wasn’t the Rowe’s first camping trip of the season. They pulled their camper to Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park for Easter weekend.

“We didn’t wait,” said Stan Rowe. “We’re just on a mission to hit all the state parks. That’s the plan. The camping life, well, camper life. We got this camper last year and did Lake Sakakawea State Park last September. Getting out and relaxing and enjoying State Parks is great!”

In another part of the campground Harlan Germundson and Rodney Berry, both from Tioga, were on their bicycles, getting some exercise while checking out other campsites.

“Some said it’s too cold today but it’s always nice to be out,” said Berry.

Berry was an early arrival at Fort Stevenson State Park, arriving the Sunday prior to Memorial Day weekend.

“We’re neighbors in town and good friends,” said Germundson while taking a break from cycling. “We wanted to have a couple of days together. They’re going back but we’re staying. I’ve got two sons and six grandkids coming. We love this place and this kite fest is a pretty neat thing.”

Germundson said his family had attended the kite fest in previous years and didn’t want to miss it. Also, he said, it was another good reason to go camping.

“Absolutely. We enjoy it. We’re retired and go just about every weekend,” stated Germundson. “We always try to go to State Parks. I think Fort Stevenson is probably our favorite but we go to Lake Sakakawea and Lewis and Clark State Park too.”

A complete listing of events at State Parks can be found at www.parkrec.nd.gov.

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