2018 was another year with many adventures had and many memories made. Before I get into our goals, I wanted to share some of our highlights from the year. I asked the family what was thier favorite trips/memories from the year.
John’s Top 3
- Indiana Dunes State Park
- Door County Trip
- North Shore of MN trip
Tanya’s Top 3
- North Shore of MN
- Indiana Dunes
- Door County
Elsie’s Top 3
Elsie had a hard time deciding what was her favorite. She mentioned going to the local county park where some friends met us to fish as a highlight, and of course, all the rocks at the North Shore. But this is what she ended up saying her top 3 were:
- Indiana Dunes State Park
- Jellystone-Warrens, WI
- Mammoth Cave, KY
Evelyn’s Top 3
In true Evie fashion, we couldn’t get her to focus long enough to really think about it because she is always on the go but she mentioned when she went camping with her friend Ady, which was when we went to Jellystone-Warrens, WI.
2018 Travel Stats
- Camped in 5 Different States-Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Kentucky-three new states (Wisconsin, Indiana, and Kentucky)
- Hiked 28 times together as a family
- Slept in the Fancy Nancy 26 nights
- Visited 3 new Iowa State parks, 1 new Minnesota State Park, 1 Indiana State Park, and 1 new Wisconsin state park.
- Visited one National Lakeshore (Indiana Dunes), one National Park (Mammoth Cave) and one National Forest (Superior National Forest)
- Camped as far away as Mammoth Cave, KY (679 miles) and as close as 6.5 to a local campground.
- Camped at 12 different campgrounds.
I was very ambitious with my goal setting in 2018 after coming in on a high of achieving our 52-Hike Challenge in 2017/2018. I was VERY motivated to say the least. But to put it plainly, we did not accomplish very many of our goals for various reasons. Some things I am bummed about but it gives me goals for 2019. Let’s take a look back at what I was hoping to accomplish and how successful we were.
365 Mile Challenge
This is a goal that I definitely accomplished. I did a fabulous job of tracking my miles in the first six months but besides the miles I tracked in Map My Fitness, I didn’t really track anything after July 15th but at that date I was at 290 miles. I walk in the mornings outside 2-3 times on average a week for 3-3.5 miles each time so I know I blew past that 290 miles. My “Map My Fitness” app put me at 364.6 miles and there were quite a few times I didn’t use it to log my miles for various reasons. I definitely was more intentional with my outdoor miles during this challenge. I would consider doing it again but overall, I don’t think I need to sign up for this to motivate me.
Hike All the Trails in Story County
At first, I thought this was a big fail for us but looking back we did cross off some miles and some new parks off the list. There are still a few parks we need to visit and hike but we are making a dent in the miles.
Visit 4 New State Parks in Iowa
We did not acheive this goal but actually, we were closer than I had thought we were. We visited 3 new to us Iowa State Parks.
- Pine Lake State Park in Eldora, IA
- Honey Creek State Park Resort, Moravia, IA
- Mines of Spain State Recreation Area, Dubuque, IA
25 Minnesota State Park Hiking Club
Yeah, we didn’t come close to this one. We had two Minnesota state park reservations I cancelled so we didn’t get up to Minnesota as often as we had hoped. We did knock out 10 miles though.
New Park or Trail Every Month
I think overall we did pretty good. We got out on a hike every month and visited at least one new park or hiked a different section of trail except in October-which doesn’t come as a big surprise since John is so busy at work and we are busy with soccer and halloween festivities.
- JANUARY: New Park-Frontenac State Park
- FEBRUARY: New Park-Honey Creek Resort State Park
- MARCH: New Park-Mines of Spain State Recreation Area
- APRIL: New Park-Mammoth Cave National Park
- MAY: New Park-Temperance River State Park
- JUNE: New Park-Pine Lake State Park
- JULY: New Park-Peninsula State Park
- AUGUST: New Park-Indiana Dunes State PArk
- SEPTEMBER: New Park-Girl Scout Camp Sacajawea
- OCTOBER: Nothing new this month 😦
- NOVEMBER: New Trail-Lakeside Wilderness Park-Branson, MO
- DECEMBER: New Park-Otsego County Park, Otsego, MN
2018 Camping Wishlist
It was interesting to look back at this list and see where I was hoping to go last January and compare to where we actually went. Some of these places we had reservations for that I ended up cancelling for one reason or another. I feel like I had quite a few cancellations in the last year. I bolded the campgrounds that we actually went to.
- Waubonsie State Park/Stone State Park in Eastern Iowa in Loess Hills
- Pikes Peak State Park in NE Iowa
- Backbone State Park in Iowa
- Whitewater State Park in southern MN
- Wagon Trail Campground Door County, WI
- Jellystone Campground-we haven’t chosen a location for this one yet
- Des Moines KOA
- Tettegouche State Park along the North Shore in MN
- Kansas City KOA
- Smokey Mountains-We are staying at the Townsend KOA and Cherokee KOA
- Rathbun-Honey Creek Resort in SE Iowa
- Indiana Dunes State Park in Northern Indiana along the shores of Lake Michigan
- Saylorville-Prairie Flower-in Central Iowa
- Branson, MO-BRanson Treehouse Adventures
- Adventureland Resort Campground in Des Moines, IA
- Starved Rock State Park, Illinois
40 Nights in the RV
I knew that we didn’t camp near as often as a I hoped and to be honest, I think this impacted the rest of our goals. The thing I struggled with was squeezing in a trip on a weekend if the weather was crappy or too hot or too cold. Life is busy and despite the fact that we have streamlined our packing and prep on our weekend getaways, it still takes time and effort to take off for the weekend. I found myself cancelling more trips this year which looking back, is disappointing. We didn’t even make it to 30 nights. Here is where the Fancy Nancy landed this year for a total of 26 nights:
- JANUARY: Frontenac State Park-Red Wing, MN (1 Night)
- FEBRUARY: Honey Creek State Park Resort, SE Iowa (1 Night)
- MARCH: We didn’t get out at all in March.
- APRIL: Crawfordsville KOA (1 Night); Mammoth Cave Jellystone (4 Nights)
- MAY: Tettegouche State Park-Silver Bay, MN (2 Nights)
- JUNE: Jellystone Park-Warrens, WI (2 Nights); Pine Lake State Park ( 2 Nights)
- JULY: Grant River Recreation Area, Potosi, WI (1 Night); Wagon Trail Campground-Rowley’s Bay, WI (4 Nights); Hickory Grove Campground-Colo, IA (2 Nights)
- AUGUST: Indiana Dunes State Park (3 Nights); Driveway Cabin Camping near Rathbun Lake, IA (1 Night)
- SEPTEMBER: Jester County Park, Granger, IA (2 Nights)
Travel to Disney World!
I can’t recap 2018 without talking about our 10 day trip to Florida and Disney World with my family (my parents and sister and her family joined us too). We spent five days in the park, one day at the pool and visiting family in the area and one day at the ocean. We also spent some time in Kansas City before we took off to Florida since that was where we were flying in and out of. We all had a great time on this trip and if I had asked the girls where their favorite place we traveled to this year was, I think would be it.
Overall, I’d have to say 2018 was pretty good to us. Before I say gown and really thought about the goals I set, I thought I failed most of them but in the end we did pretty good and the most important part-memories were made.