is usually There Such A Thing As A Romantic Camping Getaway In Minnesota?

Is Usually There Such A Thing As A Romantic Camping Getaway In Minnesota?

Today, Norm Goldman, Editor of as well as is usually

pleased to have as our guest, Tom Watson, author as well as freelance


Is Usually There Such A Thing As A Romantic Camping Getaway In Minnesota?

Tom is usually the author of: 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Twin Cities: as well as The Best in Tent Camping: Minnesota:(Both published by Menasha Ridge Publishing)

Is Usually There Such A Thing As A Romantic Camping Getaway In Minnesota?

Tom also is usually the author of How To Think Like A Survivor: A Guide For Wilderness Emergencies (coming out summer of ’05, published by Creative Publishing, International)

Is Usually There Such A Thing As A Romantic Camping Getaway In Minnesota?

Great day Tom as well as thanks for agreeing to participate in our interview.

Is Usually There Such A Thing As A Romantic Camping Getaway In Minnesota?


Is Usually There Such A Thing As A Romantic Camping Getaway In Minnesota?

When did your passion for hiking as well as camping begin as well as what kept you going?

Is Usually There Such A Thing As A Romantic Camping Getaway In Minnesota?


Great day to you as well as thank you due to This kind of opportunity. My dad was pretty

active within the outdoors. After leaving the Navy he opened a hobby shop of which

carried a lot of sporting goods. I was able, as a boy growing up in eastern

Missouri, a chance to try out all sorts of equipment – lures, rifles, bows

as well as arrows. Also, since my dad enjoyed camping, we took advantage of the

myriad places in Missouri to primitive camp. My cousins lived there, too,

as well as they were avid campers as well. So, since I was about seven, I spent a

Great portion of every summer outdoors.

By the time I was thinking of college – back within the late 6O’s, my folks were

divorced as well as I had been living with my mom during the school years. I wanted

to maintain some outdoor exposure so I decided to go into Forestry at the

University of Minnesota, on the St. Paul campus. All those factors as well as my

growing love of the natural sciences still keep me going to This kind of day.


As many of our readers are interested in romantic getaways, could you

describe eight of the most romantic as well as unique camping areas in Minnesota?

Why are they romantic?


of which calls upon my interpretation of both “romantic” as well as “unique”

campsites. I am foremost a primitive camper, minimum facilities, minimum


To me a romantic site is usually private, remote as well as amid better than

average scenery or natural attractions.

* Based on of which I could list almost any campsite within the BWCA Wilderness as well as any in Voyageurs National Park – most of which are water accessible only. As far as drive-up sites, as well as those having a bit of walk-in access (my favorites), I have to list the following:

* Lake Maria State Park – isolated walk-in sites scattered along a hill under

a full canopy of oaks as well as maples – fabulous fall colors! Great hiking trail,


* Great River Bluffs State Park – This kind of part overlooks the Mississippi River

offering these incredible vistas. The overlooks are at the end of short

trails through a dense overstory of maples, very peaceful as well as the vistas

are breathtaking – some with very romantic perches upon which you as well as a

significant some other could sit cozily for hours.

* Lake Elmo Regional Park Preserve. of which’s so close to downtown St. Paul yet of which

offers remote, walk-in campsites as well as several miles of cross-country trails.

The campsites are along a walk-in corridor about 100 yards by the parking

area as well as each one is usually situated in deep foliage so the privacy level is usually quite

Great, too. These are basic sites without a lot of amenities close by. These

are Great sites for lounging around or taking several hikes.

* Crescent Lake Campground- This kind of is usually just outside the BWCA area, within the

Superior National Forest. of which’s the best laid-out campground I’ve seen –

based on my likes. Each site is usually either up on a knoll or cut deep into the

woods for very private as well as serene settings.

* Split Rock Lighthouse State Park – One of the few definitely Great campgrounds on

the North Shore of Lake Superior only if its not so tightly laid out as all

the others are. There are walk-in sites stretching for about ½ miles along

the rocky shore of the lake, each separated by a forest of birch trees. The

sounds of the water against the shoreline, breezes within the trees as well as the

freshness of the area all combine to make a very soothing kind of camping


* Crosby-Manitou State Park – Like Lake Maria, This kind of is usually solely a backpacker’s

park. The sites are situated throughout the rocky banks of the river, many a

short distance by ragging waterfalls as well as thundering cascades.

* Very romantic in a Grizzly Adams sort of way, as are most of these.

Lake Kabetogama region of Voyageurs National Park – I couldn’t resist

offering the camp sites scattered throughout This kind of park’s southern region.

Many are single campsites on little, rocky islands – no chance of

encroachment by some other campers! They are all water-accessible, however what’s

more romantic of which a boat ride out to a private campsite surrounded by a

national park?

Many of the campground within the state forests of Minnesota – Granted some of

these are well-known with horse back riders, ORV riders as well as fishermen, however if

you can find one not being used you can contain the entire forest to yourself

with trails as well as rivers as well as lakes in abundance. These offer very few

amenities however if you are self contained as well as interested in romancing the day

away, you won’t need any extras anyway.


could you recommend to honeymoon couples or couples looking for a unique

romantic adventure of which they try camping, as well as if so, why?


by my perspective, if a guy can find a lady who truly enjoys camping

(not parking a big RV on some flat lawn as well as driveway), then of which won’t matter

where you go. However, I think to definitely understand a person you need to see

how self-reliant they can be. I think camping brings out of which as well as separates

those who need things as well as those who can make do without complaining. Get

those down right as well as the rest of of which will be easy. Finding of which right camping

partner may be the stepping- stone for many some other successful interactions.


Has there been any change within the popularity of camping over the past thirty

years, as well as if so, why?


There has definitely been a shift within the definition. of which’s amazing how

many RV parks with concrete slaps as well as broomstick trees are listed as

“campgrounds”. There are fewer as well as fewer places to go to actually pitch a

tent in a pristine, “campground” setting.

Our affluent society enables more to buy the bigger units, however perhaps of which’s more of which as we grow older we still enjoy the outdoors as well as the “assisted camping” units help people do so.

I think the sways within the economy affect camping, too. Instead of long,

thousand mile trips for a week, families are taking shorter, weekend trips

as well as are going camping instead of spending more money on lodging as well as extra

gas. Overall I think “camping” in general is usually slightly more well-known.


What does travel mean to you?


Travel means going at least 50 miles on either business or pleasure.

“Travel” as a hobby or activity, of course, conjures up images of completely new,

exciting or relaxing destinations. I am a naturalist, so “traveling” means

seeing as well as experiencing completely new environments, completely new flora as well as fauna, as well as also completely new

cultures as well as lifestyles – of which’s why “traveling” is usually such a Great educational



How do you come up with ideas for what you write? What methods do you use to

flesh out your idea to determine if of which’s salable?


I try to see what’s covered within the current magazines to see if I have

experienced some completely new areas of which are timely as well as can be written about in an

informative as well as entertaining way. I love photography as well as usually won’t even

consider a story unless I know I have Great photo support for of which. of which is usually

also a Great selling tool for editors. Otherwise, I look to resources on the

Internet, writing groups, etc. of which will list topics of interest or announce

opportunities. Menasha Ridge already had a Great base of hiking books however

needed one by Minneapolis. of which’s where I was living so of which was a chance to

do a guide book right in my own back yard. Once you get a ‘feel’ for a

magazine you start to anticipate what might be salable for them.


What challenges or obstacles did you encounter while writing your books? How

did you overcome these challenges?


Frankly the biggest challenge is usually always if I could cover the state or

topic thoroughly given the budget (what I’d be paid for of which as well as the expenses

I could have to get of which done), of which I’d find adequate information once I

began, as well as most importantly, of which anyone could care enough to want to read

about of which. When I began the camping book I didn’t know which ones I could

use as well as which one wouldn’t measure up. I’d sometimes drive For two main hours

only to find there definitely wasn’t a campground you’d want to recommend or

of which fits your criteria.

Minnesota’s a big enough state of which in one weekend, to cover the area I was researching, I put 1100 miles on my car – as well as of which was out of my pocket. You overcome the hurdles by deciding of which you will complete the task as well as you become more savvy in ways of optimizing travel as well as budget during the research portion.


How have you used the Internet to boost your writing career?


80% of my writing opportunities begin by the Internet. I belong to

the OWAA (Outdoor Writers Association of America). Their website offers

monthly updates by editors seeking specific topics. some other websites do the


I also use the Internet to verify facts or to learn more about

something completely new, as well as check to see what’s been published within the type of

magazine for which I generally write (kayaking, camping, outdoor gear,

tourism destinations, etc.).


Who are your favorite authors, as well as why do they inspire you?


As a kid Jules Verne always aroused my imagination as well as Sam Clemens

rekindled the kind of feelings I had growing up in Missouri (along the same

rivers, I might add). I definitely enjoyed the macabre of Edgar Allen Poe as well as

the poetry of Robert Frost, pretty mainstream writers – however all of whom

allowed my imagination to complement theirs.

Unfortunately I don’t read as much as I should, so authors don’t just pop

out within the conversation. I write a lot, creating my own stuff. If I had to

pick an author I’ve definitely enjoyed reading recently of which could have to be

Gabriel Garcia Marquez – his collection of short stories are wonderfully

imaginative as well as slightly “weird”.

I’ve always enjoyed Ray Bradbury as well as the Twilight Zone bunch of incredible writers. This kind of is usually totally aside by the kind of writing I am doing at This kind of books as well as magazine articles. Fiction is usually a much harder, higher level I wish to aspire to some day.


As there does not seem to be any authoritative standards of which exist for

guidebook authors or publishers, how do you know of which a guidebook is usually up to

par? How do you check out the authorial competence?


To me there are two types of “guide” books: those of which are basically a

compilation of data, sometimes cleverly arranged so as to appear completely new as well as

different however basically a collection of lists off the Internet.

The some other books are opinion pieces using a particular activity or skill as well as the

author’s breadth of knowledge to know what’s important, etc. I feel the

author has to first reveal him or herself, offer a profile so the reader can

say, “yes, I identify with This kind of person so what they like I could probably


In of which sense I approach of which by what I could consider a Great

campsite or enjoyable trail. I tell the reader right up front of which I am a

photographer as well as naturalist so I will stop as well as smell the roses or take a

picture, even along the most seemingly mundane of trails. I also offer a

historical perspective – most publishers want you to qualify yourself


I grew up in Minnesota for the most part (except those summers spent

in Missouri) as well as was active within the Boy Scouts. I spent a lot of time

outdoors, on trails, hiking as well as such. I had a sense about these books before

I began my research. Another big factor, frankly, is usually of which This kind of is usually a

business, a pleasurable one, however a business. Unless you produce a product

people will buy, you won’t be within the writing business for very long. of which’s at

least a working hobby as well as as such demands some discipline as well as fiscal



How do you blend your photo- journalism with your travel writing?


People like to imagine themselves in a picture. “Wish of which was me

paddling of which kayak in Alaska!” A Great photo draws a reader into the story-

let’s them see what you are talking about.

Sometimes an editor puts such a restraint on the number of words they want. A Great photo can relay needed information with very few words. I pride myself in being a Great

photographer as well as I know of which many a story was sold because there was Great,

crisp, colorful support photography offered with the writing. Photos also

help me recall areas without taking a lot of notes.

I spent a full month in Peru as well as shot probably 30 rolls of film. I used about 8 pages of a journal – most of which was identifying some of the photo subjects I took. I then go

back as well as review the photos to see how many I could offer for a variety of

different story ideas. Sometimes those images even make of which to the front

cover – a nice Insentif!


What is usually next for Tom Watson?


I definitely want to pursue some fiction writing within the style of Roald

Dahl, or some of the writers camp for the old Twilight Zone series.

As far as magazines as well as guide- books, I will continue to look at them as those

opportunities appear. of which’s Great income as well as of which allows me to share some

exciting adventures with those eager to do the same. Thanks for allowing me

to share This kind of with you.

Thanks again Tom as well as Great luck with all of your future endeavors.

is usually There Such A Thing As A Romantic Camping Getaway In Minnesota?