IA – Horsin Around @ Three Fires

May 26, 2022 | 2 comments

By Theresa “Resa” Leppert

Lake of Three Fires state park – what a beautiful campground. We had a wonderful girl camper gathering in an area I’d never been to before. We were literally 20 minutes north of the MO border.

Iowa said:  “Hold my beer.”

Boxer dog sleeping in tent under multiple blankets

What a blanket hog.

Boy, was this event an example of weather fluctuations in Iowa!  On Thursday when Shiloh and I arrived, it was almost 90 and holy smokes it was hot….  Then on Saturday, we were all wearing multiple layers – and it got down to 37 degrees Saturday night!  Just another example of Iowa saying “hold my beer.”

What a wonderful little gathering we had this past weekend!  We had women from Kansas (Pam M), Nebraska (Marcy D), Missouri (Mary K), and two from Iowa(Barb & me!)  Everyone brought a dog, too – and all the dogs were female!  Talk about a true “Girl” Camper event!  Our pups really got along well for the most part – we even were able to go on a couple of group hike/walks!

Lake of Three Fires State Park – A nice, quiet campground!

I’ve never camped in SW Iowa before, and it did not disappoint!  Lake of Three Fires is a delightful little park.  I don’t think I’ve ever camped in such a quiet campground before.  Ever.  Only two complaints – the showers didn’t get very hot and the lukewarm water didn’t last long at all, and there was no place to purchase firewood inside the park.  We were able to purchase some in town, though, so that crisis was averted.  There were wonderful views of the lake:

I watch too much “Forensic Files” apparently….

There was one little drama situation that turned out okay in the end.  Marcy pulled in, and someone else was set up in her campsite.  The trailer had apparently been there all week and no one had been around, according to the neighbors. (I know it’s macabre, but oh my we were hoping that no one had passed away in there!) Marcy was able to move to another site closer to me anyway, one that had more shade, so that wasn’t a bad thing.

The young Three Fires DNR officer was able to track down the owners, who were brand new to camping.  They thought if they paid for two weeks, their camper just got to stay there for two weeks, not realizing that the site was reservable and that others may have reservations.  It all worked out for the best, though.

If you go home hungry, you’ve got no one to blame but yourself!

Thursday evening, I made dinner for everyone – pulled BBQ Beef sandwiches, sides, and mixed berry shortcake for dessert.  The pic on the left is of my “coffee station” that I set up every morning.  Coffee fixins and breakfast bars so ladies could grab and go or make a cuppa and hang out a while.


Our potlucks on both Friday night and Saturday night were amazing, as usual.  If anyone goes “home” hungry, they’ve got no one to blame but themselves.  So many wonderful choices!  Great food, good friends, and lots of fun discussions around the campfire.  And thank goodness for Mary K.’s “Firestarter!”

Lunch in Town

Three Fires isn’t far from Bedford.  We did scoot into town on Saturday to have lunch at a local BBQ place and check out the stores on Main Street. Unfortunately, most of the stores closed about 1 that day.  It’s a cute little town, though!

Ladies selfie at Junction Cafe, Bedford Iowa

Try the Pickle and Peanut Butter Burger!

Lunch was really tasty!

There was this little BBQ Place in Bedford – The Junction Cafe.  Great food, and awesome service!  Definitely recommend!



That poor raccoon….

Boxer dog alert in tent.

Shiloh on high alert.

I always set up my Quikset Clam shelter for my coffee bar.  It’s always a good idea to make sure to put all the fixins away, and that was a good thing!  I had zipped up the door but there was a little gap at the bottom.  I had fed Shiloh inside the shelter the night before, and apparently she spilled some of her food…..  Well, a raccoon went in that little gap and clean up the spilled food….. and then couldn’t figure out how to get out!

There I was, up in my rooftop tent with Shiloh and watching this poor raccoon run in circles in that little screen room….  Around and around and around for like 5 minutes.  I was trying to figure out how I was gonna get down from my tent but leave Shiloh up there, and then safely let this silly raccoon out of the tent without getting attacked, scratched, or bitten…. Then he finally figured out to go back out that little gap.  I made sure there was more of a gap the next night, just in case, lol.

Time to go home….

It’s always sad to have to go home, but also nice to walk in that front door. We were sad to say goodbye to Three Fires and to each other. Most of us packed up and headed out early on Sunday.  I took a roundabout way home, wanted to check out another state park on the way for a future gathering.  There was an accident on I-80, but I was able to take an exit and head north a different way home.  It took a bit longer, but much better than sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic for an hour!

I have to say, another successful little GC IA-WI event on the books.  Don’t have to wait long for the next one – it’s only two weeks away! <grin>

Connect with me!

Theresa “Resa” Leppert

Guide Manager

Guide, Iowa & Wisconsin


[email protected]


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  1. Marcy

    Fun fact: We found out afterwards the camper next to me was actually the owners of the cafe! By the way their “Frog Spit” BBQ sauce is amazing!!

  2. Georgie Libbie

    So fun! I’m sorry I had to miss it, but wasn’t sorry I was on a warm sunny beach! 😉

    I went to Lake of Three Fires with I was very young in Girl Scouts…. I really don’t remember it, but DO remember how much I loved it! So I MUST get back there and experience it again! It looks so nice!

    Glad you all had a great time! I will be at the next one in less than two weeks!

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