The signs of autumn are fast approaching, and the leaves of the river bluffs have started to shift into warm shades of ruby red, golden yellow, and burnt orange. For many, this time of year is the prime season for camping in Clayton County, with many lodging areas and RV campgrounds tucked away in the bluffs and rolling hills. A popular lodging option for campers or small groups is the Deer Run Resort in Elkader, which offers over 80 full service RV sites, and a spacious cottage that will sleep up to eight people. Though the warmth of the summer sun is beginning to fade, the refreshing beauty of autumn is upon us, and what better way to celebrate the changing season than a weekend of adventure.
School had just started up again, and my family had decided to stay at the Deer Run Cottage as a way to celebrate the last hints of summer, and take a walk through the woods to witness the changing of seasons. As we stepped through the doors of the cottage, the tall ceiling and spacious living space took our breath away. The stone fireplace in the entrance was such a warm welcome to the cottage, and we knew we’d have a lovely weekend there. Not wanting to waste a single moment, put our bags away in the bedrooms and set out to explore the bluffs surrounding Elkader.
We each went off our separate way, and explored the area our own individual way. I’m more of a nature-watcher than a hiker, so I found a flat, quiet spot in the bluff and took in my surroundings. The sound of birds calling near and far, the faint scent of burning ditches in the distance wafted to my senses; one of my favorite aromas of autumn. I looked down for a moment to check my watch, and once I looked back up, a tiny blur of bright blue fluttered in front of me. Upon closer inspection, I saw that it was a cerulean warbler; a rare sight that not many get to see! It was no larger than the palm of my hand, and it pecked curiously at the ground. I stayed still, and watched as it hopped over the brown leaves and twigs that covered the ground. With a rapid peck, it caught a weevil in its beak and flew away to enjoy his dinner. I could’ve stayed in that spot for hours, though the setting sun on the horizon told me to go back to the cottage before it got too dark to find my way back.
The whole family met up at the cottage, and one by one we all shared stories of our little adventure around the dining room table. Mom made the family a meal in the provided kitchen, which had plenty of counter space for her to make her delicious chicken bake. With full bellies and the crackle and pop of the fireplace, our evening at the cottage was warm and calm. It was a perfect evening, and the aroma of the firewood burning away made me feel at home. When it was time to go to bed, I crawled under the sheets and let my head rest on the soft pillow. It was a beautiful day in Elkader, and I was glad I could enjoy the nature of Clayton County with my family at such a charming, accommodating cottage like Deer Run Resort.
Written by Jayna Felder | Photo Credit to Deer Run Resort