Monday, September 27, 2010

Mille Lacs Kathio

This past weekend we were going to be going to Kilen Woods State Park for a little Fall camping…my favorite kind. I love Fall!

However, we have been having so much rain in our area that there was quite a bit of problems with flooding, so our trip to Kilen Woods in Southern Minnesota, with their trails being under 6 feet of water, turned into a trip that led us up to Mille Lacs Kathio State Park.

Finding, once there, that there were no spots available to accommodate us, we moved on a bit farther to Father Hennepin State Park.  Got a very nice spot at Father Hennepin, but due to the fact we had been there a few times and that Mille Lacs Kathio was only 15 miles (approx.) away from there we spent all of out time hiking at Mille Lacs Kathio State Park.

We also found out that this particular weekend it was considered one of the ‘hot spots’ for Fall leaf color in Minnesota.  Cool, that was the main reason for getting out into the woods this weekend. Minnesota has some stunning Fall Color shows, just breath taking when the skies are blue. Still beautiful even under gray skies. However, we lucked out on *all* accounts because while we were there the skies cleared and we were treated to beautiful displays of vivid golds, oranges, yellows and reds against a backdrop of bright blue and puffy snow white clouds. Perfect!


Ruby (above), our grand-greyhound, was staying with us this week so she came along with us on this camping trip.

“I like it when Ruby comes to keep me company! Even if she always takes the best bed before I can get it!”

“Oh Renner! You know that bed is just as good as this one.”

“Sigh…matter of opinion!”

ANYHOO… the leaves were gorgeous and we enjoyed car rides to and from Kathio as well as going up to Brainerd just to get some more popcorn for the late night card games when we were done roasting marshmallows around the fire.

A bog walk at Kathio.

Mushrooms and assorted bog loving plants.

“Mom, bring back some treats for me along with the popcorn you are getting at the market!”

Lake Mille Lacs is a huge lake.

This is a photo of ‘Paul Bunyan Land’ in the Brainerd area. It was closed when we drove by, but I’d never seen it before…so now I guess I can say I have! ;) It is a little ‘fun park’.

Walleye fishing is big in Minnesota, especially on Lake Mille Lacs.

“WOW… did you see the size of *that* fish!”

A row of ice fishing houses lined up and waiting for those lakes to freeze over. Shouldn’t be too long of a wait.

A Fall holdout.

“Which way should we go now?”

“This way guys!”

Interesting mushrooms.

Looking across Lake Ogechie.

A campsite at Kathio surrounded by the beauty of Fall.

Just some reflections of a fun weekend.

“Yep…we are worn out!”

“Yes…and Ruby kisses to all!”

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Monday, September 20, 2010

Lift Bridge

We were in Duluth, Minnesota a couple of weeks back, as you can see  by clicking here. Thought I would go on a little be more about it and show you a little video I took of a barge passing under the lift bridge.

The lift portion of the bridge goes up and down depending on the size of the vessel needing to pass under it.

These particular videos are of a large barge passing under. (They say Moose Lake but that was just the name on the file I uploaded them from…it *is* Duluth.)


Friday, September 17, 2010

Last Weekend – Jay Cooke

Camping was the way we spent last weekend. We all had a pretty good time as usual. Even better is that the weather was cooler so everyone was comfortable hiking. Very nice…I love the Fall.

Moose Lake State Park is north of the Twin Cities and while there we went up to Jay Cooke State Park and did a bit of rugged hiking. Though it had been raining prior to our arrival it didn’t rain on us. However, it did make for some muddy, slippery conditions among the rocks.

Of course my biggest mistake was forgetting to put on my hiking boots and having to do it in my sneakers, which are very old and not meant for this type of hiking. Then there is my age, short legs and lack of decent balance on slippery slopes – but I did *not* fall once.  Ok…held up the pack several times with my sloth like speed over some of the boulders, but none the less I came out rejuvenated (perhaps a bit of exaggeration) and ready for more hiking…on less challenging terrain.

It *is* fun to do that though, I was just pretty disappointed that I couldn’t navigate the trail as well as I would like to have.

All that said, Jay Cooke is an absolutely beautiful place. Unfortunately the skies were gray, which we all discussed and none of us could ever remember going to Jay Cooke with blue skies above us.

Crossing the Swinging Bridge.

The water is root beer colored in the St. Louis River and some of the Northern Minnesota rivers due to the naturally occurring acids. These rivers start from the wetlands which support a wide variety of plant life, such as spruce and tamarack trees, evergreen shrubs, cattails, sedges, grasses and sphagnum moss. When these plants die and decay, they release acids which color the water a root beer brown.

I just liked the swirls in the water in the photo below.

Tough to capture reflections on a cloudy day in this water, but beautiful scenes, none the less.

After we were done running around Jay Cooke we drove on up to Duluth, Minnesota to see some more sights. (you can see that in a previous post, just click on Duluth!)

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