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Monday, July 27, 2009

Back from the Northwoods or Our Little Minnesota Vacation

This is my attempt at posting my own little blog in the Knights' and Ladies' World

W (my wife Wendy) and I have been home a week (and two days) now from our trip to upper Minnesota. We had an enjoyable time. It was our first sort of real summer vacation in a long time. Vegas in June was just bleh with flying and staying in motel rooms, not knowing people, etc. This was more of the vacation of my childhood, where my father would drive for hours and days and we ended up at a relative's home because that's what we could afford. In this case, W's parents' cabin by Tom Lake.

There were places along the road on this trip at which I would have liked to have stopped, but do to mental limitations on my part, we were unable. We did geocache on our way up and got a few and one on the way down. It added about an extra hour to our trip the first day. I understand that Sir Davyd now knows the joys of geocaching, courtesy of Sir Bowie.

This has been our third trip up there. We did do some things we hadn't done before. Geocached and letterboxed for one, which put us on trails and things we hadn't been on before. I actually like hiking along theses trails. There is one that is about two miles to the Canadian border (Superior Border Trail). W and I probably would have walked it all the way, but her parents were waiting for us in the car.

The weather, like here, has been cooler than normal for July. But their cooler had some highs in the 50's. However, we dressed for it, and W's parents had a wood burning stove in the "cabin" (which is more like a river camp house to me) so I never really felt that cold. Sometimes it was warmer. They only have an outhouse and one of the times in the middle of the night when I had to pee, I went out only in my boxers and it didn't feel that bad. That was the night W and I were both up and one of the few nights the sky was clear. Those are the nights when one can see thousands of stars, satellites streaking across the sky and really feel awed by the universe and how wild this country once was. It was overcast and a little rainy often and the wind was strong much of the time. We were only able to go out on the lake once and fish. With our expensive fishing license I ended up catching one decent sized walleye which we threw back. While on the lake I was able to take some photos of a bald eagle in it's nest (very difficult to see), some turkey buzzards (I think) and of course some loons (who had no babies, presumably because of the aforementioned eagles). The strong winds did help to keep some of the mosquitoes down. They are still much worse than most places I have been in my life (land of 10,000 lakes).

I took my pre 1840's clothing up there and my flintlock, so that W could take photos of me and they could soak up some actual wilderness. During one shot I was standing on a large rock (Minnesota should be the land of a billion rocks) and after the shot, slipped and fell on my backside, but I held on to the flintlock. Another time, when I was wearing my hiking boots, we were walking around small, twin waterfalls while I was carrying my camera. At one point I was walking and the next I was looking up at the sky in pain, but still hanging on to my camera. I may have actually hairline fractured my arm, but at least I didn't hit my head or break my camera. My arm feels okay now. Sometime when I sit, my tailbone still hurts a little. Could also be the reason my back went out last night.

The area reminds me a lot of Seattle except that it's not protected in the winter and gets extremely cold and lots of snow. Parts of Lake Superior freeze.

I suppose there was a lot more to tell, but these are some of the highlights.

I posted a link to my Facebook gallery of other images. We'll see if that takes as well. Click on the blog title to follow the link.

And thus ends my first actual Knights blog posting. Let's see if it takes.

Sir James of feels like the first time Taylor


  1. This sounds like a perfect vacation! (well, excepting the hurt tailbone, of course...)

    Lady T. (who loves a good hike around a lake) of Pickerington

  2. Great photos... sounds like a lovely holiday... and has now reminded me i should get my tail over to northern PA or into the Poconos and out on the mountain bikes.....before the snows come.

    I can see we need to have a Pose Off between you and Sir Bowie as to who is the front page Model Backwoods Man... ( lol....flintlocks at dawn.) For the Next issue of Backwoods, Into

    we were discussing when the boys were here about what America must have been like before the White Guys showed up. and how it might have progressed if they hadn't. a truly wild and natural place.....if a little harsh in the winter.

    I must look into this geocaching a bit more closely, and now you say LetterBoxing?? that sounds like something illegal..., or maybe in the CIA manual...

    I'll google it and make my hair stand on end.

    Sir D ( who better go to his own letterbox and deal with all the business mail instead of horsing around online ) of Horsefordshire.

  3. welcome to the KSMA posting world!

    your pictures remind me of Sioux Narrows in Canada where Sir B and I were lucky enough to visit family cabins through the years -

    the pictures of the islands and lake should give you an idea of why we took one look out the window at the Lynnville cabin and said "we'll buy it!"
    you and W can come back and fish anytime : )

    the Eclectic Eight saw the Civic Theater production of "Leaving Iowa" last Friday - all about family vacations, complete with back seat arguing, stopping to take pictures by mile markers, and stopping for bathroom breaks etc.

    Of course, I (along with Sir B) was
    the only geek who actually took our daughters to Hannibal, MO and made them learn all about Mark Twain and the westward journey, so the play made sense to me and everyone else laughed at it...those of us who love history know there is nothing more exciting than a chance to live it!

    speaking of history, we watched episode one of The Tudors last night - Hampton Court - amazing to see the rooms and hallways we walked just last week -

    Lady S
    who has to get ready for work now

  4. Welcome to the blog (as a poster).

    Sounds like a lot of valuable lessons there, among them:

    Don't stand on slippery rocks.

    And, most importantly, how long you can leave your in-laws in a car while you take their daughter deep into the bear-invested north woods before they (the in-laws, not the bears) will hot-wiring the car and strand you there!

    Good job.

    Sir Bowie "voting for Tom Lake to be the next location of the Knights Counsel" of Greenbriar

  5. Looks like a "lovely" place! I agree with Sir Bowie. Some back woods Councils wouldn't hurt!

    Welcome, Sir James. I look forward to more of your tales!

    Sir Hook Who Prefers Tommahawks to Black Powder of Warrick