Entries tagged with “Recreation”.


This past weekend we went camping with our good friends the Johnson’s.  You may recall that we did this last year as well and it might become an annual tradition.  I don’t quite have the time to make collages like I did from last year’s pictures (1 2 3 4, but it is really hard to choose only a few pictures to post from just over 300 that I took.

We had a good time exploring some new parts of Gooseberry and also just re-experiencing some of the old, including Split Rock Lighthouse.  The waterfall is such an amazing thing to see, all the power and glory of the rushing water.  It is also amazing to watch Lake Superior.  This year it was cool and misty for most of Saturday with a little splurt of flurries for a bit.  This makes for a dark and wavy lake.  On Sunday it was sunny and calm which brings out a whole new set of colors and experiences on the lake.  See if you can see the contrast in the pictures!

Our only real mishap this year was that our camping stove had a gas leak in the valve which  made for a slow cooking process and an interesting torch experience!  We are now more equipped for “cool” camping and enjoyed the warmth of our zero degree sleeping bags!

Now for some of the pictures:

We had a great time.

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From Art Shanty Projec

When you take art and throw in some ice or snow you get a fun-filled afternoon or in our case 2 afternoons!

This past weekend started with a trip to nearby Powderhorn Park for the 2nd Annual Art Sled Rally. But first we had a stop at the Midtown Global Market for some Holy Land buffet! Excellent Middle Eastern food at an affordable price.

Then the next day we ventured out to Medicine Lake, near Plymouth, MN, and explored the Art Shanty Project.

Yes an absolutely wonderful weekend. The weather was perfect each day too which made it even better.

From Art Sled Rally

As you can imagine I took a lot of pictures, too many to even attempt to post here!

The Art Sled Rally was simply a sledding extravaganza where individuals and groups got together and made creative sleds.  Some were simply cardboard over a plastic sled while others were elaborate like that Star Wars Landspeed racer!  We got our spot at the bottom of the hill and enjoyed watching successful sledders make it to the bottom, some crash into the crowd, and some fly into pieces crashing at the bottom!  This is a link to my Picasa Album, here is a piece with video from MPR and a YouTube video of the beer explosion.

From Art Shanty Project

The Art Shanty Project was not quite as cool as the rally but was still very interesting and well worth the drive.  Basically when you ice fish, you want to have some type of shelter to help keep you warm and to help block the wind.  These can be called ice houses, but for this instance they are ice shanties!   Add some creativity and a little art and you have a nice little festival on the ice.  Some of the shanties were quite unique like the 3 story tall tower or the live theater shanty.  Others involved physical labor like the Peace Coffee making shelter where you pedal powered the radio and coffee maker or the shanty on wheels that you could pedal around the area.  Another highlight was the confessional shanty where you could write your confession and send it off to the fishies (or have it hung on the outside wall).   There was a lot of publicity about this project in it’s sixth year so you can visit their site for some great information and see pictures at my Picasa Album.

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I started writing about this adventure awhile back but got really busy and didn’t get a chance to finish it, so hopefully I will now!

We spent sometime getting the camera working again before heading off to Maple Island which was actually mostly underwater. I’m not really sure if there was much to see there but there was the bridge and lots of water!

We then drove back out to Big Eddy which was going to be the starting point of our big adventure for the day! It is a funny name for a scenic destination – there wasn’t anyone there named Eddy, but I’m guessing it was named after a water feature which was an Eddy. With all the snow melt and rushing water it is hard to be certain but there was a lot of foam.

There was also a sign stating that the trail crossing was closed, which would have been pretty obvious to anyone walking by! The map actually says that the crossing is only open for a few months each year!

We had a good time hiking along the Kettle River. It took us a few tries to get on the right trail. I must say that the trails were easy to find but the maps were horrible so you didn’t really ever know which trail you were on for sure or if it was just a deer trail or something!

Since we were hiking on the bluff we figured the trails would be pretty dry, not the case at all! The trails were pretty much flooded with several inches of standing water in places. We were able to circumvent the first few fairly easily but at some point we realized we just had to keep forging forward because it couldn’t get too much worse and we’d have to backtrack around all the other “puddles”.

If you look closely at a couple of the pictures you can see what we had to go through! The one shows a bridge out in a swampy area. We had to scamper across some fallen trees to make it across that one! Another place we had to leap a creek that was swollen out of its banks. We each got our feet a little wet, but nothing too bad. The bottom-left picture is our stop for lunch. Like I mentioned the map wasn’t very good and so we somehow ended up guessing which way to go at some of the trail junctions. We ended up finishing the loop on a horse trail – which was very dry. Gaining the dryness though meant we didn’t have as much scenery. I’d take scenery over dryness anytime! Well, at least for a day hike!

We finally made it back to our car and knocked off a few more of the “scenic attractions” along the way back to the campground. The only one worth noting was the Firetower. It was pretty windy and cold at the top but worth the climb. It was kinda dull up there since the trees were missing their outer layers (leaves) but it meant you could actually see the ground. It was a quick detour and my quads hurt a little bit after the climb down!

We finally made it back to the campsite, quite happy with our decision to just car-camp instead of backpacking in. Our detours would have been quite difficult with our packs on! We bought some firewood – thanks to the Emerald Ash Bore you can’t bring firewood from anywhere outside the local vicinity. We made a fire, walked around the campgrounds and enjoyed our evening together!

We made it through another chilly night and took a couple of short hikes along the St Croix River to top off the weekend. We had a lot of fun!

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This past weekend we went camping again. We had planned on going for about two weeks but the weather looked daunting. It was pouring in the Twin Cities and was supposed to rain throughout the night and a chance of snow Saturday morning. Not the best forecast for camping – but we have cold weather gear. After much deliberating we decided to flip a coin, eventually the coin told us to go camping. So we finished packing and loaded up the car.

We were headed to St Croix State Park which is less than two hours away and was far enough south that it should have missed the previous weeks snow storm. We took our time getting there through rush hour and deluges. We arrived around 8pm – checked in and headed to the campsite. Our original plan was to car camp on Friday and then backpack to some sites for Saturday night. The park only had one of three campgrounds open and had actually just turned the water on at the shower house! We got to our site and hurriedly put up the tent – this is our new 4 season backpacking tent so it is pretty easy to put up and the inside didn’t get very wet due to the limited amount of screen and the attached rain fly. I’d say in 5 minutes we were ready to go. We got back in the car to warm up a bit before making the final surge and calling it a night inside the tent!

It was a cold night in the lower 30’s but we did ok in our mummy bags. We awoke Saturday morning fearing the worst – but found clear skies and warming temperatures. An early morning drive to get warm turned into an all day adventure. We had left the gear in the car so we were able to have a picnic breakfast next to the St Croix River.


You can see from the pictures that there was a lot of standing water and rivers and streams were overflowing. We had some camera malfunctions so some of these pictures are taken with my cell phone!

It has been a busy week so I haven’t had a chance to do much else with pictures. I will try to get more ready and update you later on the rest of the weekend!

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Christy and I have been reading this book off and on since our wedding and it has had some great thoughts and insights throughout. Many are applicable to both couples and individuals. Here are some recent insights:

Pslam 5:3 “In the morning I lay my expectations before you and wait in expectation. ”
How timely as we begin to wait to see where God shall lead us into the future.

“When several paths await you and you wonder what to do, hold one another’s hand and seek God. He’ll show you what to do, and the two of you can move forward, hand in hand, just the way it was intended to be.”

James 1:23-24 “Anyone who listens to the Word but does not do what It says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.”

This devotion used the story about a carousel ride and taking your life in circles:

“My life can be like that carousel. I am drawn in by the music and lights, and I pick a horse that I think will take me somewhere enchanting. I laugh and enjoy the ride, never thinking about how I’m passing the same things over and over. I don’t hear that the music is canned, notice that the scenery is painted, or see that the people around me aren’t going anywhere either. Until something breaks the illusion.
Please don’t misunderstand. Carousels are wonderful rides for children and fun experiences for adults, but too many of us never get off the blasted thing. We continue the illusion of actually going somewhere or doing something significant while we’re spinning around a painted destination.”

It goes on to say:
“Each of us was created with a mission and a purpose that was placed in us before the world’s foundation. But we get distracted.”

I know these words are a challenge for Christy and I as we move forward in our life together. I hope they challenge you to look forward to this new year and new beginning and that you’ll take the chance to get of the carousel if you need to.

Pray for us and let us know and we’ll pray for you.

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