Sunday, September 5, 2010

Trip to Minnesota

I went to Minnesota last week to meet a friend, Trish for the first time. Trish found our family through my blog almost 3 years ago, just after her husband Dave was diagnosed with the same rare form of cancer as Brad. God sent Trish to me to be a tremendous emotional support during a very difficult time. It was so comforting to be able to share with someone who truly understood our family's experience.

Dave's one year passing anniversary was just 2 weeks ago. Trish and I spent part of last week hiking in the mountains of Northern Minnesota in addition to seeing the highlights along the west coast of Lake Superior. It was a terrific trip...perfect weather, great company, and magnificent sights.

The weather stayed in the mid-50's and 60's for most of our trip. I basically packed one outfit for that kind of I just wore it a lot...pretty much every day. :)
An old, historic lighthouse at Split Rock. In 1910 this lighthouse was built on a 130 foot sheer cliff. It was built in response to the loss of ships during the famous Mataafa Storm of 1905, in which 29 ships were lost on Lake Superior.

Trish is the tiny grey speck at the top of the falls.

During the hike to the high point, Trish and I spotted a beaver dam. Just a few yards away we found this tree which clearly fell to a beaver's hand (or paw?)

This is a picture of Devil's Kettle Falls in Minnesota's Judge Magney State Park. The falls are known to be very unusual because the section on the right, lands at the base of the falls and continues downstream while the left section vanishes into a pothole known as the Devil's Kettle and no one knows where it goes. It is believed that the water makes its way out to Lake Superior by means of underground passages, but the exact details are unknown. Dyes have been put into the water and logs and other things into the pothole, but apparently nothing ever comes out. I haven't ever really worried about falling over a waterfall, but I felt certain that I didn't want to slip into this one.

The front of the falls at Devil's Kettle.

My rock sculpture. I know, it is pretty difficult to see amongst all the other rocks around me. Just trust was very impressive.

The beach walk along the shoreline of Great Superior. I loved all the small stones that made up the path.

Trish and I were told that we couldn't leave Grand Marais without stopping by the "World's Best Donut Shop." Pretty yummy, I must say.

The view from Gitchi Gummi Trail near Gooseberry Falls.

Lake Superior in the background. I could not get past how incredibly large this body of water is. We were told that Lake Superior holds 10% of the world's fresh water. Isn't that incredible. I thought it was amazing that I could stand on one edge and be unable to see the land on the opposite side...just like the ocean...incredible.

Bagged #7, Minnesota's state high point: Eagle Mountain

The day we climbed brought 50 degree temps, rain, and 40 mph wind gusts. On the way up, Trish & I could hear the sound of snapping trunks and trees falling around us. There were freshly fallen trees all over the path on our descent. I'm not sure that Trish will let me drag her back up another mountain again...she was almost certain one of those birch trees was going to end up on her head.

This is a sign posting the entry to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. Trish wasn't especially fond of that particular area due to all the stories she had been told by friends about adventures they had taken into the wilderness. I think she was afraid I was going to drag her into the area and never bring her back to civilization. :)

The start of the trail....we only saw 1 other person on our way up to the top of the mountain, a 65 year-old-man named Chuck. Eagle Mountain was his 4oth peak to reach and he was on his way to bag 4 others this week. It was an unexpected treat to run into someone with so much high-point experience.


Supermom said...

I LOVE it that you got to experience Minnesota! We are planning a trip back there next summer...I miss it so much! The drive to Grand Marais on highway 61 is unbelievable!!!

allison hanna cassady said...

Your trip makes me feel tired! So glad you had a great time.

kj7 said...

You are amazing! I'm so glad you had a great time. I was praying for ya...


Trish said...

Girl you made me cry...and laugh! Great job journaling our trip. What an amazing adventure in hiking and friendship stregthening this was. I feel so blessed to have you in my life and you have been an amazing support to me and an inspiration to try to stay as positive as I can!!! Next bonding trip...TEXAS here I come.