Mom Comes to Town

Mom came to visit this last week.  We did all sorts of exciting things.  It was a great weekend.  We only had the “When are you guys going to start having kids?” conversation about 3 times.  I told her “As soon as you move to MN and agree to provide free daycare 50 hours/week.”  That got her to change the conversation pretty quick.

We went for a walk near Minnehaha Falls and got this great photo right at the Minnehaha Creek and  Mississippi River confluence.  What do you guys think?  Do I look like my mom?

Next, we headed up north to the Boundary Waters.  My mom LOVES taking pictures, and she’s totally into just snapping random shots without telling anyone she’s about to take their photo.  This is one of the few shots where we actually knew she was taking our photo.  That’s a great looking sunset, huh?

Then we saw a double rainbow all across the sky, and I tried to make a joke that referenced the smash hit internet meme, but it fell flat and just made me look stupid.  BTW – You guys should check out the screamo version!

“Y’all don’t spend enough time on the innertubes,” I said.
They all stared at me and said in unison, “You need to get out more.”

“Guys!  Hello?  WORLD WIDE WEB???” I whimpered in vain.

We went canoeing the next day, which was a total hoot:

Then we checked out the Soudan Mine. I’m a little skeptical about how Mel is wearing her hard hat.  Also, WE’RE MATCHY MATCHY (as my friend Katie would say).  Tha’ts cute, huh?

We also checked out the North American Bear Center, and watched some bears eat grapes.

QUERY:  How come a 300 lb. bear can eat 5 grapes for lunch and feel good about it?  I’m gonna go on the bear food diet.

Alright, put this on your list of things to see in Minnesota – Pillow Rocks:

The best part about Pillow Rocks is that they’re literally right in the middle of one of the streets in Ely.  Like they were building the road and one guy said, “Hey, do we really have to move all these rocks out of the way?”  And the next guy says, “Hell no, let’s just go around them!  We’ll put a sign next to them and then we don’t have to move them.”

OK, well I hope you enjoyed reading about me and my Mom hanging out.  It was tons of fun having her in town!

Fishing Weekend

I had another great weekend up at the in-laws!  Here’s a view of the docks at Williams & Hall Outfitters:

And the beautiful Moose Lake:

Visiting the in-laws is awesome for a lot of reasons, not the least of these reasons is that the W&H cook makes a lot of our meals for us.  She makes some mean biscuits & gravy!

The in-laws generously gave me the second half of my birthday present, a fishing pole to match my new reel!  I was quite a fisherman growing up and in college, but I haven’t been fishing in a few years.  The last time I went was a complete disaster.  I’ll spare you the details, but let’s just say my old fishing pole is Resting-in-Peace at the bottom of Ensign Lake after I threw it from the canoe in a fit of rage several years ago.

So we spent a morning fishing on Skull Lake in the Boundary Waters.

This next picture is kind of dumb, but I think it’s hilarious because it looks like Mel’s brother doesn’t have a head.

Decapitation, lol.

Here’s our spoils:

I didn’t catch either of them.  Mel and her brother did.

We also went hiking on the Secret – Blackstone – Ennis Lake Trail:

Boundary Waters Canoe Area

Heading up north for the weekend!

I saw that the weather forecast for Ely, MN, includes lots of rain for Friday and Saturday, so I decided to take the day off and go canoeing! Sounds great, huh? It will be fun. Here are my goals for the weekend:

1. Don’t eat fish (obviously)
2. Don’t throw any fishing poles to the bottom of a lake (don’t ask, I was very angry when this happened…)
3. Don’t complain about having to paddle (Wife hates it when i complain…)
4. Go swimming
5. Jump off a cliff
6. Find a way to sneak sodas into our packs while Wife isn’t looking

Adventure: Snowbank Trail

My wife and I spent the 4th of July weekend up in Ely, MN with her parents. Our friends b+k came along, so the four of us decided to go hiking. We set off on the Snowbank Trail, not really knowing what to expect. We had asked around to see what people knew about it, but nobody really had much info – including Mel’s parents, whose outfitting business keeps them pretty up-to-date on things like this. The trail was a little spotty – obviously not very well used… Here’s what the trail looked like most of the way – passable but narrow:
The trail wraps around Snowbank Lake and meets up with the Kekekabic Trail somewhere along the way, but we didn’t make it that far. Here’s Snowbank Lake:
Some more shots of the group:

Then we stopped for lunch, which included some jerky:
Then we took a minute to dangle our toes in the lake:
And I fell asleep on a rock using my shoe as a pillow:

Total, we probably only hiked about 4 miles because the trail was pretty slow-going, but we had a lot of fun doing it.

Canoeing the Kawishiwi River

Our adventure this week comes from the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, specifically, the Kawishiwi River. Melanie and I, along with our friends b+k canoed over 15 miles of the river. It’s not a traditional river, really – It’s more of just a string of lakes connected by a few sets of rapids. The trip took us pretty much all day, and we were exhausted by the time we finished. Here are a few photos of our day on the river:

Here’s a photo of us after finishing our trip while we waited for our ride to pick us up.