Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Greetings from Duluth!

We got about 24 inches of snow while Noelle and I were down in Galesville. Someone was nice enough to shovel it for us while we were gone! The snow is covered with a hard, crusty ice layer that makes for some difficult shoveling. maybe we'll be able to start some skiing soon!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Hiking with Friends in the Snow

This morning Noelle and I drove down to the Twin Cities metro area to visit with our friends Amy and Jami (and Archer too). We spent time talking and catching up and we even got to go for a hike in the snow and Lebanon Hills Regional Park. Fun!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Gooseberry Falls State Park: Hiking Club Trail & Two Harbors

Today I had the urge to do some more hiking. I had to work at 6pm so I decided to get a relatively early start. I woke up, ate breakfast and then hit the road to Gooseberry Falls. I hiked the short, 2 mile Hiking Club Trail there. The trail was somewhat interesting and I'd never been on it before. It climbed up to a plateau with views overlooking the Gooseberry River and Lake Superior. The hike also contained an interesting piece of history, an old outhouse that is reputed to be the last remaining CCC camp toilet.

After completing my hike, I still had plenty of time before I had to be at work. I decided to head into Two Harbors and check out the Lakewalk Trail.
Two Harbors Lighthouse

Two Harbors Ore Docks

I had been on part of it before in the summer of 2005 when we were up for a friend's wedding. This time was colder, but I did get to spend more time exploring a bit.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Forest History Center: Christmas in a Logging Camp

Today Noelle and I drove west to Grand Rapids and the Forest History Center for their special Christmas in a 1900 Logging Camp event. The event featured horse-drawn sleigh rides, a tour of the logging camp, hot cider, cookies, and crafts. We enjoyed the sleigh ride even though there was not enough snow on the ground for the real sleigh. instead it was a horse drawn carriage ride. The fresh coating of snow on the ground did give the camp a real holidays feel though.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Minnesota State Parks Hiking Club

A few weeks ago I learned about this hiking club that is organized by Minnesota State Parks. Basically, how it works is you get a little book that you take with you to the different state parks. Each state park has a specially designated Hiking Club trail. You hike the trail and at the mid-point of the hike is a sign with a special code word on it.
You then record the park, distance hiked, and the code word. After you've hiked 25 miles you take your book to the ranger and you can earn a 25 miles hiked patch. The same thing happens after you've hiked 50, 75, 100, 125, 150, 175, and all the Hiking Club trails.

When I heard about this, I thought it sounded perfect. It was a chance to hike and have a little bit of fun while doing it. A few days ago my Hiking Club packet arrived in the mail. Today I was determined to get started earning miles. I drove over to the closest state park, Jay Cooke, where I hiked the 3.5 mile Hiking Club trail. It was nice to hike with a little bit of snow on the ground. It didn't take too long to hike the short distance and so I decided to drive to the next closest state park, Moose Lake, which I had never been to before.

The hike at Moose Lake was a short 2 miles and not all that interesting. I did, however, check out the interesting geology museum there. They had a lot of really amazing Lake Superior agates on display. Why can't I ever find one like these?