Best Vacation Ever

November 18, 2008

Well, maybe not the best ever but … that’s only because I’ve been blessed by the vacation fairy. KJ and I did have a damn near perfect whirlwind early winter vacation in November. We met in La Crosse on a wednesday night, did some pre-cooking and planning and then set out driving northbound on Thursday morning. We hit our destination, a cabin just north of Two Harbors before sunset and got ourselves settled in. We whiled away the evening by exploring our space and reading The Dark is Rising out loud to each other. I tried out my new recipe for White Russians and you be the judge whether KJ violated Minnesota state drinking laws by sharing it with me.
We spent two beautiful days (admittedly overcast and frigid but beautiful never the less) hiking around in a number of lovely Minnesota State Parks. We were confined to the shore side of the highway in each of these due to an extended hunting season taking place. All the really cool (read: rugged, non-paved, lower traffic) trails were over on the far side of the scenic highway but … we made up for it by walking further on the groomed paths and by appreciating the spectacular views of the lake. Also we got to climb on the rocks more by staying close to the shore line. On saturday we checked out of our apartment and headed south, swinging through Duluth. I don’t remember San Fransicso that well – its been four years since I was there. But I think Duluth gives it a run for its money in terms of seriously steep roads. I can’t imagine driving anywhere in that city during ice weather.
We stopped at one more park on our way south: Jay Cooke. I was sorry that we didn’t have the whole vacation to do over again and do it there. That is a place worth some serious exploring. Also there is a continuous trail that goes up along the shore line – its seems like it might make for an epic hiking adventure some fall. Just a thought.
We spent Saturday night and Sunday in the big city (thanks Malea) and then got home at a decent hour on Sunday night. Monday I got KJ up early and dragged her off to hike Hixon forest with me just once before she escaped back to her sedentary office existence. We’ll be making this trek again I suspect. Here are the stunning pics.
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These are … the view out our cabin window over the lake with the pervasive dramatic clouds that marked the whole trip … KJ striding out across the rocky edge of a tiny island that we rock hopped our way out to it risking frost bite in the frigid water of Lake Superior on our way and … snow falling around us as we looked out from the top of a rocky promontory mysteriously topped with a stone chimney that may or may not have been the site of Minnesota’s most inaccessible home.

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