The long-anticipated Minnesota pictures! (You were just sitting on the edge of your seat, weren’t you?) Since I took so many pictures, I’m going to break our vacation up into a couple of posts. Prepare to be shocked and awed by my awesome photography skills.
We started out for Minnesota around 4:00 pm on Friday afternoon, since we had to stop at Cabela’s in Sidney, NE, for a new gun (for Travis’ dad). While Travis shopped…
After grabbing some greasy deliciousness from Arby’s, we hit the road for the horrendous 16-hour drive to Nevis, MN, where Travis’ parents have a house (they live in Grand Rapids right now and rent their Nevis house out, but plan to move back to Nevis eventually).
About an hour into the drive from Sidney, I was wondering WTH made me think that I could handle the deadhead to Minnesota, overnight, after work? I hate to say it, but I’m getting too old for this.
I’ll spare you the gruesome details but we finally arrived at the Nevis household. After chatting with Al and Beth a bit, and giving Al his birthday present, I took a 2-hour nap (which in no way compensated for missing an entire night of sleep). True to form, Travis headed out to ride the ATV, shoot guns, and do all sorts of “fun” stuff…
The next day, I tried going on a run at 6 am (after being woken up by the pooches, as usual) but the deer flies were so bad (and those buggers hurt!), I turned around after a mile. It was a nice try. Then Beth, Carolyn (Trav’s sister), and I went to a place near Park Rapids called Summerhill Farm. It’s an old farm that has been turned into shops. There were a lot of things I wanted to buy but I confined myself to these finds:
The jam was made locally in Park Rapids but the salsa was made in Texas. No matter – it’s delicious and has a nice kick. I mostly bought it for Travis, who loves salsa. And the journal was just too darn cute to pass up (some of the trees are actually shimmery gold).
I spent some more time reading and doing crosswords until we packed up and headed for Grand Rapids on Sunday night. Their house in Grand Rapids is on a lake, which is great, but it’s also near a busy highway and other neighbors, which meant I had to watch the pooches instead of just letting them run wherever they wanted. Thus, my many, many mosquito bites. I definitely got bit up while I was there more than anywhere else.
The next day (Monday), we headed up to Voyageur’s National Park, where Travis’ extended family all co-own land that their great-grandmother bought in the 30s (I mis-typed before when I guessed the 40s or 50s). Like I said before, it is absolutely beautiful up there.
It was pretty windy on Monday, which made for a jolt-y boat ride and water too rough for floating. So we relaxed and picked some blueberries.
Tuesday was the perfect day though. Just the right temperature, calm water, nice breeze. Perfect.
Travis and his parents went fishing at sunrise. They brought back quite the haul.
After breakfast, Travis climbed a tree and cut the top off with a chainsaw. Seriously.
At first, the tree fell in the right direction but unexpectedly, got hung up on another tree. Then when Travis cut the trunk more and it actually did fall, it didn’t fall where expected. Luckily, no one got hurt.
After that excitement was over, I headed down to the beach and laid on a free-standing hammock. Katy was hilarious - whenever I was on the hammock, she would come lay underneath it – it was a pretty good deal for her. She got to be by me and in the shade. But there wasn’t a ton of room under there so I got jiggled around whenever she was switching positions.
A little while later, Travis suggested that we swim out to Fish Island and back. Since we’re at different levels swim-wise (the one and only thing I’m better at than Travis, he [jokingly] told me this past weekend), Travis swam out to the island and I swam back, while Beth, Matthew and Drew followed along on the paddleboat. We estimated the distance was 500 yards. Score 1 for an open water swim practice!
Then we went boating and the pooches came along.
I think Charlie actually enjoyed the boat rides.
She sat on the side of the boat a lot – maybe it gave her better balance?
She made a new friend with Drew, Travis’ nephew.
That night, we sat around the campfire and ate s’mores. Katy also took her first ride on a swing.
The next day (Wednesday) was rainy and overcast.
Matthew, Carolyn, Drew and I stayed at the cabin and played the quintessential cabin game – Rummy. Carolyn won. (I lost, as usual. Those Kluthes are Rummy-playing fools!)
While we were playing Rummy, Katy and Charlie were vying for a spot on the only dog-friendly chair.
Luckily, the rainy weather did not affect the fishes’ appetites.
After a lunch of delicious fish, Carolyn and I took the paddleboat out to Fish Island to pick some blueberries. Of course, we had to take the dogs with us (Carolyn has two dogs adopted from humane societies as well – one a golden retriever, the other a Rottweiler mix).
After a nap, Travis and I took the canoe out.
In vain, we tried to leave the dogs behind. They weren’t having it.
They chased us down the shoreline, whining and baying, “Come back! Don’t leave us!”I crumble immediately when Charlie bays so we pulled around to the dock in the bay and let them get into the boat with us.
The next morning, it was time to leave already. Vacations fly by way too fast!
Stay tuned for tales from Pine City and Minneapolis.