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After enjoying the morning hiking around Gooseberry Falls, we headed back to Duluth, picked up Brandon and went to Canal Park for the afternoon. It’s a great place to look at the boats and ships, eat, shop and people watch.
Watching the activity on the water.
Canal Park is famous for the Lift Bridge. We arrived in time for the raising of the bridge to let a large ore ship out to the open water of Lake Superior.
Aren’t we a cute couple. I wonder how many pictures we have like this from other years with the Lift Bridge in the background?
Our college kid in his new town.
Our beautiful daughter overlooking the beautiful City of Duluth.
Ellie enjoying the ride. It won’t be too much longer that Daddy will be able to carry her.
Throwing rocks in the lake.
Jeff giving advice for picking out the perfect skipping rock.
The men hanging out (as shot from the hip).
Another photograph shot from the hip, but I still like the line of her body.
Love her cute feet.
Ellie had a blast feeding and chasing the gulls.
Gooseberry Falls is a favorite stop among Minnesotans. As it’s name implies there are waterfalls. There are also lots of rock to climb over as you cross the river, trails to hike and just places to sit and enjoy the beauty.
After our dinner with Brandon in Duluth the night before we headed north into Two Harbors to our hotel and some swimming. Gooseberry was only a short drive away the next morning.
After a month at college it was time for a visit to check up on our oldest. Brandon is a freshman at the University of Minnesota Duluth. From all signs he is loving the college life. But it’s good to let him know we still miss him.
Ellie wanted this car. After all what little girl doesn’t like “Hello Kitty”?! Not sure what someone of driving age would want with a car like this.
Anna checking out a college classroom and getting a view of things to come.
Brandon showing us one of his lecture halls.
I think Jeff really likes the bulldogs!
On campus with my girls.
After our tour of campus we treated Brandon and the family to a special dinner at the restaurant at the top of the Radisson Hotel downtown. With windows all around the revolving floor takes you on a slow tour of both the town and the harbor areas.
As I mentioned we were at a revolving restaurant so it makes the following incident even more incredible. Just as we were completing our meal, Jeff gets up and starts talking to this group of people. I finally recognized Jeff’s Uncle LaVerne. It turns out they had been visiting along the North Shore hoping to see some fall colors (unfortunately there wasn’t much yet). They live in southern Minnesota. They had no idea we were in Duluth either. It was nice to say “hi” to family. We also find out later that a different cousin and her family were actually staying that that hotel over the same weekend.
The end of September marks a tradition of riding in the Headwaters Bike ride near Papa’s cabin with my Dad and my brother, Dan. This is my 10th time in 11 years riding the 45 mile route. I missed the year Elinor was born since there was no way I was getting on a bicycle less than a month after giving birth. This year was also one of the few times we’ve had nice weather. Oftentimes it has been raining, sleeting and even snowing. It did start off rather cold and sunny, but we warmed up quickly.
At the first rest stop we all shed at least one layer of clothing. This stop always has good wild rice soup and chocolate chip cookies. I need to fuel up for the hardest stretch of the ride with lots of long hills.
At one point in this hilly area Dan waited for me and asked if I’d seen Dad. Nope. So Dan rode back to find Dad. Turns out he had turned back to find me, not realizing that I was ahead of him. We stuck a bit closer after that. Our next and final rest stop was in Nevis where Jolene and Justin joined in the ride.
We stopped for pictures at the bridge over Lake Belle Taine. The bridge is actually on the far side of the lake from Papa’s Cabin. There use to be an old trestle-style wooden bridge at this location that my kids use to love climbing underneath. It was replaced two years ago with a concrete arch span.
When: August 29, 2011
Where: Papa’s Cabin, northern Minnesota
Journaling reads: “As we were packing to leave the cabin, Ellie decided to try her hand at fishing off the dock while she waited. It wasn’t long before she caught this beauty of a small mouth bass. She easily beat out her Dad and brother since they hadn’t caught a thing all weekend. “
That’s my little fishing champ!
On the way home from the cabin we made at stop at St. Cloud State University to visit Brandon’s girlfriend, Kaley. It had been an entire week and a half since he had helped her move in and of course, he was missing her terribly. It gave us the opportunity to see her dorm room, meet the roommate and have a tour of the campus. The room was small and typical, the roommate nice and the campus beautiful (especially the open spaces and their library).
After the birthday celebration we invited the family to join us the next day at Papa’s cabin for an afternoon of tubing before going out to dinner together. I was still hurting from doing a face-plant on the sidewalk the night before. It was one of those stupid things where I was moving too fast, tripped going up the sidewalk stair and landed on my face. It took Jeff a few minutes to find me laying out there, but I didn’t want to move right away since I felt quite dizzy. He got me an ice pack and some advil and eventually we made it back into the cabin. Turns out I landed on my cheek and lip resulting in much swollen-ness (a fat lip!) and a large scab on my cheek. It could’ve been much worse had I hit the sidewalk a little lower (probably would’ve damaged some teeth) or higher (eyes and head). So I’m afraid I wasn’t such a good hostess when the family arrived, but they understood.
At least the kids got to enjoy the lake tubing. My little daredevil, Ellie, even got a ride out of the wake for the first time and came back all excited to tell me about it.
We were looking forward to eating at the Logging Camp. After being closed the past few years, it reopened this summer. Eating is done in a old-time mess hall, eating family-style at long tables. Dinner had all you can eat meat (chicken, pork, BBQ ribs, ham)–this was heaven to all those teen boys in our party. The grounds sit next to a small creek, also have old equipment sitting around to explore and chickens and turkeys that follow you around. All of that make the Logging Camp a fun dining experience.
Before we left on Monday, Austin helped Ellie fish off the dock while the van was being loaded and the cabin cleaned. I think she was the fisher-person of the weekend.
Hard to believe, but my baby girl turned seven just a week and a half ago. On her birthday we headed up to a timeshare in Detroit Lakes that Grandpa and Grandma had for the week. Aunt Gayna’s family was there also. I had made a cake and brought it along, so as soon as it was frosted and decorated with puppies (at Ellie’s request) we started celebrating. The table was loaded with gifts. She’s still at that age where it’s fairly easy to pick out gifts (and they don’t cost a fortune). She loved everything! After all the gifts were opened everyone sang “happy birthday” and the cake was served. The teens took off to the adjacent disc golf course while Ellie headed for the pool to swim and play with some of her new pool toys. Cousin Matt joined Ellie in the pool later. We had dinner and then Jeff, Ellie and I headed to Papa’s cabin for the night.
Dad found another bike ride for us, the Tour de Pines, that took riders in and around Itasca State Park during the middle of August. It was the perfect day for a ride–cool temperatures, lots of sun and no wind. It was going to be just me and Dad with Jolene and Ellie as our cheerleaders. Unloading the bikes, Dad noticed that he had a flat tire. But that wasn’t a problem since they had a mechanic that changed his tube and got him ready to go again. We opted to do the shorter, 25-mile ride and I’m glad we did. This was the hilliest ride I’ve ever done. Every hill I had to gear down to my lowest gear. Good thing the scenery made up for it. The ride through the trails and roads in the park have to be some of the most lovely I’ve seen.
Often on the ride we saw these signs…and they weren’t kidding!
While Dad and I were out riding, Jolene and Ellie had breakfast at McDonalds (where Ellie discovered she likes the potato cakes) and shopped at Walmart (where a grandma couldn’t resist spoiling a grandchild a bit).
After a great pizza buffet lunch at the local Pizza Hut we showered and headed out for some shopping in Walker. On the way Ellie was entertained by the backseat movies.
Ellie and her Papa:
And keeping with tradition we had our “heroes” dinner at La Pasta.
Papa and Jolene left the following morning and Ellie and I enjoyed some time by the lake.
Shortly after this last photo was taken, Ellie was reaching out for a lily pad and fell into the water. Amazingly we both were quick. She managed to turn around and catch herself on the dock only going into the water up to her waist and I managed to get from a sitting position to standing up holding onto her arms. It did scare her a little bit, but she said, “now I know why you don’t let me come down to the dock by myself.” It was a good lesson learned.