Alabama at the Minnesota State Fair

Alabama un-retired a few years ago so when they announced their 19th appearance at the Grandstand I knew I had to take the chance to see them.

Mom drove down from the Forks with her friend Karen and Jerry joined us as well.  We spent the afternoon at the fair, ate too much junk food and then saw the show.  Even after all these years the boys can still put on one heck of a show!

An evening in Grand Portage

Finally got on the road about 11:30 this morning, had been planning for 10 but it seems there is always one last thing to do.

Had been thinking about stopping along the way to stretch my legs, but I saw the sign for Gooseberry Falls as I was passing – didn’t see any warnings, and it was raining as I passed Cascade Falls which was my plan B. So, just made a stop for gas in Grand Marais.

Pulled into Grand Portage about 4:45 and made a run past the marina I’m departing from in the morning just so that I know where to go. As the boat leaves at 7:30 tomorrow morning I opted to stay at the lodgecasino so that I don’t have to deal with breaking camp in the morning.

Had a nice salmon dinner with wild rice pilaf for dinner. Figured I’d better eat well tonight since the next 6 days until I reach Rock Harbor lodge will be trail food. Took a short walk after dinner and got some panoramic images of the bay the hotel sits along. All in all, a beautiful evening in the arrowhead.

Now back in my room to catch the premiere of the first of the final episodes of Breaking Bad.

I don’t expect to post any further updates till I’m home as there is no cell service even in Grand Portage – aside from an intermittent burst from a Canadian provider, so I’ve turned off my cellular radio to avoid getting stuck with international charges….

Frontenac State Park

This morning I decided to take a drive down to Frontenac State Park which is a little over an hour from my house and just south of Red Wing, MN.  It rained all day Saturday, so I was ready to get out of the house for some fresh air.  It was a little cool on the drive down – in the Solstice with the top down, but well worth it.  By the time I pulled into the park a little after 10, most of the clouds were gone and it was warming up nicely.  It was in the low-mid 70s while I was hiking – perfect!  I strolled along the trails along Lake Pepin and just enjoyed listening to all the birds and other critters in the woods.  I saw a couple of golden eagles and some sort of snake was sunning itself right behind my car when I got back to it.  It decided to get out of the way when I got close enough.


William O’Brien State Park

I spent the morning hiking thru William O’Brien State Park – managed about 6 miles.  It’s about 45 minutes from my house – a nice drive up the St. Croix valley.  The park has nice rolling hills, some hardwood forests and open prairie.  I spotted a couple of cardinals, but they were too skittish to get any good pictures.  I also saw a hummingbird, but only got a long distance shot.  Didn’t see anything else bigger than a squirrel.  All in all it was a beautiful day to take a stroll thru the woods.


Day 1 – So it begins

Well, we haven’t had much rain here in weeks, but wouldn’t you know it – at about 7:30 this morning it started to rain.  I pushed my departure time back to 10 a.m. in hopes of getting some top-down driving in before the day got really hot.

Shortly after 10 – yes I was running a bit late, I did a final check of my house, in particular the aquarium, before leaving.  Arrgh – I had cleaned and changed the filters yesterday in preparation for the trip and now there was a minisucule leak, but a leak nonetheless, in the return line.  So I had to tear that back apart and put it back together again and check for leaks anew.

11:30 a.m.  Only 2.5 hours late, but I’m on vacation so who cares!!!