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Saturday, July 22, 2006


Camping Trip

I went on a four day camping trip with my family. The first two days we stayed in temperance river state park, with our campsite 50ft from Lake Superior. The second two nights, we stayed at the camping place on Mink Lake with people from Evergreen.

Day 1:
Drive 3 hours to Duluth and visit canal park museum. Drive another hour to Split Rock Lighthouse State Park where we have lunch and visit the lighthouse. The Split Rock Lighthouse is one of the most visited lighthouses in the US, and I have been there around a half dozen times myself.

After Split Rock it was around an hour drive to the state park where we are spending the next two nights. It takes about two hours to set up the sleeping tent and the screen tent. That night it took us about three hours since the site was small and the two tents we have are large and we kept trying to find a way that they would both fit.

That night there was a thunderstorm that woke everyone up. I couldn't tell you what time it happened, but I do know that for awhile the lighting was flashing so often you could have read a book without trouble.

Day 2:
A couple of us visited the museum in Schroeder, MN, a hamlet a mile from the campground. The part of the museum that I was interested in was the history of Taconite Harbor, where ships were loaded with taconite mined on the iron range. Around 1953 Taconite harbor and the companion mining town of Hoyt Lakes, which is about 74 miles inland, were built. In 2001, the mines in Hoyt Lakes and the loading dock at Taconite Harbor closed. What struck me is that all of the massive structures for mining, processing, and transporting iron ore were built and operated by thousands of men, and now little of it being used anymore.

Later we went swimming in Lake Superior. At first it was really cold, but you got used to it after a couple minutes. That night, like most nights, we played cards after supper. The only bugs that were bothering us were flies that would swam around and bite your ankles.

Day 3:
In the morning we packed our tents, went swimming, and took showers before heading up the coast. At lunch we stopped at a picnic area on the shore. The flies were horrible here. The dog's ears got bit so bad they started bleeding. We were only there about 15-20 minutes, compared to usually taking an hour to eat lunch and look around. Also the sky was filled with smoke from a forest fire in the BWCA. It made the sun look orange and gave everything a slightly creepy look.

After lunch we stopped at a ranger station just outside Grand Marais to find out if the forest fires would threaten camping at Mink Lake. They said that the fire was too far away to bother us, but that the smoke could be a problem. As we drove up the Gun Flint Trail towards Mink Lake, the smoke started clearing. Once at Mink Lake, the sky overhead was clear and one could see the line of smoke in the sky to the south of us.

The camp that we stayed at is very rustic. There is no electricity, pit toilets, and propane to heat water and provide light in the lodge and cabins.

Day 4:
The morning was spent playing card games. That afternoon we went swimming and canoing. After awhile I took the canoe out by myself. Then I sat up on the seat and within a couple seconds the canoe tipped over. In a foot of water. Ouch.

Day 5:
Get up, pack and load the car, and drive 5.5 hours back home.

Thursday, July 13, 2006



I have a job.

Which means updating my wardrobe, and having to "turn your head to the side and cough" at the physical. And get out of bed before 7am. But I start in about week so I have a little bit of time left to enjoy unemployment.

So I go camping again.

Sunday, July 02, 2006


Sharing when you don't want to

It's my birthday today, and I get to share it with:
We'd be an odd bunch if we get together and partied.

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