Tuesday, August 30, 2016

2016 What I Did This Summer or Our Adventures With a Broken Legged Husband!

Hi, If this is your first time visiting our blog WELCOME!
I try to update weekly for school and every once in awhile for my family.

The short version of our summer is we had some nice adventures, John broke his leg, we had some more adventures without him (sad face), he is healing well and has the cast off, so now maybe a few more adventures before school starts that involve short hikes? 

If interested here is the loooong but exciting version...
We began summer with Whalan's Stand Still Parade!
Yup, you read that right!
It was also Whalan's celebration. 
We had to stop at the lefse tent.
Maeve's roommate's mom bought the Aroma Pie Shoppe so we made several trips to that yummy place!




We headed over to Elmaro Vineyard for a Woodfired pizza fund raiser. Yummy!



My beautiful sister and niece visited in early June.
We headed to The Stone Barn near Nelson for more wood fired pizza...double yum!


This place here is my happy place!
Our back deck under the pergola.
Ahhhhhh.  Relaxing!

 My son, Graham, and his lovely wife, Melissa, flew home from Atlanta for a wedding so we were lucky to spend a little time with them!
They brought us real Georgia Peaches and news that they are expecting their first baby in December!
Oh HAPPY DAY!!!!  Another Grandbaby!!!!!


See that scenery behind John?
That is our Fall, Winter, Spring, and early Summer go to place for a short 6 mile hike...the Whitewater Reserve between Elba and Weaver.  In the Summer the grass is too high for the pups.  It really is a beautiful place on this Earth!



Well, look at that! Another trip to Nelson Creamery!
 Then we zoomed up to Hok-Si-La north of Lake City to play in the water, dig in the sand for agates on Lake Pepin.
 Another of our favorite spots!




If you haven't been to Wenonah Brewing Company for their root beer, you should go! 
If you are lucky the Wood Shed woodfired pizza guy will be there, too!



John and Maeve and I zipped over to Lanesboro for Rhubarb Fest.
Fun!
 Then we hiked to Whalan...in the rain...a lot of rain!




 But you know what you get with rain?
Lovely!

Maeve and I flew to Atlanta in early June.
Here we are enjoying a King of Pops Popsicle!

 We just enjoyed the city while Graham and Melissa worked.
We actually rode the train into the city center to meet Melissa for lunch!
 Then we walked to the Coca Cola Museum!
 One of the evenings we went to a block party!
Just like on the movies!


Maeve and I did a little letterboxing and a lot of walking!

Graham and Melissa took us to the High Museum to see the Eric Carle Exhibit! Amazing!




We always go to the Piedmont Park Farmers' Market and the Dog Park!

 

The kids also treated us to a tour of the botanical gardens with the famous glass blower, Chihuly, sculptures tucked all over the grounds and in the buildings.  
Spectactular!


  


 Oh My Goodness!
We went to another escape room and escaped again!
These are absolutely the most fun I have ever had as an adult!  Really!

 We ate sooooo many peaches!
I even got to pick the last one off the tree near Graham and Melissa's home. It was so sweet!
 See that building with the red crane? 
That is the building my son, the structural engineer, is building in Midtown Atlanta.
Pretty proud mama here!

June just kept getting better and better!
We had tickets to the Orpheum to see Neil DeGrass Tyson, the world famous astrophysicist!  That's all my kids wanted for their summer birthdays. Love those geeky kids!



We harvested loads of strawberries!

 Oh this was one of the best musicals HCO has put on!
Well done!


Here's where my summer gets crazy!
What you  might not know is my hubby and I are hiking the entire 300 mile Superior Hiking Trail in sections.  In our second year we've got about 60 miles ticked off. Yay!
We are also working on our 125 mile state park back packing challenge for 2016.  I just needed 13 more miles.

 So here is the section we chose...from Tettegouche to Silver Bay...be sure to read the words:

YIKES!  But hey, let's do it!
 So we are packed up for a two day adventure...Our calculations show 13 miles total for the trails we chose.
7 one day, 6 the next.
  2 days was the suggested time frame.
Even on the most challenging section that is doable?

Yep. The regular rate is 1-2 mile per hour.
With 3 mountains to go over, 
I go more like half a mile per hour! 
Slow and steady, right?

 The scenery is breath taking!

My hubby was shaking the bridge...
So our hike started out pretty good, even in the rain.
 But it continued to rain, then downpour, then storm, and the wind blew and the lightening struck! Yikes!


So we couldn't find a spot to throw up our hammocks for the night. The sites were either on the ridges with lightening flashing all around us, or in the river bottoms with the creeks quickly rising.
So we trudged, soaked to the bone through our rain gear, for 13.5 hours!
Finally at 10:30 at night in a raging storm, we were close to the trail head and a whole day ahead of schedule!
We were walking with headlamps on when the police from Silver Bay spotted us and brought us down off the mountain! 
"No one should be out in this weather. Would you like a ride to the bottom?"
I could have hugged him if I weren't so drenched.
This mileage is for side trips as well as the regular trail
 Bright and early the next morning we finished the hike in 10 minutes. That's how close we were!
So we took a 2 day hike and compressed it into 13 hours and 10 minutes. Not too shabby!
(I did deliver 2 dozen Bloedow's donuts to the Silver Bay Police Dept later in the summer)
 Couldn't have done it without this guy!

I REALLY earned this!!!!

 Ouch!
 Ahhhh....yessss!

Meanwhile back home, we found a surprise patch of black raspberries in our walnut grove! MMMMM!


 Fionn took up the ukalele this summer.
I am one lucky lady getting serenaded on my nightly mile walk with the pups!
 The bees are doing well!
 So's this pretty boy!

We spent a little time painting pics of Lake Superior and of agates in anticipation of our Apostle Island trip!


Remember my home happy place!
Still here....ohhhh it's nice!

So after that looooooong hike here's what my hubby did on the 4th of July...

No, Not on the trail, thank goodness!
He was just helping a neighbor remove some trees when he slipped down a hill...ouch!
 


 Well now, doesn't that put a damper on the two prepaid trips coming up in the next 2 weeks?

 After pleading with his surgeon,
(me doing the pleading)
he was given the thumbs up to drive one of our heavily laden vehicles to the Apostle Islands to primitive camp with 9 people.  We had the gear for everyone. There really was no choice. I needed all that stuff! Like grills and paper lanterns and painting supplies.  And glitter.
We might be primitive camping but we are not barbarians!
 So per doctors orders we stopped every hour so he could move his poor swollen leg. And take aspirin. 

Finally we arrived at the ferry at Bayfield!


We met Graham and Melissa, her mom and brother, and Lee at the campsite.
We all took turns preparing meals for the team.
What yummy fun!

 
  
the raccoons ate are first batch of cinnamon rolls! Funny!

 

I wasn't kidding about those paper lanterns!
No electricity meant no night lights.
I'm scared of the dark!



The kids and I built this!
The Madeline Island Business Bureau asked if they could use the photo for future publications! Neat!
 Lee helped John down to the beach one day. Poor guy just had to lay around in his gravity chair with his leg elevated.




 Lake Superior fun!


Here's the reason we came...to kayak out to the sea caves!
They are about 3 miles from the bay, so it is a nice long paddle but so very worth it!
 

 
 


 We hiked a few miles from the campsite to find this great cairn beach...
 

Melissa's brother, James, made this amazing structure!

All too soon our 4 days of no electricity, no running water was over and we were back on the ferry to the mainland.
So many beautiful memories were made!




Lee stopped at Washburn with us on the way home
(remember John still has to get our of the car every hour)
and we letterboxed in this old charming book store!
 Lee found the letterbox in this old fake book!
Check out atlasquest.com


Meanwhile back home....I tried my hand at gel tiles in the bathroom.
Pretty and easy but way too expensive to do a large area!

 
I sure love the way they look! 

So now our first vacation was over, and the swelling on his leg/ankle was down, it was time for John to have surgery...
 Sadly even though he could travel now, he didn't feel like it. His leg really hurt from the plate and screws the surgeon put in place.  Plus our lodge right on Lake Superior about 20 minutes from the Canadian border (prepaid 4 days...ugh!)
did not have an elevator.  

So Maeve and Fionn and I had to go without him. 
Sad.sad.sad.
Sorcha stayed home to take care of chores and daddy and Grandpa. 

So this is our second year at this lodge!
LOVE LOVE LOVE it here!
We are totally disconnected from the world.
No TV. No Internet. No landlines in rooms. 
Just board games, cards, books, puzzles, and the lake!





 I might have found my calling in rock pictures on the beach...





 This is my paradise!
 We zoomed up to Grand Portage to check out the National Monument.
It is the National Park's 100 anniversary this year so were hoping to see all 6 of Minnesota's National Parks/Monuments/Areas.
Oh well, we will finish next year!

Here we are at the Canadian border...

 and we are in Canada!
I love their deer crossing sign...Night Danger!

We drove through Thunder Bay to a small town called Pearl to go to a real working amethyst mine called Blue Points!
 That's a huge hunk of amethyst Maeve is leaning on!

 You just pick through mountains of slag from the blast mine. There is amethyst everywhere!






 Once again we closed up for them!
We just don't want to stop digging!
 It is so affordable!  For instance my car was filled with large chunks of amethyst plus the 3 buckets we picked up.
The cost? 60 bucks...Canadian!  About $45 American! Wow!

Back at the lodge...








 So the next day we went back up to ALMOST Canada to Minnesota's longest waterfall at Grand Portage...






So this is the second long weekend in a row without internet.
I took pity on my kiddos and we spent the afternoon down in Grand Marias so they (and me) could get connected!
Plus there were donuts! And Sven and Ole's Pizza!








 On the way home we tried to see the remaining waterfalls on the waterfall tour of North Shore.  I had just 4 left.
We just did Grand Portage, John and I (before his injury...up a bit on this post) saw High falls at Baptism River.
Also Devil's Kettle was right across the road from our lodge (well, a 3 mile hike there and back again, up up up  and down down down...but worth it!)
We ticked of Temperance (twice for Maeve and I),Cascade Falls , Gooseberry (many times but always beautiful!)

We swung into Duluth to view Enger Tower and the Japanese Gardens...beautiful!







 Meanwhile back home...
 I was able to see both Shakespeare plays again this year!
 I am one lucky Grandma!
I drove to Indianapolis to see our 3 Grandbabies, Shae and Chris, and their lovely large dog, Huck, too!
 Cru is almost 2, Wren is 5, and Calla is 3 1/2.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE those little people!



 We studied insects, dug for agates, made bug projects, played, ate donuts, read, and snuggled!
Perfect!


 I even got a moment with MY baby as we shopped for an afternoon without the kiddos!
 Baby #4 is due in October!

We played board games with Shae's inlaws!
What fun, caring, joyous people!
 They'll have been in their lovely house for a year now.
Love to hold them!
Here's a sweet montage of my visit...




I also got to see this handsome guy on the way home!
Lee is the kitchen manager at Moose Jaw in Wisconsin Dells so we had to check out the competition!
It really was excellent!
 Meanwhile back home John is healing and watching the honeybees enjoy the amethyst fountain!

 Chicquita is watching them, too!
 
 So now that my trips are over, I got thinking about what home improvement jobs I could do...
#1 with limited money
#2 without John's assistance

So I decided to rip out the old old old carpet on the stairs...

 There it is...the last staple after days and days of pulling 120 years of staples and nails out of the wood!
 Stay tuned for more on this later in this post....

So John is healing, getting around with a cane now, no more crutches...

 
 Maeve had a bucket list before leaving for college, one of the items was taking the dogs to the Mississippi River to swim. So here we are...

Time to check on the bees...
(yes, he has his cast on under the suit, that's why he's wearing mine as the legs unzip)

Sorch wanted to go up up up the Bronk Trail to the top of the bluff to pick blackberries!
The important word here is WANTED!
You've probably noticed she's not around for pics much.
Apparently kids get lives of their own? 
Well, I'll take whatever time she can find for her mom!
Even trekking up that bluff in the summer!



 We got a nice haul!


Oh the stairs are coming along....



 and finished!




 Oops ran out of paint!
It's okay because I need to fix the ceiling here before worrying about the walls...the spiral was just for fun!
 

 I tried to hang out some with John binge watching Netflix... 
 But there's always more to do....like make hot pepper jelly!
 I did walk short walks with him...he's up to a mile!


 We had a few free range chicks hatch out this summer...

  I am a lucky mom, I got to see Lee 3 times this summer!
This time it was on the way to Madison as my stepdad had heart surgery.  Lee was working but bought our meal!
 Grandpa Bob did well!  He's recovering nicely!

 And before we knew it was time to take Maeve back to Moorhead for her 2nd and final year of undergraduate work. She'll graduate at 19 because she took 60 credits of PSEO in high school!  Way to go, Maeve!

 We swung into Fergus Falls MN to see this giant otter!

 This year Maeve will be living in an apartment!
 So much roomier than the dorms.
 Anyone recognize that painting?
It is from the old Chula Vista in Winona.
Her prized possession!

 The cast is off!

Look at my pretty date for the final Thursdays on First in Rochester!  The allusive Sorcha!

 Cute picture of Chicquita!

On the final weekend before workshop my sweet hubby took us upriver to Lark Toys 
(we had a mission...shhhh, it's a surprise)
 I love me some Doctor Who!
Then we headed over to Nelson for not just ice cream!

 Oh, but ice cream, too!  Two cones!


So as we zoom into Fall and school routines,
I leave you with this goofy pic! See you soon!

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