Let's quickly recap what I've been doing so far this July -
If you've been following my 365 Days of Hope (either on Facebook, as it's imported, or by direct link) you'll know that my weekends have been pretty jam packed with excitement!
The first weekend (July 3-5) was a long weekend for most - for me it was just like every other weekend in terms of days off. I decided to work a full week (which for me is M-Th). Friday was my grandma's Birthday celebration up at Mille Lacs - my gma was born on the 4th of July, but we decided to have the party on Friday so people could still do something with their weekend. My friends and I had camping plans that weekend up near Lutsen - so Steve and I went to my gma's birthday on Friday for a couple hours and then made the drive up to camping. While camping we hit up several state parks, did lots of hiking, and had an overall grand ole time! At Lutsen Mountains, we stopped at rode the Alpine Slides (total blast!), rode a gondola over to Moose Mountain and hiked around through the woods.
We seen lots of neat waterfalls and climbed LOTS of stairs in the process - Devil's Kettle, which is a super awesome waterfall - one side of it falls into the river and the other side of it falls into a huge pothole and is unknown where it ends up! It's a neat little thing...
We also kicked around in Grand Marais for a good part of the evening and killed some time while waiting for Fireworks to start.
Sunday we made a stop at Tettegouche State Park and hiked to the Upper Falls there - again, lots of stairs, lots of hiking.. and a suspension bridge :( I'm not good with heights, so all of these state parks are really testing my nerves.
On the way home, Steve and I decided to kick around in Duluth for a bit, grab some lunch and a malt. We went to the 'beach' (in quotes because Lake Superior at average is 40°F) - the beach is all rocks.. but I wanted to take some pictures of Steve skipping rocks... we ended up meeting a little girl named Jaden (who's mother was down the beach on the phone, not being a very good mother... I had to stop the poor little thing from picking up a dead bird sitting on the beach!)
Jaden wanted to throw rocks with Steve (look at that distance!):
Anyhow, Sunday was a great day... we slowly made our way home (late) and called it a weekend!
This past weekend (July 10-11, which ended up being July 10-14) was a lot of fun as well... busy, but fun.
Saturday, we all had plans to go to the St. Paul Saints game - we all met up early to tailgate and BBQ - the game was fun... I had never been to a Saints game before, it's a lot different than Twins games, thats for sure! We called it a night as early as possible as we had plans to get up early Sunday and make the drive to Grand Marais.
On the drive up we make a stop at Palisade Head, which is a huge rock formation on the lake:
We continued on, right past Grand Marais and drive to Grand Portage, which is the northern most point in Minnesota along the North shore. Anything beyond that and you're in Canada, eh. The Pigeon River is up there and home to the tallest waterfall in MN (120ft.) - of course I wanted to see it.
The intent was to stay one night - Steve's parents have a cabin for the week, so we stayed with them. Well, come Sunday night we decided it would be in our best interest to take another day off work, if possible, and stay another night. Both bosses approved the time off, so we stayed :)
Since we had all day Monday now to do whatever, we took our time getting up and making our way out - and around 2 o'clock we decided we are going to hike up to the highest point in Minnesota (Eagle Mountain, elv. 2301 ft.) - it's a 7 mile round trip hike (we thought it was somewhere around 5 miles RT). It was a very interesting hike... extremely rough terrain; lots of big rocks, tree roots...and mosquitoes! Then at the end of the hike in, you climb about 600ft in the last mile. Pretty different from any of the hiking I had done up to that point. So you get to the top and have a pretty sweet view out, you find a 'marker' that denotes the highest elevation in the state, take a picture and hike back down and out. Our total time, round trip: 3 hours, almost to the minute - not bad for 7 miles of rough terrain hiking!
Looking out from the top and at the Marker:
We make the long drive home on Tuesday, stopping at The Cascade River and walking around for ~30-40 minutes... and also stop at Betty's Pies in Two Harbors for lunch and pie :) yum.
This coming weekend is jam packed with drunkenness.. I'm going up to my aunts cabin on Mille Lacs with my outcast cousins - we are probably going to be bombed the whole time and sing lots of karaoke. This is our Second Annual weekend up North. I'm hoping to get some photos edited during the non-drinking hours so that I can come home and post them on my shutterfly.
On Sunday I have to be home at a decent hour because my little niecey-poo is celebrating her 2nd birthday! Can you believe it? I'm so excited, for the whole weekend!
The week days are generally spent running around doing whatever random thing I find to do- sometimes that means hitting up B-dubs for wings (which I don't think I've done in July at all!!) - Big Brother started on the 9th, so I'm trying to watch that AND watch the feeds and chat (which has not been going well as I've been gone a lot) - work is super busy so I don't have a lot of time to write (which I shouldn't be doing anyhow, but I generally know what I'm going to write so it only take me 10 or so minutes to blog, with a good mix of work in between) - I'm still lacking motivation to take pictures, I think that has a great deal to do with having my camera with me for these exciting weekends, nothing 'at home' is worthy of being photographed! Other than that... I don't know what I've been doing!
I'll let you guys know when my shutterfly is updated and I'll try and blog a bit more often, maybe about Big Brother! :)