Saturday, October 02, 2004

One Year Anniversary

What a difference a year makes! See how beautiful it is here.

Last year at this time, the land looked brown and deadfall was everywhere. We were just recovering from one of the longest dry spells we had had in recent memory and it showed.

This year, we had an over-abundance of moisture -- to the extent that the driveway was impassible most of the year! Also, the warmer weather stood longer this year from last.

We took the time to revisit the bluff down at the end of our driveway about a half-mile back that overlooks a bend in the river which has an 18 inch drop over stony rapids. There is a cute little island in the middle of the bend and a couple of caves undercutting the banks along the river. We were buzzed by several Eagles nesting and feeding in the area, thus prompting us to name it Eagle Bluff. It really is quite gorgeous around here!

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Sandstone Quarry

Dad and I took a trip into Sandstone today to get a glimpse of the quarry. It is no longer used as a source for the unique pink sandstone blocks that come from this region mostly because the businesses that owned and operated the quarry folded up long ago. Now it is a very nice picnic park situated at the base of some mild rapids and just up-river from the Hell's Gate section of the Kettle rivere where the Blueberry slide and Dragon's Tooth and other colorfully named water hazards can be found. Here is a brief slideshow of the park.

The creek was full and in some spots overflowing today and the pond on the meadow is very high. Everything is so green and overgrown we have to practically wade through the weeds and ground cover just to get anywhere. We plan to bring up the mower next time and get the grass cut and do some further clearing on the site later this month.

I took some photos down by the water's edge of the Kettle just below our camp using the binocular today, but they don't turn out real well without alot of touch-up work. I caught a great one of Dad doing a little fishing while sitting on a hummock over-looking the river. I also did a "green" shot of the view down-river. This is a touched-up image that highlights the green-ness that we found this trip.

Saturday, May 22, 2004

Spring Camping in the Northwoods

Is there anything as satisfying as a warm fire on a cool Spring morning just hangin' out with your brother in the Northwoods? This was our very first Spring camp out and man was it ever uplifting!

The quiet of the woods...The damp chill in the air...The Trilliums bursting forth like newborn babies. The creek was running and gurgling down to the pond in the meadow and the wildlife was everywhere.

Dan and I hiked all over the land on this trip and explored alot of the same areas that Dad and I had discovered. We even found a couple of deer-stands that Dad and I missed previously. There was abundant evidence of wild berries growing up there as well.

Aside from getting a bit wet when the tent failed us, it was an altogether satisfying trip.

Saturday, March 13, 2004

Picnic Table

Began building our first picnic table today (see picture inset). Got it nearly finished too. Just need to get a couple of planks for the seats. We've done this winter camping a few times now (just day trips) and are thinking about our first over-night. I can't wait!

After our day trips this past winter, we've been trying out the various restaurants in the area to see if we can come up with a few favorites. Today, we decided to go in to Moose Lake which is located about 20 miles north of camp. There is a restaurant there called the Blue Bear which Dad keeps mis-pronouncing as Blue Beer. Guess I'm not gonna let him live that one down anytime soon! Ha ha! Anyway, here is a picture of its interior.

Saturday, January 17, 2004

Eureka! The Property Is Ours

As of the afternoon of January 5th, 2004 the land is ours! Mom came up north with me while I did the paperwork so she could get her first look at the property. Hopefully soon, we will have a cabin so we can all come up and enjoy it together.

On January 17th, Dad and I came back up and made our first improvements to the campsite. We cut down some extra trees that were blocking the view of the driveway a bit and it allowed us to first open up the main camp area and second create a store of cut wood for the firepit. See the picture at the left.

We also created the first firepit on the property. One rule we are going to enforce is that no fires occur on the porperty without some sort of encloure. The timber is often very dry in this area and a fire would be enormously disastrous. However, a little simple forethought and common sense will allow us to be safe while still having a great time.

Additionally, we got a chance to get down to the river for a nice shot of that on a clear blue Minnesota January morning (see picture at the right). It really is so very peaceful here. I'm so glad we chose this spot.