Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas 2006

Sunset on the Kettle River is quite spectacular! I think most wild places share that same allure. Here at the close of 2006, one day after Christmas, our Minnesota branch of the family enjoys the gift of a visit by our youngest brother/son. John came out to spend some time with us this year and what a wonderful time it was! For the first few days, he spent some time with Mom and with Dad and Ma while I was away in San Francisco for a brief business trip.

When I got back, he, Dan and I spent a day at the Mall of America shopping for Christmas gifts and dining at the Rain Forest Cafe (Thanks John!). It was a blast! Christmas Day came and there was much ballyhoo and opening of gifts, food, fun and laughter. It was a great day. The next day, John Dad and I went up to camp and we happily showed him all around the area. He and Dad did some pistol shooting with Dad's Western style .45 and we hiked to the prairie meadow and took a tractor ride all the way back to Eagle Bluff where John became the first one of our family to walk out on the island. We took loads of pictures (too many to be added here) before going back to camp to settle in for some foil fried Hamburgers over the open pit fire.

In the insert at left are just some of the activities described above. First there is me wading through the meadow like a prairie prowler. Then Dad and I take turns at chopping up some logs for the fire. Next we see the little wooden bridge Dad and I made a couple of years back covered in snow. And then John, holding up the wall like a young Atlas! There is Dad and John checking out their bullet clusters, and Dad pulling another Paul Bunyan with the logs.

But the picture at the right is the money shot. While focally it isn't a terribly good picture, it does highlight one of the main reasons why we have this place and why we love to come up here. We watched two eagles hunting and fishing for food along the Kettle just upriver from the Sandstone Quarry Park area. And here through the trees you can see one of them, roosting for a moment in a tree across the river.

Man! What a day!