Archive for November 2009

Pup ’n Boots

November 22, 2009

Restoring the Prairie

November 21, 2009
Lost Valley Prairie SNA

Lost Valley Prairie SNA

This fall I dodged raking leaves at home, but today I spent four hours raking twigs for the Department of Natural Resources. The reward was spending a beautiful autumn day outdoors. After raking down to the bare soil, we spread native grass and flower seeds.

Lost Valley Prairie is designated a Scientific and Natural Area with the purpose of preserving Minnesota’s diversity of plants, animals, and geological features. In this case it is a prairie on top of limestone.

The SNA Program’s goal is to ensure that no single rare feature is lost from any region of the state. This requires protection and management of each feature in sufficient quantity and distribution across the landscape.

Minnesota currently has over 140 SNAs, and wishes to have 500. Although SNAs are open to the public, they are not really parks, as there are no restrooms, trails, or major recreational opportunities. But you can still visit and enjoy the view!

North Dakota Landscape

November 16, 2009


The sky plays an integral part in wide open spaces.

Hot Water

November 15, 2009


I’m sure there are a million videos of the Norris Geyser Basin in Yellowstone, but here’s mine.

Wild & Scenic

November 14, 2009

Manchas enjoys a swim in the Chetco River of Alfred Loeb State Park in Oregon. This river is designated a national “Wild & Scenic” river with the intent of keeping it free-flowing. Portions of the St. Croix River in Minnesota/Wisconsin share the same protection.

It is hereby declared to be the policy of the United States that certain selected rivers of the Nation which, with their immediate environments, possess outstandingly remarkable scenic, recreational, geologic, fish and wildlife, historic, cultural or other similar values, shall be preserved in free-flowing condition, and that they and their immediate environments shall be protected for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Congress declares that the established national policy of dams and other construction at appropriate sections of the rivers of the United States needs to be complemented by a policy that would preserve other selected rivers or sections thereof in their free-flowing condition to protect the water quality of such rivers and to fulfill other vital national conservation purposes. (Wild & Scenic Rivers Act, October 2, 1968)

Roadtrip Campsites

November 7, 2009

Take a peek at each of our campsites during our roadtrip from Minnesota to the West Coast in June 2009.

Now that’s camping food!

November 3, 2009


Memaloose State Park on the Columbia River, Oregon, June 13, 2009