Posts Tagged ‘Canoeing’

Most Beautiful Place

December 10, 2010

Where is the most beautiful place you have ever visited? For me, Moraine Lake in Banff National Park in the Canadian Rockies is the most drop-dead gorgeous location in the world!

Its turquoise waters, tall conifers and snow-capped mountains will take your breath away and make you want to stay forever!

My husband and I visited this glacially-fed lake in June 2006. From the vantage point of the rock pile we saw both a small avalanche and a small forest fire high in the mountains—at the same time! Not something you see everyday—or is it, if you live in the Canadian Rockies?

Renting a canoe to explore this awesome lake was such a treat! I highly recommend it. We also had a lovely lunch on the outdoor patio of the Moraine Lake Lodge. If you have limited time in the area, skip Lake Louise and spend your entire day at Moraine Lake. I must return here! Maybe next time we’ll splurge and stay at the lodge. It’d be worth it.

Please do not use photos without my permission.

Peaceful Paddling

August 17, 2010

The Boundary Waters Canoe Area is a treasure chest full of lakes and rivers, islands and forests. We Minnesotans are fortunate to have a true wilderness getaway in our own backyard. A five-hour drive from the Twin Cities will bring you to a place where there are no motors. A place where you might catch glimpse of a bear, moose or wolf. A place where you depend on yourself and your companions. If you haven’t experienced the Boundary Waters yet, I urge you to go.

Video clip showing the tranquility of canoeing on Lake One near Ely, Minnesota

Tidbits of Minnesota State Parks

November 16, 2008

Some of the best things about each of the Minnesota State Parks that I have visited…

Afton

Get a workout hiking the rolling hills of this nearby state park.

Banning

Seeing remnants of the sandstone quarries makes hiking through this park especially interesting, as if the wild and crazy Kettle River wasn’t enough.

Beaver Creek Valley

This lush, green park in bluff country has fly fishing opportunities.

Picnic area at Cascade River State Park

Picnic area at Cascade River State Park

Cascade River

I love the isolated picnic area nestled among the cedar trees on the shores of Lake Superior. It’s a great place to relax for hours, gazing at this ocean-like lake.

Fort Snelling

The Mississippi and Minnesota rivers meet in this metro area nature retreat.

Bird blind at Glendalough State Park

Observation blind at Glendalough

Glendalough

Although I didn’t spot any wildlife, I think it’s cool that the park has observation blinds.

Gooseberry Falls

Walking amidst the waterfalls is great fun!

Interstate

This is the place to see potholes galore and learn about glaciers. It’s worth a trip over to the Wisconsin side too.

Lake Itasca

Lake Itasca

Itasca

I love canoeing with the loons on peaceful Lake Itasca. My favorite kind of lake is long and narrow, so Lake Itasca fits the bill with three separate “arms”. The giant red and white pines are the signature of this park.

The massive, rugged rocks of the St. Louis River in Jay Cooke State Park

Jay Cooke State Park

Jay Cooke

The massive, rugged rocks in the St. Louis River are a memorable site from the swinging bridge.

Minneopa

The double waterfall is the draw to this park, but I really enjoyed walking through the oak savanna littered with big boulders.

St. Croix

This is an all-around great park with 2 rivers and lots of trails.

Sakatah Singing Trail

Sakatah Singing Hills Trail

Sakatah Lake

Biking or walking the tunnel of trees of the Sakatah Singing Hills Trail is very pleasant. We also saw wild turkeys in the park.

Red pines at Scenic State Park

Red pines at Scenic State Park

Scenic

This park has the beauty of Itasca without the crowds. Hiking the Chase Point Trail along the high narrow peninsula is awesome if you love red pine and cedar, like me.

Split Rock Lighthouse

The lighthouse in the distance with birch trees in the foreground is a picture-perfect scene.

Temperance River

If you’re visiting the North Shore it’s worth stopping to hike along the river gorge and enjoy the many waterfalls.

Tettagouche State Park

Tettegouche State Park

Tettegouche

This park offers beautiful trails high on the rocky cliffs overlooking Lake Superior. I can’t imagine any better vistas of Lake Superior.

Whitewater

Believe it or not, there are no mosquitoes here in the middle of summer!

Wild River

Cross-country skiing is lots of fun here.

William O’Brien

On a hot summer day there’s nothing better than canoeing the St. Croix and stopping at a sandbar on or near Greenberg Island. My dog thought that running and jumping through the ankle-deep, warm water was pure joy, and I would have to agree!

I Love Limericks

November 10, 2008

There once was a dog named Spot
whose life jacket made him hot
His attitude was healthy
He thought himself wealthy
His red canoe was his yacht

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Sitting in a red canoe
What a splendid thing to do
Sharing the water with the loons
Paddling around without iTunes
Staring at the sky so blue

A Canoe

November 3, 2008
H is parking the new canoe

H is parking the new canoe

A few years ago my husband and I decided to buy a canoe. I dutifully did my research first—learning about gunwales and thwarts, tumblehome and flare. I didn’t even know the difference between bow and stern before this! We couldn’t afford the lightweight material of Kevlar, so we went with the next best thing—Royalex.

The criteria for picking out a canoe boiled down to what was the least likely to tip over. We test-drove some canoes at the REI and Midwest Mountaineering demos. We rocked the boat and leaned way over the side. If I screamed because we came too close to rolling over, that was not the boat for us. We went home with a beautiful red 16.5-foot Bell Northwind, weighing in at 63 lbs.

The canoe cost a little over a grand, but as they say, plan on spending double the cost of the canoe. This is true, because you also need life jackets that are comfortable and fashionable enough that you will actually wear them. Don’t forget about paddles, hats, dry bags, books, and the absolutely necessary roof rack.

A Roof Rack

Being very frugal, I thought we could get by with sponges and straps to carry the canoe on the roof of the vehicle. One of our first ventures out with the new canoe was to Scenic State Park, a 4.5-hour trip. Well, an hour out of town one of the sponges flew away like a bird and our canoe was hanging precariously on top of the minivan. We turned around and went straight to REI (my favorite store). After donating $300 to Yakima and spending 2 hours cursing each other in the garage trying to install this Yakima-thing, we were on the road again. Enjoying the outdoors is not cheap, but having a roof rack brings peace of mind.

Animosh Miskwaa

I would like to honor Native Americans by giving the canoe an Ojibwe name. I came up with Animosh Miskwaa—Red Dog—as a possible name, but I’m seeking something easier to remember, perhaps Waawaate—There are Northern Lights—since one of my lifetime goals is to see the Northern Lights. Any other ideas?

Favorite Costume

October 31, 2008
Two canoeists

Two canoeists

I must say that my favorite costume isn’t really a costume. This is how we dress in real life. Happy Halloween!