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I Can See Clearly Now.

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I Can See Clearly Now…

Yesterday morning, rain clouds billowed above us, dark sky’s hung low, and the temp was a mere 68 degrees.   We packed into the Jeep any way, and headed to Minneapolis with Sermi and Ceelie as a visit to the zoo was on our agenda!

Leaving Hibbing in pouring rain didn’t even begin to dampen our “plans.” However, checking the weather report and radar on my phone a little further down the road did.

We continued with our travels until we reached Moose Lake and it was then I saw that Minneapolis was 70% chance of rain also.  I said to my husband, ” I’m wondering if we shouldn’t plan this trip for Thursday as the rain will have left the area by then.” We both were in question but after I mentioned , “how do you tell two 4 year old kids without a concept of time…  we are turning around.”

At this point my husband said, ” lets push through and go, we’ll find something to do.”

Reaching the cities, we encountered 93 degrees and full sun! We made our way to Como Zoo and as we walked in, the old song, “ I can see clearly now…” played on the loud speakers… as if they were singing  just for us!

Immediately I was reminded how much our morning journey had a spiritual parallel to it.

In life, we experience ” storms of life”, at times we want to turn back and give up, thinking we will never get through the storm we are in.  If only we will push through, there is paradise on the other side where sky’s are blue!

Our friends who knew our plans,  probably thought we were crazy to strike out thinking we would enjoy an outdoor activity with rain in the forecast! Little did any of us know, what waited for us on the other side!

 Como Zoo and a little Chucky Cheese made for a perfect day!

…click on the, “I Can See Clearly Now” link and take a listen to the song that greeted us; this song will forever encourage me through rough times.


Hiawatha and Minnehaha

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I love spontaneous road trips and I try to make the most of them with every opportunity. . . perfect endings to a perfect day is my cup of tea.


Driving down interstate 35 I was calculating in my mind how far Minnehaha Falls was from my friend’s house. I  wasn’t sure if we would have time to venture “uptown” and then down winding roads to the falls after we took care of her business. Surprisingly – we had about five hours of daylight left with nothing planned but dinner, it was then we both decided …let’s go!


Driving through “uptown” Minneapolis we dodged cars, made  u-turns, & stayed determined. And just as the sun was setting we found what we were looking for.

I hope you enjoy reading about Hiawatha and Minnehaha and their love for each other. How they lived along this river during the time of Native American history. 

            Minne (water) HaHa ( laughing)


Minnehaha Park is on the banks of the Mississippi, and about a hundred years before Columbus undertook his voyage, chaos and warfare reigned among the tribes. Hiawatha began as a solitary warrior, living in isolation until called to promote peace among the tribes of the Iroquois. Hiawatha became the founder of the Five Nations of the Iroquois, and his internal peacekeeping measures helped the Five Nations grow and prosper.



As we continued through the woods we could hear the rushing of water and smell the rankness of the forest. With the falls dropping from 50 feet high, down into a rushing river, white foam formed. Walking close to the river, my friend looked up and then shouted “look, there he is. . . Hiawatha!”  We both laughed and it was here she told me the legend of this native American man and wife.


Recalling the song I sang as a Girls-scout, I now knew of it origin.

“By the shore of gitche gumee By the shining big-sea-water At the doorway of the wigwam In the early summer morning
Hiawatha stood and waited All the air was full of freshness All the earth was bright and joyous And before him through the sunshine”


This is the legend of Hiawatha and Minnehaha.

Long, long, ago, in the days that are now forgotten,  West Wind wooed a lovely Indian maiden, but soon cruelly and faithless,  he deserted her and she died of grief, leaving her baby son Hiawatha, to the care of his grandmother, old Nokomis.

The story continues how Hiawatha met and married Minnehaha – the loveliest maiden of the Dacotahs ( a different tribe). Hiawatha believed with Minnehaha by his side she would help heal the strife between the tribes. Minnehaha rose up and took Hiawatha’s side, and said,” I will follow you, my husband.”

After a long cold winter, famine and fever came, robbing Hiawatha of his dearest treasure, his beautiful young wife.

Hiawatha dressed her in her richest garments and was laid to rest deep beneath the snow. And as Hiawatha watched the fire which was kindled at night on her grave, his heart was less heavy, for he felt their parting was not for long.

. . . as you can imagine the rest of this story Hiawatha also died.

Today – gone are the Indians – gone is the beautiful maiden – gone are the deer and gone are many trees.  Now, culture and civilization lives on. 



This turkey and a few others wander around

“The Old Soldiers Home” a few miles up the river.

AKA -Veterans home.

 Lake Minnetonka 05/08/12

Part 2 in “Timber”

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Okay-I did not plan on writing a “part 2” but I decided to let you know I found their ( the beavers) new home. I say “new” because apparently, according to my brother, the county is blasting the river to move these beavers – as they are re-structuring the flow of things.

Well-as humans blast -animals move…thus the reason they are now taking trees down at Carey Lake. Today I grabbed my husband and off we went on the back trails deep into the forest (that sounds good) as I wanted to see the bridge on the East side. Sure enough, this is where they are now building their new home.  Do you see how strategically these critters have placed the rocks? Very cool.

I’m not sure what happens next…will the city destroy this home? Not sure as it seems something will have to be done as they (beavers) are stopping the water flow.

Well, the upside of all of this – the lake will be high this year!



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A perfect Saturday morning for a walk to a nearby lake enlightened my senses to the coined term, “Busy as a beaver.”

This particular beaver had so many interesting ways, and is altogether so useful, so thrifty, so busy, so skillful, and so picturesque, that I believe his life and his deeds deserve a larger place in today and a better place in our hearts. You guessed it-a blog about what goes on at night just a few miles from where I live.

It looks like once this large tree was on the ground, the limbs were trimmed off and the trunk was cut into sections sufficiently small to be dragged, rolled, or pushed to the water, where transportation is easy.

His engineering works are of great value to man. They not only help to distribute the waters and beneficially control the flow of the streams, but they also catch and save from loss enormous quantities of the earth’s best plant-food. In helping to do these two things, –governing the rivers and fixing the soil,– he plays an important part, and if he and the forest had their way with the water-supply, floods would be prevented, streams would never run dry, and a comparatively even flow of water would be maintained in the rivers every day of the year.

I have often wondered if beaver make a preliminary survey of a place before beginning to build a dam…hmmm

Further down I came upon these…geese or swan – I do not know-but out in the middle they stand mating on the ice.



Sorry, I can’t write about this beautiful creature as I am just not sure what it is …

Word for the day: A live beaver is far more valuable to us than a dead one.

See ya soon-heading out to the East Coast and hoping to capture the moment right on time!

…a winter sunrise in Canal Park

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Living in Northern Minnesota most of my life I grew up with four seasons of beauty. I’ve always appreciated the fact we have spring-summer-winter-fall and perhaps this is why I stay. Four seasons –  what a plan God  had when He incorporated them into Minnesota!

As a child, I remember my dad packing us up for the weekend to fish smelt on the Lester River – thousands of people would merge unto this river leading into Lake Superior.  Each spring, the call went out when smelt – a tiny fish – swarmed by the thousands to spawn. When the fish came, hundreds of locals and visitors swarmed to scoop them up for smelt fries. Campfires burning for warmth – hip boots to keep dry –  fishing late until midnight. My family joined other families – we always went home with tubs of smelt.


This February day would be different. Up before dawn and on the road – coffee in hand-my girlfriend and I would take in a winter’s sunrise. Not just any sunrise – but a sunrise with rays that bounce off  ice – making it all the more spectacular. 


Entering Duluth we made our way down the 700 ft hill the city is built on. Soon we would reach our destination and watch a scheduled sunrise at 7:04 A.M.  Helping us arrive on time was the cooperation of  stop lights turning green –  we whizzed through each one. Frozen water and a pink sky beckoned us down for the opening act – a winter sunrise.

Pulling into a parking spot on a deserted lot with not more than minutes to spare, we grabbed our cameras and headed over to the rocky terrain. Damp air hit our face as our feet slipped on the wooden walkway . . .finding the perfect spot to shoot a perfect sunrise.

Sure enough – right on time – Gods handiwork peeked over the horizon and rose majestically into a pink sky. Breathtaking – magnificent-and moving  . . . we stood watching nature unfold its beauty.

Further down the shore, we found rocks covered in ice…proving once again – winters chill stops for nothing.


After standing outside in the elements,  we decided a warm, friendly, quaint eatery would be next. We found it in Amazing Grace Cafe’. The miss matched tables, chairs, and cups fit ideally. A perfect out of the way place to relax, and warm-up.

The food is nothing short of amazing and it’s healthy. The atmosphere is light and down to Earth. Located in the basement of the marketplace in Canal Park, you’ll find muffins-soup-bread-whatever you need to satisfy that empty spot in your stomach. This underground joint (in the basement of the DeWitt Seitz building) is the gathering place for hip youth and  free at heart. If you haven’t been. . . you need to visit . . .you wont be disappointed.

– you will experience the “Northern Hippie Vibe.”

For you out of towners : The Inn on Lake Superior– with an outdoor heated rooftop pool open year around will be your ticket! I’ve heard the only thing they over look is the lake ~

Check in again come April. I’m not sure which direction I’ll head – I’m sure to find something I haven’t seen.

I’m In . . .

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. . . in the “blogging world” again.

Some readers may remember me as – that title conjures up memories of days gone by. I have to confess I miss writing and giving my viewpoint on topics that are important – and seriously – (facebook fans please don’t take offense) – just writing a full sentence again feels right.

This blog will be about destinations in Minnesota and beyond. Places I’ve visited because of opportunity or out of curiosity. You can check out these whereabouts yourself – or you may decide to stay put. . . saving precious time and money.

Sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words, especially when you’re trying to describe places you’ve traveled. This blog will focus on documenting trips for the more visually inclined. In this digital age, I travel right and I travel light…and now you can join in the fun!

Photo journalism is a fancy name for taking pictures of places & people – and then telling about them. There is no set destination. I just go where my eye takes me, stopping along the way . At the end of it when I’ve shot 100’s of photos, I feel rejuvenated, in touch with life, with the world around me, and with my spirit. It is something that I feel. If I had to give it a word. I would call it passion and it keeps me going until the next adventure arises.

I hope you enjoy what you see . . . through my eyes.

I hope you are pleased what you read . . . through my journal.

You will find a monthly update with photos and a point of interest for each place blogged about. A bit of journalism and an honest opinion to places you may never go – yet on the other hand- may want to see yourself.

Watch for the next, “in this state and beyond” blog to appear the beginning of March 2012

Starting close to home is always the best place. . . the photo below is near. . . my own back yard.

Hibbing, Minnesota