Walleyes, Logging Camps and an Eagle Scout

7 Dec

Our trip back to Minnesota last weekend was very enjoyable. I was kind of bummed that there was no snow but I was happy that it was a mild 20 degrees, instead of a frigid negative 20. Seriously, giving up Denver winters is going to the hardest part about moving back (someday)… I never knew what it was like to enjoy being outside in January until I moved to Denver.

Anyway, our flight arrived Thursday night and Travis’ wonderful aunt, Cheryl, picked us up from the airport. We drove over to Nyle’s house (Travis’ uncle) to borrow his pickup and after chatting for 20 minutes and driving to Cheryl’s house, we promptly went to bed – by then it was about 11 pm, Minnesota time.

The next morning, we were planning on getting up at 6:30 but even though I set the time for the alarm on the clock in our bedroom, I didn’t actually turn the alarm on. Whoops. So we ended up getting up at 9:30. We were tired! It was really only 8:30 Denver time, so I didn’t feel quite as lazy and pathetic. I told Travis that was his birthday present from me (it was his birthday that Friday).

We got on the road about 11:00 to make the 3 hr, 15 min drive up to Grand Rapids. I read a Psalm in honor of our Advent calendar, we talked about where we’d like to live when we move back, and listened to Christmas music. And we had to make a stop at the Walleye in Garrison.

It was really windy and I tried balancing the camera on the car trunk but I decided I’d rather not get a picture together than have our camera break.

Finally, we got up to his parents’ house. We ate lunch, toured their finished gazebo (a little too brisk for comfort in December!), and went shopping for a new pair of shoes for Travis – his old ones were so worn that his toe touched the ground and got wet all the time. We also stopped by the liquor store for some beer and wine. We picked up White Truck Chardonnay and Yellow Tail Cabernet Sauvignon. I liked the White Truck, but not so much the Yellow Tail. We had steak and potatoes for dinner and for dessert, we had “strawberry shortcake” (with angel food cake instead of shortbread) for Travis’ birthday – his favorite. He is the big old 2-7. 

Saturday, we got up around 8 and had blueberry sourdough pancakes for breakfast – Travis’ dad has been tending a culture of sourdough bacteria (smells like beer) so he was the cook. They were delicious. Then we all piled into the car and went to the Forest History Center to tour an old logging camp.

These horses were named Bud and Mick – Budweiser and Michelob.

This was the sleigh that the loggers loaded with water to ice down the logging roads.

It was really interesting. I am always amazed by the fortitude and determination of people from the “old days.” They were fighters. On the way home, we stopped to look at Matthew’s Eagle Scout project.

He built a compost shed for the local food shelf. They often received donations of perishable food but couldn’t do anything with it, and then had to pay to have it removed because they couldn’t throw it away by law. So these compost bins save them money, and will provide them with great fertilizer.

Sunday was the day of Matthew’s Eagle Scout ceremony. After breakfast, we all sat around talking, waiting for it to be time to go over to the church. Then the activity of setting everything up commenced. We had a lot of help so everything, including the ceremony and reception, went very well.

I was the designated photographer. I tried my best to get good pictures with the dim lighting, and I think most of them turned out decently well.

Before long, it was time to head back to their house for the family dinner and gift opening. I got to see a lot of relatives from Travis’ dad’s side of the family that I hadn’t seen since our wedding, so that was good – even if it was a bit awkward at times  (because I didn’t remember meeting them in the midst of the wedding day blur). Around 6:30, we left to drive back down to Blaine. I was able to meet up with my best friends, Brittany and Holly, at Perkin’s. It was short but sweet and I loved laughing with them again. I really hope they still live in Minnesota when we move back (you hear that B?).

Monday morning, we flew out bright and early at 6:45. We arrived back in Denver to a temperature of 5 degrees and snow on the ground. Now that’s more like it!

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