I started at Banning State Park and then headed south towards my campsite for the night at William O’Brien State Park. I have visited this wonderful Minnesota State Park many times and continue to find it an enjoyable park to hike, camp, kayak, and fly fish. Close to the Twin Cities and a short drive to one of my other favorite places Forest Lake this park is nestled along the St Croix River.
I started on 14 Sept on this trip and as I had every intention of keeping a daily log of my trip that soon went right out the window. Below is the first attempt to write.
It has been a whirlwind few weeks. Vacation in the North part of The Netherlands to traveling in the USA.
My most recent journey started at the end of September as I flew into Minnesota from Amsterdam. I took one day to pack my car with all my camping gear and suitcases. Then started my 1975 mile round trip journey along the Great River Road.
Hello everyone. Contrary to rumors of our demise The Cedar Journal is still alive and kicking.
The hubby has been working hard in the Netherlands in hopes that the 737 MAX starts flying again soon so our lives go back to normal.
I travelled the Great River Road from Minnesota to St Louis and back and those travels along with a full hummm file will be available in the coming weeks and months.
Currently I am posting this from up on high, yes from the KLM 787 Dreamliner at 37000 feet (11277m).
This a first for me.
KLM is celebrating 100 years as an airline tomorrow. The MSP departure gate today had it decorated in celebration with cake, stroopwaffles, cheese, and other finger foods. What a nice treat for those of us lucky enough to have a seat on this flight.
So congratulations to KLM and all the professional staff that work so hard to make it a great company. We hope you are around for the next 100 years as well.
©️ The Cedar Journal, 2019, all rights reserved
Today we changed location for the last time before heading for home. This last stop brings us to the National Park Weeribben for the Dutch Open Canoe Festival.
Since we haven’t paddled the whole week because of the weather we headed into the protective canals of the National Park. This place feels like home to us. We have spent thee years paddling these waters on vacations and just love the paddle friendly wilderness of this area.
We stopped made coffee along our route and talked to another couple here to enjoy the weekend.
Then the sky opened up halfway through our paddle. Not an issue we slowed and put our rain gear on. I stuffed my polarized sunglasses into the dry bag and continued paddling in the rain. Getting soaked is part of paddling and as the water started to puddle on the dry bag and then drip onto my pant legs (which were already soaked) I quickly picked up my dry bag and went and tossed the puddles water along with something black over the side of the boat! At first thinking it was the key to my bike I was very upset. Then realizing it was my glasses was still upset but more about my beginner mistake. I had not closed the dry bag when I placed my sunglasses in it.
It was a humbling experience.
The good thing is the rain stopped and we had a nice 7km paddle.
Now, on to enjoy our weekend and see some cool canoes and friends.
©️The Cedar Journal, 2019, all rights reserved
It seems this age old problem doesn’t just enter into my life as we are packing for our canoe vacation.
In the middle of the dark winter and non stop binge reading of the entire Outlander book sets, I convinced the hubby of a vacation to the Scottish Highlands.
Inverness is only just over an hour flight from Amsterdam. I booked our tickets and selected a week in June. I did a google map search of B&B locations that were located outside of town. I wanted quiet living. Found a place that seemed to be perfect on a small Scottish road. Only minutes from the Culloden Battlefield.
After reading reviews on their website and on Trip Advisor I booked the Daviot Mews self catering apartment. The apartment is only available from Saturday to Saturday and you must rent for the entire time. The price was what I felt was very reasonable for seven days at 450 pounds.
When we landed in Inverness last week our accommodations did not disappoint. The views from the apartment were wonderful Scottish landscape in all directions.
This 80 acre location was once part of a larger 400 acre farm that the owners decided to downsize. When they moved to the current location it was to improve/modernize the accommodations of the B&B to offer more comfort for those who visit. Their five star rating is reflective of the quality of service and the special things they do while you are staying at this country get a way.
We were welcomed to our self catering loft apartment by a wonderful welcome basket. It contained a bottle of wine, some chocolate, and strawberry preserves. The refrigerator was stocked with a small container of milk, a loaf of bread and a tub of butter. Enough to get started if we haven’t had made a trip by the local grocery before we checked in. It was a wonderful surprise.
Being a country location it had all the things that come with country living. This is not a place if you are not keen on the country noises of pheasants, birds, wind, or sheep bleating in the distance. The occasional lawn mower or farm tractor being used around the facility could also disturb an afternoon nap, just so that you know before you book.
If you are use to clean air your lungs will be at home in this location. You can enjoy all the clean air you want from your private deck overlooking a pasture of green.
We slept like rocks each night only to suffer from the extended time available to us as the days in Scotland in June are long. We hardly saw darkness. Waking at 0430 to the sun-shining in the window thinking we needed to be up, coffee, and out the door only to realize it was only 0430 and not 0700! So we took our time, slowly drank our coffee, made our breakfast, sucked in all the fresh morning air over a second cup of coffee as we watched the pheasant sit on the fence next to the deck.
We adjusted through the week to this new normal. A slower pace, longer days means more time to just relax, let the day develop into something special. We returned to The Netherlands refreshed.
In upcoming blogs I will go through our week of adventure and share some incredible finds. Others, we may keep secret as we don’t want them spoiled by the tour bus gangs. Scotland is incredible, magical, green, and harbors unexpected treasures.
Have you visited? What areas? What did you find most breathtaking? Please share your experience in our comment section.
© The Cedar Journal, 2019, all rights reserved.