With the Minnesota vacation behind us we are trying to “find” our balance with our jet lagged bodies. After two years of hardly touching the water we now seem to be strengthening our under used paddle muscles.
Canoeing is all about balance. Balance in paddle strokes to smoothly get through the water. Balance with your paddle partner (maybe a good dose of communication would help here too) to know when you will suddenly move inside or out of the canoe, failure to do so can cause one or both of you a nice swim in the water.
Balance with nature. While in a canoe or kayak you are the closest you will ever be with undisrupted nature. Suddenly you are part of the story that going on all around you.
When things are in balance then wonderful happy things occur. Like running into a free concert at the State Park.
Sometimes practice on balance is needed or a reminder that maybe ego can be bumped.
We are now home in The Netherlands, new adventures coming soon.
We hope that each of you have found balance in your current lives.🛶
This year the excess water in Northern Minnesota has all lead to a record hatch of mosquitoes. Worst in 40 years, according to some locals in the Ely, MN area. Canoeing in the BWCA can be challenging with all the wildlife, but being prepared helps in our over all enjoyment.
Mosquitoes don’t bug me much but they love the European Hubby.
The one thing that my Hubby has never seen in Minnesota was a black bear and it has been at the top of his “must see list” for years. Each summer, when I still owned a home in Carlton County, I would report seeing black bear. I never would seem to have the phone ready to take a picture. When I was hiking, and would see a black bear, I really would just want to get out of the area as fast as possible. So, the Hubby thought maybe I was telling “Bear stories”. He is a “Must see it for myself” kind of guy. After so many years of doubts we can finally check that experience off the list!
The universe finally granted his wish of seeing a black bear with an additional bonus of three very cute cubs. Granted, I had to explain the difference between Yogi Bear and Smokey Bear to the Hubby, but to experience a (at a safe distance) Mama bear and three cubs for a good ten minutes before she finally had enough of roadside entertainment, was priceless. I couldn’t help feeling happy for the Hubby who was excited about the entire encounter.
Bears are a local attraction here in Ely. The North American Bear Center is located just outside town. We had already planned on visiting before we encountered the wild bear. I would highly recommend the center to anyone visiting Ely. The bear center contains a wealth that of information on bears, Northern Minnesota wildlife, and offers behind the scenes tours of the captive black bears housed at the facility.
I don’t get very excited to see deer in Minnesota, even the Hubby doesn’t anymore, as they are found everywhere. In fact several have tried to scare the heck out of me on this vacation as I am driving down the road. I can almost hear them conspiring as they see me driving.
“I heard she hasn’t really driven in three years.”
“hahaha, should we see how her reflexes are?”
“Oh, she is driving like an old lady this will be easy!😂🤣🤣”
“Did you see the look on her face? 😂🤣😳, she even yelled at her Hubby as to why he didn’t let her know we were about to jump in front of her! Soooo….funny!!!”
Yup, I am sure the deer have had tons of fun at my expense on this vacation, but then they gave back to us some special memories.
These wild experiences are priceless.
With our Northern Minnesota vacation coming to a close soon, it will be hard for me to return to our life in Europe. The peace of the North Country will hopefully follow us through whatever comes next.
We are paddling in Northern Minnesota and in the coming weeks readers will be able to read about our battles with the alternate Minnesota State bird. Until then…
Close to the start of this vacation we crossed the border into the neighboring state of Wisconsin and drove the backroads following the St Croix from Douglas County south to Osceola, WI. One would not think there could be so many instant Hummm… available. Here are some but not all we witnessed.
The restaurant Tippy Canoe is right next door and we had the best wait staff and loaded up on cheese curds. Thanks Bobbie for the wonderful service and conversation. Then we headed back to the hotel and it seems that the universe was trying to keep us in town.
I can report that we made it out of Wisconsin safely and we want to thank the State for the making us think outside the box.
We hope you enjoyed this addition to our Hummm… collection. Enjoy looking for surprises in life and Carpe Diem!