Monday, November 12, 2007

a day off, a day together

It was the perfect formula. I had the day off, The Hermit had the day off, all of the kids were in all day school (finally), and it was a gorgeous day, weather-wise, for November in Minnesota. We hadn't had a day alone together in oh so long, so the plans were made. We headed to Duluth, my absolute favorite city in the world, and Park Point, my favorite place in my favorite city. I have written about Park Point before, I'm too lazy to link, but we've had some good days there with the kids, went to a totally fun music festival there this summer, and did some awesome birding there this fall.

I so apologize for the tipsy horizon in what was to be a perfect study in blueness. It's my camera's fault; I swear I had the guidelines lined up with the horizon. Anyway, ain't it blue?

We hiked a long way down the beach until we came to near the end, where there is a nice pine forest on the dunes. It was hard walking on the loose sand, so we took a break and just took it all in.

The pine forest contains an incredible lichen micro-forest. It almost looks magical. There are also plants like wintergreen, which typically grow on acidic areas with little topsoil.

We hiked back on a hiking/ski trail that runs through the pine woods. I had never been on that trail before, but The Hermit, in another lifetime, used to spend a lot of time there. He has seen snowy owls out on the end of the point. I was keeping my eye out for gray jays, having heard a few of them were spotted around Duluth. I didn't see one; in fact, I saw almost squat for birds. A couple of American tree sparrows were the highlight of my day. The shorebirds are gone, the ducks were few, even ring billed gulls were rare. But I didn't mind.

We ate lunch at a little Mexican restaurant, and perhaps regretted it. The special of the day was two tacos with refried beans and rice, but both of us could barely eat one taco apiece. Not that it was bad food, we just felt so full. And sleepy afterwards. I just don't go for quantity foods anymore.

Then a quick stop at the food co-op for organic greens and coffee, then a scenic drive on the bridge over the St. Louis River estuary into Superior, Wisconsin, Wisconsin being the home of the Green Bay Packers who routed our hapless Vikings 34-0 on Sunday. I don't follow football much, but I know this will be a major topic of discussion at work tomorrow.

We saw domestic freighters waiting out along the shore, and "salties", seafaring freighters carrying exported grain. I just love the excitement of living so close to the furthest inland seaport in the United States, seeing ships come and go. Sometimes I think I could live in Duluth. Lake Superior has a life of its own, always changing and beautiful.


RuthieJ said...

What a nice day you must have had. The lake looks so beautiful and calm. Hard to believe the 'gales of November' can change it into something so scary!

Anonymous said...

Next time give me a holler and I will go birding with ya.


momadness said...

Wow; sounds like a wonderful day!

dharma bum said...

Sounds like a great day Deb. And like a great chance to connect with your husband. :) Glad you guys had a good time.

I like Duluth an awful lot. I was there for the fourth time or so in the past couple months last weekend. It just seems to keep drawing me back. I think I could live there too.

eric said...

Hey Deb - The Mrs. and I also had the day off on Monday and also spent the day in Duluth taking care of our Christmas shopping. Isn't the new coop great?!? We were there around noon. I picked up some Serrano and Jalapeno peppers to facilitate my beer drinking. ;-) Sounds like a great day!

Thunder Dave said...

Deb - I responded the other day but I guess Blogger didn't actually load it! So, I'll try again:

It looked like that was a beautiful day. Also, I finally saw the video clip, the banjo sounded great!

Deb said...

RuthieJ- Believe me, it was the exact opposite of October 6th, the Birding Boat Trip From Hell! :)

Mike H- Thanks, I'll do that. I was thinking of driving up to Two Harbors to see the Inca dove, but we only had a limited amount of time and I'm not really into going out of my way to see birds that are out of their range. Maybe I'll make it up there one of these weekends. Or the Friday after Thanksgiving is coming up, and you won't find me at Miller Hill Mall shopping the specials! :)

Momadness- Yes, it was a wonderful day. That is, until the tacos threw me into a lethargic state. Or maybe it was the oatmeal stout I had with them. Naww, it had to be the tacos.

Dharma Bum- Let me warn you, having kids changes everything. You just don't have time for each other, but you have to make the time. And it's not easy.

Yes, Duluth has it all. And it has an amazing music community for a city its size: Trampled By Turtles, Low, Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank, Charlie Parr...I just have to make it to Sir Benedict's Pub on a Wednesday or Thursday night for bluegrass/Celtic jams.

Eric- We missed you at the coop by maybe an hour and a half! Dang it, I wonder if there would have been some blog recognition if we had been there at the same time. :) Their produce section is awesome.

Christmas shopping? Haven't thought of it yet.

Thunder Dave- Thanks. I have made a little progress since then, which reminds me...I should be practicing, not blogging! :)

Nature Knitter's Mom [Betty K] said...

Deb, I'm curious about the culverts and back-hoe that were on your road ready to work back in Oct on the 20th or there-abouts. Did you get them to stop? If not did you point out the damage they could do. I haven't seen anything since then and like I said I'm curious.
Nature Knitter's Mom [Betty K]

Deb said...

Betty K- Perhaps you missed this post: score: trout 1, county 0. I was pretty amazed I made a difference!

Nature Knitter's Mom [Betty K] said...

Deb, thank you for the answer to my question, and YES I did miss that blog, how I don't know. I went back and read it and I'm sure glad you did make a difference. Pat yourself on the back for that one and a HURRAY from me.
Nature Knitter's Mom {Betty K]