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Month: August 2018

this great state

this great state

i’ve got four state parks left to visit. i’m thinking about my thing i want to send to the startribune. here’s a start! please comment thoughts, edits, what i missed. i’m not satisfied with my conclusion. halp!

i started in april at lake maria in the middle of minnesota with snow on the ground and an ambitious summer planned. i finished up my visits to all minnesota state parks and recreation areas in september, stopping at st. croix on the way home from visiting a friend in wisconsin.

so many people get caught up in their pockets of home, work, favorite destinations. so many people talk about visiting other countries regularly, heading to a coast every spring break, living the winter months in the southwest US.

but you don’t hear a lot about people visiting different areas of minnesota, how varied and interesting our own state is. i traveled across most of the counties during my summer travels, sat in the four biomes the state boasts (pretty good for a non-mountainous state), found the place where three watersheds diverge, and drove through the highest points in the state and the lowest. i watched fireflies blink from the prairie in june in the southwest part of the state and the milky way spread across my vision during a moonless, clear night in august in the northeast. from lake bronson to beaver creek, blue mounds to grand portage, man does minnesota have a lot to offer.

minnesota offers 76 state parks and recreation areas in all parts of the state, offering outdoor activities for all residents. and we do like our parks: every year, more and more minnesotans use the parks. unfortunately, the state congress has been underfunding the parks system. like education, the parks system used to get a large chunk of its money from the state’s general fund and the rest from fees, licenses, etc. now, only a fifth of its budget comes from the general fund. other funding at this point includes the legacy amendment, lottery money, licenses, and fees. at the same time, the parks want to increase its system. people want more groomed trails and acres in their parks, more people use them, and even still, funding is cut.

this means that fees continue to increase and the DNR reduces funding to more of the smaller parks, especially in rural minnesota. last winter, cross-country ski trails at 20 parks went ungroomed. while volunteers are readily welcomed, to do so means that liability insurance needs to be increased.

cuts will start to be made, with 34 parks on the chopping block (including grand portage, the the one at the very tip of the arrowhead AND the final destination in the most beautiful part of the state, in my opinion). this means trails go ungroomed, so much so that they may no longer be trails. campgrounds may be closed for part or all of the season. those 34 parks, of course, are rural parks in sparsely populated areas with fewer regular visitors.

these, of course, are the parks most vital to seeing the state and encouraging residents to get outside.

while i will happily pay more for camping and for my annual permit, not everyone can afford to or wants to do so. and i would encourage all mn legislators to step up and upkeep the parks system that we should be so proud of, the one that is available to ALL minnesotans.

but what i really want to encourage is for all minnesotans, especially those in the metro, to visit more of the lesser-known parks. head up to grand portage and judge cr magney – stop at grand portage national monument and sit at the edge of north lake superior, where the hills are tall and tower above the low-level lake and the milky way is visible as soon as you look up at the night sky.

find the restored prairies and bison herd at blue mounds, where you’re so close to south dakota that the wind whispers across the tall grass, telling you to go west.

step onto the swinging bridge over beaver creek, where the water runs clear over polished stones and watercress green in the current.

follow the mississippi river from its source (itasca is the crown jewel of the state parks system), through lake bemidji, schoolcraft, savanna portage, crow wing, lindbergh, lake maria, fort snelling, frontenac, john latsch, great river bluffs.

learn about the rise and fall of late 19th-century towns as the railroad chose to bypass both crow wing and forestville.

step onto the white sand beaches of zippel bay, hearing the waves of lake of the woods breaking on the shore at night a half mile away in the campground because it’s so quiet.

learn about this great state we live in; the parks are so much more than recreation. you learn about the history, wildlife, ecology, geology, and environment that make minnesota what it is.

there is so much to see in this state we call home. the parks are possibly the best way to see the state, so get out and see it.

mn state parks: some from the SE

mn state parks: some from the SE

after liz’s birthday party today, jane and i headed out before 9 a.m. to pick up three parks on the way home. you’d think that i’d’ve picked up all the parks in southeast mn pretty quick, but it’s been a while since i’ve been down there. so first we headed to beaver creek valley.

beaver creek valley

this is a pleasant park! like many others, it wouldn’t be a destination, but i would stop if i were in the area. we checked out beaver creek, along with a disconcertingly wobbly bridge that went over it.

it was also limited to one person at a time to cross. good thing it was short.

we didnt’ spend a lot of time at the parks today, but this one was nice. beaver creek itself was so clear and full of watercress.

at this point, the air was soup. it was really gross today as far as humidity and temperature. pretty happy to be driving most of it. after beaver creek, we headed over to forestville/mystery cave.

forestville/mystery cave

this park, like crow wing, commemorates a time gone by. forestville was a bustling little town until 1910, when the railroad decided to bypass it. the mieghan store was the only general store in the county!

here the buildings still stand, unlike crow wing. the mn historical society runs the tours, and we didn’t have the time or cash on hand to take the tour, so we passed on the tour. i did pick up a book on the geographical and ecological interesting parts of mn, so after i read it i’ll give you an overview. so far i’ve only read four pages and it’s super interesting.

as for the cave side of this park, i took a field trip in gradeschool to the cave, so we’ll count it ๐Ÿ™‚

lake louise

then we headed across southern mn into good old mower county to pick up lake louise, which is right down by leroy.

like east side lake in austin, this lake is manmade, a river dammed up to create some level of entertainment for the people who have no lakes. while i’m sure this park is nice for the people in mower county to have, there is nothing really interesting to me to return to this park. plus it was raining, so i hopped out, got my stamp and pic, and we took off.

myre-big island

we headed up MN56 to pick up I-90 right outside of austin, and after lamenting the fact that i should be a good relative and visit our peeps, jane smacked me upside the head and we got a move on. we headed to albert lea on lonely I-90, and stopped right before the I-90/I-35 intersection to pick up myre-big island.

this park was pretty interesting! we headed out across the big island (not really an island) and then the little island (also not really an island – possible causeway situations there i guess), then had a short gander at the actual lake.

this was a decent park, and i’ve always admired the parks that have stacks of canoes and paddleboards for people to take out.

now i’ve got FOUR PARKS LEFT. three down in southern MN still and st croix, which i’ll see in two weeks on the way to visit jenee. HOW EXCITING!

mn state parks: heading home from the NE corner

mn state parks: heading home from the NE corner

day three of this jaunt was always going to be a bear. i knew that going in, and even without counting for the 2-hour mine tour. i needed to get from the tip of NE mn to st. cloud – and pick up 5 parks along the way. turns out it wasn’t horrible, and it only took us 12 hours to get back to central mn!

no lollygagging that morning before breaking camp; we reheated leftover breakfast burrito/taco stuff and ate it quickly and using minimal stuff to wash. (i ate my taco over the dirt, which was good when it started dripping chorizo juice.)

we broke camp and got out of there a little after 8 a.m. and headed back down the coast. i told lori to stop for this shot or else i’d regret it.

i also wanted desparately to stop in grand marais and get the fog over the marina, but i spared us the cluster of driving in that area and kept the thought to myself.

we stopped in tofte again to fill up the gas tank and then headed up hwy 1 toward ely. time for MOOSE WATCH. it was morning and we were driving through some boggy areas. i was hoping to see some moose flinging its head up out of a marsh, but no such luck.

drove through ely looking for pasties (the food), but had the same sort of luck as moose watch. we did find a frozen pasty at the local grocer, but we didn’t’ have a microwave. instead we snacked at our first park.

bear head lake state park

this park was a local spot for people to swim and kayak, but it did have a GREAT trail center. there was a great ski-lodge-like building for hikers to rest with a giant firepit right outside circled with adirondack chairs. and guess what. there was a microwave in the trail center. *eye roll*

there were also a lot of trees down due to a wind storm in late july – local utilities peeps were working on clearing out some of the downed trees and branches on the road into the park. we didn’t spend a lot of time at this park, but i managed to eat a donut and lori finished up the chips leftover from the night before. we headed out to get to our scheduled 12:30 tour at the soudan mine.

lake vermillion/soudan mine

i made reservations for the mine tour at 12:30 and instructions said to show up a half hour beforehand. we made it RIGHT at noon. good job us. checked in, checked out the outdoor above-ground mine operation they had going on for a while, and then the items of interest indoors.

at 12:30, we met our tour guide and he started a 10-minute video on the mine. at which point i realized – DRAMAMINE. we’d be shuttling down a half mile in a rocking elevator and then sitting in a train for a while. oh lord. i didn’t need a repeat of HP world. so i ran (literally) back to the car, took my pill, and ran back just in time for the end of the video.

(lori and me modeling our miners hats.)

we shuttled down in the metal elevator that has a pretty awesome apparatus for getting up and down the mine shafts. there are two, and the weight of each brings the other up or down.

then we headed through the mine for a tour, learned about the horrible working conditions, and watched out for ghosts and bats. we saw neither, but that’s ok by me. i am severely glad i took the dramamine.

so it turns out that the iron in this mine is really good, pure stuff. which means it’s a little difficult to mine, but it’s an awesome percentage of iron. so i wondered why they closed the mine. well, with the advent of bottled air, getting iron out of taconite ore is a lot more cost effective than mining the much purer iron ore in this one. so now we get to take tours of the mines instead of mining the mines.

after our tour, we stopped in tower at another last-minute eating decision. we ended up getting some appetizers and then ice cream afterward. good food decision!

now it was time to book it down the state.

mccarthy beach

mccarthy beach was in a weird spot. i was going to pick it up a month ago on my week-long jaunt way up north, but it was just too much out of the way. so we had to pick it up now, and it was still weirdly out of the way. but what a nice park it was! the ranger pointed us to a short trail that ended up going to a small, peaceful lake.

it was in the middle of prime “up north” lake country, and it was a nice park that would be a great place to stop if nearby.

THEN. then.

google maps (lori haha) led us astray. google told us that we could continue on the minimum maintenance road and it would lead us back to our road, instead of going back the way we came (maybe 1/8 mile). well, after a mile of harrowingly driving through rocks, divots, potholes, mud, over small steep hills i feared i would get stuck on, we finally came out the other side. (this was about 3 hours after i told lori about my anxiety dreams involving driving up steep hills that i can’t get up. while we were driving over the minefield of this road, i exclaimed “this is my worst nightmare come true!” then maybe 45 miles down the road she started laughing and said “i just got the nightmare thing!”)ย well, we made it at least.

savanna portage

i was driving along when the dramamine finally hit me, so lori drove to savanna portage while i took a road nap, where we checked out part of the portages that the frenchmen used to transport beaver furs. we also predicted that we stood on the spot where the three watersheds in minnesota meet!

(portage trails. perhaps this is where a frenchman stood!!)

and that was it for planned parks. we headed down 210 to hook up to 371 in brainerd and were driving through ironton when i saw the sign for cuyuna, which i HADN’T visited yet. i was like, how far off the beaten path is that? after a 1-block navigational consultation with google maps, it was 3 MINUTES away. i asked lori if i could go check it out. it would be silly not to.

cuyuna country

so we headed to cuyuna, which is pretty much dedicated to mountain bikers. i wouldn’t mind loading up my bike sometime and checking out some of the tamer paths. there were no maps, unfortunately, and after looking and looking, NO STAMP. what on earth. no self service, no nothing. i took a pic with my passport in front of the lake just to show i was there and i was going to tweet the dnr to see what the deal was.

then lori saved the day! (and redeemed herself for taking me down the nightmare road.) she checked out the park map online and the ranger station was actually 5 blocks away in town.

(typical scene of me trying to figure out the stamp.)


then we booked it! over to brainerd then 371 to 10 and the backroads to avon. i think we actually rolled in around 8:30. lori headed out as soon as she could, and i lamented not taking the next day off work. (especially the next morning when my alarm went off.)


we visited EIGHTEEN parks this trip. so far i’ve visited 64 parks total. only eight more until my passport is full: beaver creek valley, forestville/mystery cave, lake louise, myre big island, rice lake, sakatah lake, minnesota valley, and st. croix. i’ll pick up a few of those next weekend after liz’s party, and when i visit jenee in september i’ll stop at st. croix.


also, i want to point out that the purpose of getting the passport and visiting the parks wasn’t necessarily to spend a lot of time at them. that’s why i’m picking up so many at a time. the point is to figure out which ones i want to go back to and actually spend time at. or which ones i’d stop at again if i’m in a particular area but wouldn’t make a destination of it.

i’ve already talked to my mom about visiting itasca next year and spending time there. i’d also like to stay at jay cooke again and visit grand marais. this has been a fantastic way to see the state.

mn state parks: the north shore!

mn state parks: the north shore!

now we’re getting into the meat of this! here’s the nice thing about hitting state parks on the north shore: they are all on the same road (for the most par) and one right after another. none of this zigzagging through the flats of nothing to get to a park. that sounds like i resent the remoteness of some of the parks, but i get why they’re all over the place. but still. NW mn is pretty sparse.

after an EXCELLENT breakfast of breakfast burrito/tacos and washing the dishes with my face soap, we packed up the tent, which now has a broken bag and we just shoved into the trunk willy nilly, and headed out on 210 toward duluth and the lake.

210. let me just tell you that 210 is the way to go. that’s a nifty little drive. we got to duluth and could barely see the lake because it was so smoggy. it was a little eerie – the lake just sort of blended into the sky, both of which were just smog ridden.

once we got past duluth, two harbors was only 20 minutes away, and we chose the scenic route instead of the expressway.

made a pitstop at betty’s pies for some deliciousness, daring to make a left turn on the busy highway (both in and out!)

(lori got maple walnut and i got blackberry peach.)


first stop was gooseberry, which was, predictably, packed. i understand that it’s right there on the highway and some pretty impressive falls, but i say that jay cooke was more interesting. but, that’s just me.

we checked out the gift shop for some tums (no go) and then took a stroll down to the falls, then hiking across the river and up the other side before heading across the bridge.

i love the clear water and rocky bottoms of the rivers and lakes up here.

we left gooseberry, giving ourselves a pat on the back for getting there relatively early; the parking lot filled up and cars were lining the road.

split rock lighthouse

so many of the photos of the lighthouse i’d seen were from the beach below. lori and i decided to pony up the $10 to take a tour of the lighthouse!

i made lori take a pic with one of the historical society dudes dressed in olde timey lighthouse garb. we went to the top of the lighthouse (30 steps), took a look around, came back down. we lamented the fact that there were people who were standing in the great photo-taking spots.

turns out she is as people-averse as i am! get outta my way peeps!

there was a caretaker’s home and a pretty good museum at split rock. we learned about SHIPWRECKS!! on lake superior and how the lighthouse came to be. then we thought about heading down to the beach to check out the lighthouse from the shore, but i stopped and said “WAIT. we probably have lots of chances to check out the lake from a shore. perhaps we should kick into quick mode a bit, since we spent a lot of time at gooseberry and now here.” we still had quite a few parks to get to.

(still smoggy.)

lori thought that sounded like a decent idea, so we said farewell to the lighthouse and headed to tettegouche.


i’m sorry to say that we did not spend a lot of time here. tettegouche was PACKED (not what we wanted to see). lori dropped me off at the door so i could run in and get my stamp and a map.

i was walking out of the ranger station when i noticed crosby-manitou shirts, which made me panic – what if i got there and there was no stamp? so i asked the ranger that question. AND WE GOT A MISSION FROM THE DNR.

the ranger said he’d heard the stamp was missing, so were we going there right then? i said yes, after this we were headed up there. HE ENTRUSTED ME WITH THE STAMP and we headed to crosby-manitou on official MN DNR business!

(how exciting.)


this one is slightly off the beaten path, but for a park that’s in the middle of a bunch of gravel roads, it sure was busy. the SHT runs through it, so there were a lot of day hikers parked there, i bet. lori and i took a short hike down a trail, and she hopped off into the woods to take a pee in the park (that’s her long-term goal – pee in all the state parks).

a group of hikers was coming in just as i exited the rustic toilet (hole in the ground – i ain’t afraid of ’em), so i asked how it was going. it was a hot, humid day, and they were averaging 6 miles a day. there were a lot of them though, and hiking as a group has got to be a little time consuming.

(looks like the SHT signage could use an update.)

i wouldn’t mind hiking the SHT but man it seems like a lot of work. anyway, at crosby, we dropped off the stamp. the ranger was right – there was no stamp there. i am so glad i asked, otherwise i would’ve had to either backtrack or hope the next park had a stamp. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

temperance river

temperance snuck up on us but was no secret – there was a pull-off on the side of the road for those with no park stickers to check out the gorge.

(ugh. i need to calibrate my lens on this new camera. this focus is ridiculous.)

since we had a sticker, we parked in the lot available and took the short hike to the gorge to check it out. it’s pretty impressive what water can do to a landscape. as always, mother nature wins.

at this point, it was almost mid afternoon and it’d been a while since we’d packed away the pies. in typical fashion so far this outing, we decided on food at the last minute and swerved into coho cafe in tofte. neither of us were particularly hungry until the food came, which we wolfed down. we both had a coffee to keep us up later (well, to keep lori up past 9).

a note here to talk about food on my camping trips. i always have grand plans to cook on a campsite when i head out, but when it comes down to it, i end up stopping to pick up a sandwich or fries or something. so that’s why we’re eating at places like crazy mary’s!

cascade river

cascade river was actually pretty cool. there are multiple cascades as the river descends to the lake. we took a hike up to check out the cascades.

super cool! the water is tinted brown from all the ore that’s in it. this park has five waterfalls and i get three in the pic! i have to work on my settings to make the water look more “flowy”.

at this point, it was time to book it because we had to get up to the border and then back. we drove through grand marais, which looked like the perfect oceanside hamlet with its marina and the still-foggy/smoggy lake smoothing out the waves. i want to come back the grand marais sometime to spend some time there.

as we got farther north, the land got a little more rugged (volcanic action), with more peaks and high points in the state.

then it was time for a national interlude….

grand portage national monument

to complement my pipestone stop, we stopped at grand portage to check it out. unfortunately, we got there JUST as the building closed, but we were still able to walk the grounds and learn about the grand portage. grand portage bay is beautiful! and a perfect spot for the canoeing frenchmen to make their landing.

what a gorgeous area! it was pretty quiet this far north, and we were on the reservation, so there were minimal urban areas.

i’d like to come back when the information center is open.

…and we still had some more of minnesota to check out! we drove as far as we could before the canadians needed to turn us away (lori said she didn’t know she needed to bring her passport; i don’t even have passport).

grand portage state park

this state park is combined with the welcome to minnesota and the US rest area. there is no camping, but there is a historical marker for the state!

(hello canada!) (again!)

we needed to backtrack, so we waved farewell to our northern neighbors and the gorgeous scenery and headed to judge cr magney park where our site was.

judge c.r. magney

this park houses the disappearing river! lori thought i was making it up, but at devils’ kettle falls, half of a waterfall disappears into a giant pothole. unfortunately, it’s a 2-hour hike to see it (and rugged, so says the info on the map), and it was already close to sunset when we got our tent up. so instead we had a fire, took showers (omg, it was warm, too, unlike brrrrmidji lake park), and then lori took a hammock nap to prepare for star pics. unfortunately, i didn’t take any pics of magney. but that evening, we headed out to look at the stars

the stars

when i made reservations for the north shore, part of my intent was to make sure i could get some decent astrophotography in. because light pollution is so bad down here, it’s hard to get decent star pics. and really, to see the stars in general. so the days i picked had a new moon that wouldn’t rise until early morning. i also made sure the park we were at wasn’t close to any of the little towns, and from there, i just prayed for clear skies. (i even had a backup date in case of bad weather).

THANKFULLY, the stars (ahem) aligned. the breeze even picked up in the afternoon and cleared out some of the smog. (some was still sitting low on the lake.) i think if there had been no smog, we’d’ve seen stars all the way to the lake, which would’ve been cool.

it was still pretty awesome. we left camp about 10:15 and headed to a little beach about a mile down the road (i had even scoped that out beforehand). we got out of the car and instantly could see the milky way. it was so spectacular.

holy moly, i am in love with these. i’d never seen mars so red in the sky! on top of the clear skies, no light pollution, and no moon, there was the perseid meteor showers going on!

i don’t know if it could’ve gotten much better. well, i guess i could’ve moved my gear down the beach and lined up the milky way with the trees on the beach, but i was so enthralled i didn’t even care.

a book recommendation to you: paul bogard’sย the end of night which talks about how light pollution is not great for people and how it’s ruining scenes like this.

and the longer we stayed out in the dark, the more stars we could see. i think i read in the bogard book that it takes a full three hours for our eyes to completely adjust to the dark, at which point we would be able to see a ton more in the sky. lori, who said she’d come to look at stars but wasn’t as enthused as i was, set up shop in her sleeping bag on the beach. when we left, she said she could’ve stayed out all night.



we headed back to camp to catch some ZZZs before heading out on the long day the next day. the last day included a mine tour and driving from the NE tip of the state back to st. cloud. whew!

mn state parks: up to the north shore!

mn state parks: up to the north shore!

i was tired of camping alone. so i ran through the people i knew who might be interested in camping with me and who were relatively obligation free. nate of course works overnights and it just didn’t work out. i asked my sister jane, but she couldn’t ask for a day off. so…hm… oh, my cousin lori! so lori came with me on my final camping park trip of the state park tour.

after a minor heart-stopping fiasco three days before when i realized my reservations were for sat and sun, not fri and sat, we set off saturday morning to pick up five parks, including jay cooke where we would stay.

off like a prom dress!

mille lacs kathio

our first stop was just on the southwest side of mille lacs lake (the second-largest enclosed lake in the state).

the big thing is the fire tower in the park, which you can climb to see the lake from. i went up one flight and decided that was enough of that. with my heights issues, i figured that was enough of that. lori went to the top though; unfortunately, it was really smoggy on saturday due to the canadian wildfires. so when she got to the top. she couldn’t really see a lot of the lake.

then we headed to the interpretive center (where we saw a loon displayed with its weird feet location) and then checked out the location where the dakota used to have their homes. they would have summer homes and winter homes – just a few hundred feet apart!

then the dakota were pushed out by the ojibwe. (another sad state of affairs for the dakota. good grief.)

we spent a lot of time at mille lacs, hiking through the park and checking out the stuff it had. it certainly has a lot of interesting historical and archaeological sites.

father hennepin

meh. lori and i both decided this was not the park for us. it’s just a glorified swimming beach more than anything. it was SO BUSY. we had to park along the side of the entrance because the lot was full. you can see the smogginess of the day in the pic.

we headed out, and it was time for lunch. unfortunately, there’s not a lot between father hennepin and banning! we kept looking out for something that would work, and finally found crazy mary’s restaurant in finlayson. we were worried that it would take forever and be really cold inside, but it was warm (yay!) and we were in and out in about 30-40 mins. pretty impressive! then not even 10 miles down the road was banning.


the first gem of the day! banning state park is a great park, getting the first “up north” vibe. there’s a river heading through it with a bunch of rapids that kayakers were attempting to navigate.

we hiked along a trail and then managed to get down to a lower part of the trail closer to the river. well, lori did just fine. i managed. gotta start managing better so ragnar isn’t so annoying.

(this was an easy trail down to the river. i can handle steps. it moved into rocky precipices pretty quick though.)

we both decided we would come back to banning to camp. maybe to rapids kayak, but that’s unlikely! there were also fat bikers on the trails, which is the first time i’ve encountered bikers in the parks.

then we had to take the interstate (wah). lori had a grand idea of taking the backroads through wisconsin, but it would’ve added half an hour to the drive. so up I-35 we went.

moose lake

if you are interested in agates, this is the place for you! neither lori nor i are especially interested in rocks, so we did a quick tour of the interpretive rock center and headed out. BUT if you are interested in the geological history and makeup of the state along with some extensive agate collections, this is a great place to visit.

back on the interstate, we were heading closer and closer to the north shore.

jay cooke

i have to say something and i might make people mad: jay cooke is better than gooseberry.

what a nice park! they have programs that you can attend in the evening (ours was howls and owls), plenty of trails, and a swinging bridge over the falls that they keep having to raise due to flooding (mother nature ALWAYS WINS!). we checked out the rapids and great rocky outcrops on the st. louis river. dipped our toes in a calm spot and wanted to dunk our heads (it was so hot and humid out!).

on the other side of this photo was a small pooled area of the river where people were swimming, and countless trails wound through the park. we saw some rugged superior hiking trails (next goal). Plenty of CCC buildings and structures. The bridge was a CCC structure that they’ve adjusted to accommodate the increase in bridge height.

i got close to the edge! kind of impressed with myself.

our campsite was in a great spot. i chose one on the end and there was plenty of space for the GIANT TENT i brought. i was so excited to get dressed standing up.

after we went for our hike and set up camp, we headed into carlton (funded by mr. oldenburg it seems) and stopped at street car kitchen and pub for supper. i ended up having a mexican honey beer with 8% alcohol content and lori drove back ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

i hung out in the hammock for a bit and lori hit the hay at 9 p.m. unfortunately for her, the people next door were kind of noisy, so when i rolled in around 10-10:30, she was still awake. ah, noisy tent neighbors.

overall, jay cooke is probably my second favorite park (so far). we are already figuring out when we can come back to camp at jay cooke!


so ended day one of the north shore excursion. next morning would be early with a long haul up the coast!

in case of the apocalypse…

in case of the apocalypse…

i’m reading “station eleven”, a book about a major health epidemic that wipes the majority of the population from the planet. enter apocalyptic world.

i read a lot of books that involve some method of the world ending, either by EMP or nuclear war or health issues, among many others. and for some reason, they are all very similar: humankind somehow devolves by 300 years. maybe 400.

which got me wondering:

in MY post-apocalyptic world, here’s what i think will happen.

first, if it’s something like an EMP attack or similar, i don’t think it would take long for some enterprising engineer or scientist or rando to come up with some way to fix the grid. communications systems might be out a while, but i think they would come back on eventually.

human population declines by quite a bit? people power not quite what it used to be? maybe there will still be enough people to have the wherewithal to check out utilities and other operations. if not and the world needs to rely on non-computerized operations to survive at the moment? well, the pony express was a thing. we used to have steam-operated trains. i can’t imagine that it wouldn’t be difficult to retrofit. and it’s not like LIBRARIES will go offline – get thee to a library and figure out how to get stuff done! our ancestors were an enterprising bunch even without the library.

now i’m not saying there won’t be issues, especially in metro areas. i can imagine looting and violence and hysteria. meanwhile, rural folks will pretty much have it made. farms nearby, resources, space to put in gardens. space in general.

i think the thing that’s slightly irritating is the helplessness of the situation. like a world without phones and lights and fax machines is one not worth living in so i’m going to throw myself into a lake. i think when the apocalypse comes, it will boil down to the resourcefulness and stick-to-itiveness of humans that got them to the point in the first place. like i said, we have all the knowledge! and people who know this stuff aren’t just going to disappear. someone just needs to get it done.

type As will thrive in my apocalypse.