the moment came: saturday, i finished up my list of state parks to finish with sakatah and rice lake.
i headed down I-35 and turned off at faribault to check out sakatah state park. the park is known mostly for its bike trails and the lake. it was a windy, dreary day, so i didn’t spend too much time at the park, just checked out the area where the lake access was: a picnic area and a solid restroom. the lake was choppy and the day was pretty dreary, like i said, so it’s hard to appreciate parks when the weather isn’t cooperating.
while i was stopped at the office to get my stamp, a couple walked in with a passport as well, with only 6 stamps in it. they asked how many i’d been to and were shocked when i said 71.
i was mildly shocked myself!
the guy who helped me out at sakatah gave me my second-to-last stamp and my certificate for a free night’s camping. there were a lot of people at the park, at least i thought so for the dreary day, which is a testament to how much the parks are used by locals.
(well, and not locals like me and the couple.)
then it was off to rice lake, which is a more picturesque park than sakatah, i believe. the trees are a little more towering, and the new fishing pier is a nice addition to the lake to get people out past cattails.
this has a network of great hiking trails, and the picnic shelter you can sort of make out in the photo above. i think in another week, the leaves would be great at this park.
i rounded out my trip with a stop at the rice lake park office, where i chatted with the rangers about getting my plaque and how i managed to get 72 state parks and recreation areas visited over the summer. the form went out in the mail yesterday, and i should get a finisher’s plaque in 4-6 weeks.
i think she wanted to take my passport and mail it to them, but i insisted that i got to keep it (i read the instructions thoroughly). i would’ve felt naked if she’d’ve taken it away!
i’m kind of sad this is over! but i’m happy i did it so i know which parks to go back to. and it really put into perspective the different areas that minnesota itself has to offer.