Saturday, July 26, 2008

Fargo, July 19th, 2008

2nd Annual
Chris McDougall Memorial Golf Tournament

How I love my family! My brother Dave and sister-in-law Rosie and their family have opened their home and their hearts to the entire family the past two summers as we gather in Christopher's memory. There can be no other better way to remember him than to gather for a weekend of golf, a sport he dearly loved, and to be together with friends and family. We had an absolutely wonderful trip. My brother Jim and his wife, Mary, invited us to their home on Friday evening. We had so much fun sitting out on their patio while Jim cooked great food for us. Brother Al makes one great potato salad, using an old family recipe. On Saturday morning, 56 people golfed at Edgewood Golf Course. Following the tournament, the golfers and many more met at Dave and Rosie's for a great meal and a relaxing evening sitting out in their beautiful back yard. The event was still going strongly when we left at eleven p.m. The "younger generation" had a big bonfire going and so I am sure they were there for quite some time. We could not have asked for better weather. The mystery is this: "Where are the mosquitoes that usually swarm around us in the Red River Valley?" All eight of us were together. I love my siblings with my whole heart. I can hardly wait for next summer when we can relive this event. Thanks, Dave and Rosie!!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Wild River July 6th-10th, 2008


We arrived at the park in the late afternoon and were greeted by a healthy crop of mosquitoes.
They were so happy to see us.

It didn’t stop us from setting up our outdoor kitchen, but campfires were not on our list for this trip. This first night, we grilled medallion steaks which we had purchased on our trip to Frontenac and froze for an occasion like this!!!


We drove over to Saint Croix Falls on the Wisconsin side of the river and found a great little natural food store and bought some whole wheat pasta and ground free range turkey for our dinner that evening. Wild River is such a beautiful state park, one of the largest in the state. We went down to the boat launch and also drove up to where the Sunrise River joins the St. Croix. This is a perfect stretch of river to float on a canoe. This fall, I will be ready for paddling a canoe for several hours, so we will be back then. And, there will probably be less mosquitoes then as well!!!


We set the alarm and got up early and headed down to the cities for my last appointment with my surgeon. He said all looked well and told me I should be back to full energy in three months. We stopped at Whole Foods Market and bought a bison steak and bison burgers for dinners for the remainder of our trip. Leaner and tastier meat you will not find. We drove back to the park and went on a long hike down by the river. When we come back in the fall, I will bring my bike, as there are wonderful bike paths throughout the park.

It sure is a good thing we have our good rain fly. After dinner on Tuesday evening, the skies opened up and we had a heavy downpour that lasted a good hour. We sat at the picnic table and watched it rain. It had been a long day,so lights out early in the camper!!


As seems to be the pattern on these trips, we took our time with our morning coffee. Just when I started to think about the day, I found I didn’t have to worry, as Paul had a plan. We set out across country, about 25 miles southwest from the park, taking the scenic route and found our way to the Helen Allison Savanna Scientific and Natural Area. This is an 80 acre tract of
land that is a Minnesota Scientific and Natural Area. These natural areas are not developed like state parks, but are set aside to protect the plant and animal life of the region. To me, they are interesting tracts in the middle of someone’s farmland that have been saved from “the plow” or “the axe” for some reason. The Helen Allison SNA is an excellent example of an oak savanna.(Helen was an author of textbooks about Minnesota grasses.) This activity might not appeal to everyone, but Paul and I love these hikes. There were so many different varieties of native grasses and wild flowers and no people. We spent a long time there and best of all, it is free!!!

When we returned to the campground in the afternoon, we spent some time reading and then played Farkel, a dice game Beth and Gary taught us.

Rumor has it Mary and Jim taught this game to them on a trip to Florida last winter. A great dinner of buffalo burgers topped off a perfect day.


We “broke camp” and just about made it before the rain started. The storm quit just as we
drove into the yard.

Our next trip is to Fargo in one week!!! Can’t wait!!!!! See you all there!!!!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

July 4th Weekend

Thanks, Beth and Gary, for a great holiday!

Paul and I arrived at the Fox’s on Thursday afternoon and were so happy to find Heather, Tyler and Caden there for the afternoon. It was great fun spending time with the boys (and with the adults, too!!) They are just the greatest kids and have grown so much since we saw them in December.

On Friday, Marlys, Paul, Kevin, Julie, Andrew and Matthew joined us. We had a wonderful dinner and sat out in the water on Beth’s floating island. Paul and I had so much fun getting to know Andrew. He really is a little charmer! He decided that day Paul is his new best friend. And, Matthew is one beautiful little baby. He does have quite a great head of hair. I just can’t believe we didn’t get any pictures of them.

As you can see, we did get a picture of the table!!! Marlys added a patriotic touch to her taco salad. Kevin brought homemade sausages and Beth made wine burgers.

We really were amazed at the huge number of fireworks displays that surrounded us that night as we sat out on the screen porch. The weather was perfect. It couldn’t have been a better weekend.

Saturday morning we headed back to the cities so we could prepare for our camping trip to Wild River State Park. One of these days we will need to spend some time at home! That’s what winter is for, I guess.