Throwback Thursday: Great River Bluffs State Park

Last summer my boyfriend and I had a lovely adventure to Great River Bluffs State Park.

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The trails were pretty easy, and a lot of it was shaded which was nice. The weather was gorgeous and the views were absolutely stunning.

One helpful tip! Check yourself for spiders before you leave the park! Because there may be a chance that you will have one crawling all over you and then your boyfriend will have to smash it with an almost full cup of coffee while you’re driving so that you don’t panic and drive off the road. (WHAT A FUN TIME).

Great River Bluffs is a beautiful park, small yet totally worth the trip!

Hope y’all enjoyed the pictures.

Sincerely,

Meagan

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Throwback Thursday: Jay Cooke State Park

Back in October, I went to Jay Cooke State Park with my dad to go hiking. We planned on hiking around five to seven miles and then heading back to Duluth to watch the U of M Twin Cities and UMD hockey game.

Things definitely did not go as planned…

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There’s what we actually did, and yes, that does in fact say 112 floors.

Now that you’ve seen the aftermath of that adventure, here are some of the pictures that I took.

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So right around this point on the hike, we went a little off trail. I then sent this picture to my stepmom…

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And captioned it “guess what dad did…” Her immediate guess was that he had fallen and hurt himself because the last time we went hiking that’s what my stepmom did. But in reality my dad just decided to ignore the map and took us down into a giant ditch that we had to climb out of.

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I don’t think you can really tell from this picture but that’s a hill, and that’s what we had to climb up to get back onto the trail.

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Eventually, we stopped for lunch and ate at this really nice overlook.

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Then came the “fun” part of the hike. We decided to follow the loop around Upper Lake Trail and promptly started the too long trek that by the end of it I was definitely contemplating just rolling down the hills. (I actually would have done this if I could have gone back to my dorm to change before dinner and the hockey game)

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One of the highlights of the trail was how pretty the trees were. Absolutely gorgeous. I had forgotten my memory card for my camera that day so unfortunately all I got were iPhone pictures but I still think they turned out pretty great.

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There’s a panoramic view from the top of one of the numerous hills on the trail.

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On our way back to the parking lot we found this porcupine just hanging out in a tree. It was really cool to see one so close up.

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And there it is, the final picture. Me standing on the swinging bridge after this insane hike. My dad took the picture and immediately after we walked as fast as we could to the car so we could finally sit down. I had actually brought a change of shoes and was overjoyed to be able to put on fuzzy slippers and just sit down. I don’t think I got out of bed more than three times the entire next day.

I hope you all enjoyed my pictures from my very interesting hike through Jay Cooke State Park. I’ll talk to you soon.

Sincerely,

Meagan

Throwback Thursday: Sealife Aquarium

Junior year of high school I got a “rain check” ticket for the Sealife Aquarium at the Mall of America and I ended up waiting almost a year after getting it to use it. I literally used it three days before it was supposed to expire. So here is a compilation of some of the pictures while I was there!

Forest

This was the walkway in one of the areas.

Jellyfish Room Entrance

My favorite part of the aquarium would have to be the jellyfish room. This is part of the entrance. It had really cool lights and awesome “glowing” illustrations.

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The room itself had mirrors all around the outside so that it looked like it was a lot bigger than it actually was. It was also very dark and some of us (me) had issues with the illusion… I definitely almost walked into the walls multiple times.

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Here’s a better picture of the jellyfish tanks.

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The lights in the tank kept changing colors too, so it looked like the jellyfish were changing. Surprisingly all the pictures I took were when the lights were red/pink. I honestly could have stood in there for hours watching them swim around.

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There’s one last jellyfish picture for you.

Seahorse

One of the other rooms full of tanks had a ton of seahorses.

Coral and Anenomes

There were quite a few smaller tanks with fish and coral and anemones in them. These are always some of my favorites, such beautiful colors!

Now the main part that most people love to see is the tunnel. It’s basically a giant fish tank that you walk through. It curves up over everyone’s heads and you can see all the big fish swimming around in it. I tried to get as many pictures as I could while walking through there but most of them turned out blurry. It was very busy and very hard to hold not only my phone still to take the pictures but also hold still while people were walking all around me.

Here are the pictures I did manage to take.

Turtle

Here’s one of the turtles they have. I know a lot of the animals they have in this tank are rescued ones that were injured in some way and wouldn’t be able to survive on their own.

Shark

There’s the last picture I was able to snag! It was just laying on the glass right above us! Such a cool experience.

If you ever have a chance to go to this aquarium I highly recommend it, it’s small but definitely has a lot of things worth seeing.

Throwback Thursday: Itasca State Park

So I figured that every once in a while, probably once a month, I would make a post about some adventure that I had in the past that I haven’t shared on the blog before.

This first one is a compilation of pictures from the two trips I took to Itasca State Park this summer.

 

Our first stop, after the visitor’s center of course, is always Peacepipe Vista. The stairs down to this point are not the safest but the view is amazing! There are two hiking trails that branch off from this vista but I’ve only hiked the one to the right. It leads you to a boat launch near a campsite. I’d love to someday hike the other trail but usually my sister and I have to get back up the stairs so we don’t keep our grandparents waiting.

Another favorite of mine is the Headwaters of the Mississippi. We always stop off there after we eat lunch. It tends to be very busy so I don’t have very many pictures from this recent trip.

If you want to cross the rocks there remember to be careful! Any submerged rocks can be VERY slippery. I’ve only crossed the rocks twice because I don’t like doing it when other people are around; but walking through the water or across the small wooden bridge are just as good!

Also, it’s always fun to stand on the bridges and watch fish try to swim against the river’s current. I recommend that.

 Mirror selfies are always fun. (Sorry to my sister for posting this.)

Once we finish up at the Headwaters we get on to the Wilderness Drive which is a one-way road that weaves through the park and is so pretty. We usually stop off at the red pine, and white pine and look at those.

When I went there with my dad this summer he suggested that we hike the Blow Down Trail. Let me just tell you this now, DO NOT HIKE THIS TRAIL UNLESS YOU ARE PREPARED! They do not maintain this trail so it’s only about a foot wide, completely overgrown, and there are SO many bugs. At one point there were literally hundreds of mosquitoes on my back.

Now, this picture is of the Buffalo Kill Site, which is essentially just a swamp right next to the entrance to the trail for the formerly record holding red pine.   By this point of every trip it’s getting late and we are ready to leave so we head out to the fire tower and hike the half mile out and prepare ourselves to climb 100 feet up to the viewing tower.

The view is absolutely amazing from the top. I’m terrified of heights but I’ve climbed up there five times now and it’s really become a summer tradition.

It’s absolutely exhausting but so worth it in the end.

Once we climb down and get back to the car it’s time we leave the park. Someday I’d love to do more hiking there or even bike the trail through the park.

Itasca is a beautiful place to visit and it’s always a highlight of my summer.