Lake Melissa and a few detours

This weekend we took a trip to Detroit Lakes for the Hagen family reunion. Last year was the first year we could go and it was a much smaller crowd this time. The “cabin” is on Lake Melissa for those of you who don’t remember it from last year.

We did a lot of the same things:


Taking family pictures

And we had a great time. Caught a lot of fish off the dock including some nice sunnies and a few bass. We ate great food and played lots of games with the Borgman cousins. But that’s not all…

So, I ran into town to get a couple of forgotten items at the Wal Mart. Fortunately for me, the Detroit Lakes Airport is within spitting distance and they happened to be having a fly in while I was there! So I stopped to take a few pictures and get some local info to help out with some Civil Air Patrol projects.


This one is for sale if you’re interested in the classic V-Tail Bonanza referred to occasionally as the “Doctor Killer”

And when I mentioned that Civil Air Patrol project, it basically involves getting information from as many airports as possible on availability of internet connections and resources for crews. When we have a good survey done, we can make recommendations for stop off points for crews to not only take a break, but also upload data that they are collecting as part of the mission. So… I really need to visit as many airports as I possibly can. We stopped at four other airports on the way home so I could “collect information” and of course just check them out for the fun of it. Here’s a couple pics:

Perham’s courtesy car is the coolest one I’ve ever seen! They did a great job making this one blend into the hillbilly landscape.

This safety placard is posted in the men’s restroom at Little Falls airport. Good reminder for all of us to heed.

See ya!

Potholes and Hippies

Well, okay. Not necessarily at the same time.

I was in charge of the kids Wednesday. All day. Me. So I needed to come up with something to do and of course I decided: road trip!

First stop was Interstate State Park in Taylors Falls. They had a tour scheduled daily that walked through the “pothole” area of the park with a naturalist explaining all the unique geology. So when we show up for the tour, nobody else is there and the kids and I basically get a private tour. Cool!

Andy the naturalist explains how the potholes were formed

There was a  lot of neat stuff, including chipmunks and frogs and even some tadpoles to see.

The view from inside the “Bake Oven” which you can walk down to the bottom of

There were some YMCA campers doing rock climbing as well. We ended up eating our picnic lunch in the truck because it kept raining.

So, we were so close to Wisconsin that we just had to go over there and get Mary some cheese curds. We stopped at a couple places along the way, of course.

Looking at some exhibits at the St. Croix National Scenic Waterway headquarters
The Hippy store where we got the cheese curds

This is the store we stopped at in St. Croix Falls to get the cheese curds. Russell wanted to get something and he picked out what he thought was some chocolate candies. Turns out it was made of dates and sesame seeds! Darn hippies!

We then took a drive down the Wisconsin side of the river and stopped at the Osceola airport (KOEO). Nice little pilot’s lounge, with wi-fi and two (that’s 2!) courtesy cars available to drive into town for lunch when you fly in there.

The kids decided to play checkers in the pilot’s lounge

Then we went up to Stillwater and walked around in the rain.

Quick bite of nachos at the Chicago Dogs store in the old sawmill building

After that we headed home. Nice fun day and as we like to do, saw a few new things. See ya!

The North Shore

We took a short trip to the north shore this weekend. We stayed at Gooseberry Falls State Park and camped there on Sunday night.

As you can see under the table, we decided to bring the dog. We soon discovered that this really limited our options on activities, primarily because he has separation anxiety. From any of us. Any time we walked away.

The kids went climbing around on the rocks at the lower falls

We also went into Duluth and even visited Sky Harbor Airport (KDYT) and Two Harbors Municipal Airport (KTWM). Check out the picture of Sky Harbor. They land sea planes next to it in the water and the ones with wheels land on the asphalt.  Too cool!

We’ve got a state park pass now and the plan is to take our brand new tent out a few more times this summer and get some stamps in our state park passport. See you later.

It’s fall!

Thanks for the public prodding, Mrs. Smith…

We made our annual apple orchard trip to Pine Tree orchard and brought auntie Barb and uncle Dan with us.


We got a couple of pumpkins (and accidentally broke one!) along with cider, apples and an excellent strawberry rhubarb pie! The pie is already gone, so don’t ask…

I also learned that when you bring your son in because he has a bad cough it is not a good idea to take a photo of him like the following one and send it to his mother:

Even though you think it’s kind of cool that he’s now talking like Darth Vader, it is possible she may interpret this as something bad and then become upset with you when you don’t think it’s a big deal. It wasn’t. All better now.

Did I say anything about us buying a pool? Well, we had one for a couple years that worked okay, but it was getting to be a problem putting together and taking apart. So we got one from one of my friends that he wasn’t using anymore and it collapsed. So we bit the bullet and bought a larger one that the kids had a great time with this summer. I still need to work on the whole chemistry aspect of it (big pain in the butt…) to keep it clean, but overall it was fun. Decided we were done with it and drained it about a month and a half ago.

So, I still have some work to do. Had some high winds here a week ago and it blew over. Nothing’s broken, but I think I need to do a better job of keeping on top of this.

And we are only 20 degrees colder in the great white north than they are in the swamp.

It actually went up a degree when I was getting the camera.

Playing Catch-Up… Hagen Family Reunion

We took a trip up to Detroit lakes a couple weeks ago for the Hagen Family reunion. Sue’s paternal grandmother is her link to the family and they have a big reunion every year on the shore of Lake Melissa.

It’s a very lovely cabin

The kids had a great time and probably spent more time in the water than they have in a while.

Russell taking a swim off the pontoon in the middle of the lake

Of course, the whole thing was a family event, and quite a crowd made it.

I think Sue is yelling at me to get in the picture… I almost made it

So we had a great time and plan to go next year. Our hosts were more than gracious and we didn’t have to worry about a thing. What a great time!