Minnesota! (May 2022)

When we were younger, we moved around quite a bit, mostly for school or work or because of changes in family circumstances.  Didn’t think too much about doing so – just went with the wanderlust and all that.  Even in Portland, Oregon, where we managed to settle for almost 20 years, we lived in two different houses.  So, when talk turned to moving yet again – primarily for family reasons – it didn’t seem like doing so would be all that hard.  Well, it was and it wasn’t.

Although there were problems, obstacles, and f**k-ups to overcome, and it all seemed to go way too fast, the mechanics of moving weren’t that hard.  It’s the emotional part that’s proved the hardest.  We’re still processing – and may be for a while yet – the swirling, conflicting feelings 😁😥 involved in leaving a place we loved for a place we hope to be able to love almost as much.

Because after a lot of discussion, overthinking, and soul-searching, we decided to leave Southwest Oregon and move to Minnesota.  Why?  Well, primarily to be nearer to The LovedOne’s family on the East Coast and in Texas.  Climate change adaptation and politics also came into play.  Another consideration – which is really all that interests this blog – is access to new trails and adventures in parts of our country we’ve rarely visited (if at all).

When we told friends we were doing this, they usually said: (1) Minnesota is nice but it’s so cold or (2) It’s really cold in Minnesota, but it is nice.  OK, it gets cold here. 🥶 We visited this February and, while walking out of the airport was a bit of a shock, everything was fine after that.  I suppose it helps (hopefully) that we lived in Colorado, worked in Alaska, and have done lots of outdoor activities in winter.  The LovedOne has also been knitting sweaters that she’ll now likely to be able to wear more than a few times a year.  Guess we’ll find out about that cold in due time – you betcha! 😲

What also amazed us were the connections to Minnesota that surfaced after we said we were going.  The LovedOne’s brother and sister-in-law used to teach in Minneapolis.  Carol, who I mountaineered with years ago (and who now lives in Sedona), had a daughter graduate from the University of Minnesota.  Our friend Heidi, who also now lives in Arizona, has family scattered across L’Etoile Du Nord.  Aside from sniping about the “cold,” almost all comments about the state were good – which helped put some positive spin on our decision to uproot ourselves yet again.

By arriving now, we’ve given ourselves a few warm(ish) months to romp around in before the travails of winter return.  We intend to make good use of this warmth…as soon as it stops raining. 🙄 The move isn’t quite over yet, so we’ll have to keep our exploring local for the moment.

To that end, we got a copy of 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles of Minneapolis and St. Paul (4th Edition, 2018) and a DNR Hiking Club book to take us (in time) to 68 trails at state parks and recreation areas throughout Minnesota.  And REI’s Hiking Project lists a lot of different trails both around Minneapolis and across the state.  Thus plenty of options to keep us busy outside.

Grander explorations to the Boundary Waters, Voyageurs National Park, the North Country Trail (which we touched briefly outside Fargo last year), and the iconic Superior Hiking Trail (which we did a short hike on in 2017) will have to wait until this move FINALLY ends! 😜

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12 thoughts on “Minnesota! (May 2022)

  1. Welcome to Minnesota! I moved here in early 2019 and my partner and I have been to 39 Minnesota state parks and counting. I’m looking forward to following your adventures!

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  2. I don’t know of any such trail and couldn’t find one on GaiaGPS. I suspect that the bottom of the canyon between the falls and the lake is a major bushwhack. From the top of the ridge northwest of the falls (42.31128, -122.54745), I could see the lake and it looked like it would be possible to descend the slope (for about 800 feet) from there to the lake. There’s also an old road approaching the lake from the north but I don’t know if it or any use trail from it actually reach the lake. Looks like you have a trail project to keep you busy! 😃

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  3. Thanks! Moving was a BIG decision for us too. There are a great many good things about Southern Oregon – unfortunately the growing levels of heat, drought, and smoke aren’t among them. We used to look forward to summer. Now it has become a season of concern and worry. 😧 Add family proximity into the mix, and here we are in Minnesota – with as yet unexplored trails and maybe some canoeing. 😊

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  4. Happy trail my friends. Looking forward to hearing about your new adventures.

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  5. Question for you, before you are neck deep in writing about new adventures. Do you know of a trail between lost falls and lost lake, inside the Bybee gulch? That would be a good trail project if it didn’t exist. Thanks.

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  6. Wow!!! I didn’t realize you were thinking of leaving Southern Oregon. It was a big decision for us to leave what we once thought of as the most idyllic place in this country, as you know. But life unfolds in unexpected ways, and it’s good to be open to change. Congratulations on a new life adventure!

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