Bryant Lake Regional Park (Eden Prairie, MN) 29-Jun-2022

Bryant Lake is a small, lakeside park located not far from our new (but 50-year old) home. This park is fairly small, but has lots of water-related activities, disc golf, and a few short trails (Hike #9 in 60 Hikes). It’s chief attraction today was it being between our house and the home store. As we left the house for our gazillionth trip to that store for yet more DIY stuff, we thought: “Why not stop at the park for an hour in Nature? That leak in our plumbing can wait!” So so we did. And it was good. 😁 And the leak went on… πŸ™„

On the paved trail
Such lushness! πŸ˜€
Bryant Lake with a full crop of Water Lilies
On the dirt trail
Marsh
A small pond hosting turtles, lots of frogs, and at least two muskrats
A fine day at the pond

We note that Congress has recently started hearings on whether UFOs are real (birds aren’t but them UFOs might be!). πŸ›Έ Nice to know that Congress has solved all of our other national problems and the only one left is worrying about UFOs possibly bearing space aliens. πŸ˜’ Or maybe Congress is hoping the Vulcans will show up and save us from ourselves. Whatever. πŸ™„ But we’d like to help by pointing out to that august body that Bryant Park is an official space alien landing site – we saw the sign that proves it!

Space Aliens Land Here!!
Alien or fern? YOU decide!

Later we got to wondering if space aliens might know something about plumbing? πŸ›ΈπŸ˜‰

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Crow-Hassan Park Reserve (Minnesota) 26-Jun-2022

Today was one of those days whose memory we’ll undoubtedly cherish come the dead of winter: cool, crisp, sunny, with artistic clouds, and a bug-busting stiff breeze. 😎😁 The sultry heat and humidity of the last few days was banished (temporarily) and the outdoors was once again a beckoning non-sauna. So, after consulting the oracle of our handy 60 Hikes guide, we chose Crow-Hassan as today’s destination. The possibility of walking along yet another a river is what sealed the deal here.

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Minneopa State Park (Minnesota) 22-Jun-2022

After lunch in New Ulm, we continued southeast to Minneopa State Park, with visions of bison and waterfalls animating our thoughts. It was now afternoon and the day was approaching hot (89℉ / 32℃), so it was just as well that the Hiking Club trail at this park is a short one. There are two key features here: waterfalls and bison. Our willful GPS took us to the waterfalls first. πŸ™„

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Flandrau State Park (Minnesota) 22-Jun-2022

From Fort Ridgely, we traveled southeast along the Minnesota River on Highway 21 to New Ulm and Flandrau State Park. Our automobile’s GPS then took us on a tour of the town (the old part of which is quite charming) before conceding that we really WANTED TO GO TO THE STATE PARK on the town’s outskirts and directing us there. Just a little reminder that one shouldn’t put unwavering faith in technology, particularly when navigating…πŸ™„

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Fort Ridgely State Park (Minnesota) 22-Jun-2022

The heat dome came, steamed us like an overwrought sauna, then drifted off to beleaguer the East Coast. For at least two nights, the temperature here barely got below 80℉ (26 ℃). Gag. πŸ˜“ Flashbacks to hot nights on the San Juan.

But we pushed on with our home repairs during the early morning hours and in the cool of the downstairs during the heat of the day. Doing so brought new meaning to sweat equity. But then a cooler, less humid day was forecast and we decided to down hammers and get on with our state park quest. πŸ˜ƒ

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Eastman Nature Trail (Maple Grove, MN) 17-Jun-2022

With the next heat dome rolling toward us, we found ourselves wedged between doing a hike or doing more house repairs. We compromised by doing a short hike in the cool of the morning followed by yet another visit in the afternoon to the (air conditioned) home store (OK, take all our money – just give us a box of nails!) So, for the next few days we’ll do repairs in the morning and grill dinner on the furnace-like sidewalk in the afternoon. πŸ˜‰ Meanwhile, back in Oregon, it apparently hasn’t stopped raining (and sometimes snowing) since we left. Ah, the irony of a changing climate. πŸ™„

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Willow River State Park (Wisconsin) 16-Jun-2022

Having heard seemingly endless tales about how cold it is (or will soon be) in Minnesota, we weren’t exactly prepared for the arrival of a heat dome. πŸ₯΅ We’ve been heat domed in Oregon and on the San Juan River in Utah and came away from those experiences half baked (if we weren’t already). But the heat dome here – although much more humid than out West – lasted for only a day. This time. Today and tomorrow were forecast to be sunny, breezy, and much less humid. But another, longer duration heat dome πŸ₯Ί is forecast to soon smother us. An aversion to excessive sweat suggested we put house repairs on hold and hit a trail (or two) while the weather wasn’t approximating the inside of a sauna.

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Wild River State Park (Minnesota) 09-Jun-2022

We returned from our Utah rafting trip in the early hours of Sunday morning to Sofie (our cat) and a mountain of unpacked moving boxes. Chin scratches and food mollified Sofie (momentarily) but those boxes were much more demanding. So we spent several days unpacking, building shelves, replacing light bulbs, cleaning, etc., etc. We soon longed for those days of yore when all we owned fit into a Volkswagen Bug and a Honda Civic. Sigh. πŸ™„

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Frontenac State Park (Minnesota) 22-May-2022

This week, we’re scheduled to move into our new, permanent (or as permanent ever gets with us πŸ™„) housing. Then a week elsewhere pursuing a rafting adventure. So our Minnesota state park quest will be on hold for at least a couple of weeks – plenty of time for the local mosquitos to work themselves into an anticipatory frenzy. But, wanting to get in one more state park before this hiatus, we decided on Frontenac State Park just south of Redwing.

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Sakatah Lake State Park (Minnesota) 20-May-2022

After finishing the Hiking Club loop at Rice Lake, we had lunch in Owatonna, then drove to Sakatah Lake State Park to finish today’s state park twofer. It had rained briefly at Rice Lake but the weather had now given up on that up in favor of increased humidity. Wearing rain gear just in case got us almost as wet as standing in the rain, so we packed it away. Usually at this point it starts raining again but today Nature spared us that bit of irony. 🀨

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