Monday, January 29, 2007

Kansas Day

January 29 is Kansas Day! This is the day that Kansas became a state, back in 1861. While not a native Kansan, in the few years I have lived here I have gained an appreciation for the wide-open spaces of the state. Kansas is not only home to many cheesy attractions like the world's largest ball of twine, and the world's largest hand-dug well, but also has lots of neat Oregon Trail sites, the northern most pueblo, one of the only remaining native prairies, some pretty amazing sunflower fields come August, Jayhawk basketball, and the geographic center of the U.S. So, perhaps it's not going to be the number one tourist destination of 2007, but it's interesting if you allow it to be. You can sing the state song "Home on the Range" while checking out these photos from past road trips around the state.

Supposedly this canyon used to be used as a hideout for wild-west types like Wild Bill Hickok

The Garden of Eden in Lucas, an homage to populist politics of the early 20th century, and grass-roots art.

Monument Rocks, which rise out of the flat land, formed by the ancient sea that used to cover the midwest.

Mushroom Rocks

Monday, January 15, 2007

Ski trip 1

In early January we headed up to the North Shore of Lake Superior to go skiing and snowshoeing (see the second post for more on the lack of snowshoeing). We stayed at Lutsen, which is great because of the ski-in/ski-out rooms. The first photo is the view from our balcony, ski trail in the foreground, Lake Superior in the distance. The rest of the photos are a sampling of our three days of skiing, we took a good deal of photos, many of which show one of us as a little blur against the snow, so I opted out of posting those here.

Ski trip 2

After three days of skiing, we had planned on going snowshoeing, but as the temperatures were really warm and there was not much snow (thanks global warming) we took a hike instead. We drove up the Gunflint Trail to Gunflint Lake, which was not even frozen enough to go out on, a first in memory for the locals we talked to! We were fortunate to see a group of deer while we hiked, and a wolf from the car. In the photo of the two of us the lake is visible in the background, and Canada is on the other side.

On our way back from the hike we stopped at Cascade State Park and walked up the trails to see a very nice partially frozen waterfall along the Cascade River.

In recent years it has become a tradition for us to stop at Betty's Pies in Two Harbors on our way home from the Notrh Shore. Not only is the veggieburger amazing, but the pie is delicious too.