Saturday, July 12, 2008

St. Croix Adventures

Yesterday our family embarked on a journey into the wilderness. Okay, we just went to a state park, but it felt eons away from the city. We went to William O'Brien state park on the St. Croix river to spend the day canoing, picnicking, and swimming.

Now it probably wasn't the smartest idea for two folks who have never so much as touched a canoe to decide to go on a 2 hour canoe trip on the windiest day of the year with two restless 8-year-olds...But we were feeling adventurous! So we rented a canoe, two paddles, and 4 life jackets and set sail. Except the sailing wasn't exceptionally smooth. It was more like frantically paddling upstream both ways, zig-zagging across the river so much that our short loop probably quadrupled in mileage.

Is there some secret to canoing? It looks so simple in movies and from my usual landlocked view. Perhaps Mike and I didn't have our rhythm right. Or maybe it was the kids deciding to STAND UP and both lean over one side of the canoe, sending us tilting perilously close to the water. Or maybe we had the boat backwards or something (is there a front?). Or maybe the wind really did make our trip be upstream both ways. Whoever we decide to blame, it was pretty stressful trying to keep going one direction and avoiding getting stuck in the shallow parts. But there were moments when we looked up into the trees and the sky and remembered, "Oh, yeah. This is really beautiful!"

It didn't look like a sunny day- in fact, it was downright cloudy with storms coming in that night. Both Mike and I got sunburned kinda bad, but the kids were fine with their farmer tans already established for the summer.

After we got safely back to shore we went to the beach and swam for a little bit and the kids worked on a sand castle. I layed on the beach and tried not to fall asleep. Then we found a shady spot to cook dinner and enjoyed some potatoes and refried beans alongside rice-veggie burgers. Oh, yeah- and chips and soda of course. No eating local today. {wait, that's not true. the corn chips were local and so were the frozen potatoes} In true camping style, we ate these out of paper cups.

We finished eating just as the clouds started rolling in and made it home before the biggest part of the storm hit St. Paul. And just a few minutes later? A tornado warning for our beloved park. We made it out just in time. Good thing we decided not to make it a camping trip!


Alice (in Veganland) said...

I'm sure canoing is pretty difficult. Sure, it looks easy when others do it, but I'm sure I would have some problems myself. But hey! it was beautiful and fun, wasn't it?

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a fun day! I am guessing the wind made your canoe trip more has been sooooo windy this weekend!


Erin said...

I think I've only been canoing for real once, and I remember the water being very choppy but the rowing wasn't too hard. I think there was some anti-canoing force at work for you.