The past 2 days were probably the most relaxing days of the year so far. We went to Mille Lacs State Park and stayed at the Grand Casino hotel nearby. Mike and I didn't have any schedule or agenda (hard to believe, I know) and just did whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted... Including hiking, playing penny slots, taking a nap, playing bingo, and lounging around in the jacuzzi for way longer than is recommended.
Here are some of the highlights:
We fell in love with these bright yellow trees and found out that they're tamarack trees, a conifer that changes color and loses its needles in the fall. They really stood out against the evergreens and the bright red and brown trees.
Despite Mike's aversion to heights, we climbed to the top of this 100 foot observation tower to get a better look at the fall colors and the lake nearby. It was a little scary. And windy and cold.
We're laughing because it was so ridiculously windy and cold up there that we couldn't keep our eyes open enough for a picture!
Look at the view, though! Totally worth the climb. That's Mille Lacs lake in the background.
There were tons of birch trees there, with crazy multi-layer peeling action going on.
Here's our once-a-year cute picture together.
The Landmark Trail had all sorts of great info about the Native Americans that used to live along the lake and the Rum River there. We even could still see the depressions used to store wild rice hundreds of years ago!
And for those curious, from my tweet: Yes, we did end up bringing the crockpot along. It was super easy to heat up rice and canned dahl and saag! And it was so nice to have really good quality food after a long day hiking, rather than hoping for some plain potatoes and iceberg lettuce from the casino buffet (we did eat some fries from the casino, though!).
Thanks for all the sweet anniversary wishes!