Wednesday, October 28, 2009

October weekend on the North Shore

I drove up to the North Shore on Friday, and it was rainy and windy the entire way.

When I got to Duluth, there was a strong NE wind, and the waves were absolutely rolling into the shore. It was enough to bring the surfers out by the Lester River. The parking lot by the river was filled with vehicles that had surfboards on top, and several people were in the water riding the huge waves. Yes, people surf on Lake Superior - in 38 degrees and rain, even. Minnesotans are die hards!

Snow on Saturday



That sort of set the tone for the weather over the weekend. While Saturday was very nice (sunny, mid 40's, and even a dusting of snow in the morning), Sunday and Monday were drizzly and overcast. Still, I managed to have a fun weekend with the family.

I went running on Saturday and Sunday (8.5 miles and 5 miles respectively). Both runs were rather nice with temps in the low to mid 30's. I saw one person over the course of both days, so I pretty much had the roads and trails to myself! Always great to go running in the North Country.

On my Saturday run



Mom and Dad fed me extremely well. Dishes included fish cakes (made with fresh Lake Superior whitefish...yum!), grilled ribeye steaks, and Dad's applewood smoked ribs.

Fish cakes with homemade tartar sauce, along side some carrots and parmesan-herb crusted new potatoes



We did make it out into the woods a couple of times. Most of the leaves have dropped, and there is a winter like appearance that is starting to settle in. The resident chickadees, nuthatches, and downy woodpeckers were out in full force. Many of the arctic birds have moved into the area, including scores of dark-eyed juncos, Lapland longspurs, and some of the first snow buntings showed up this week as well.

The birds are always happy to see me when I visit - photo courtesy of Dad!



The family was great, and my little nephew is really cool. He even sat with me and, for the first time, didn't start crying! One of the funnier moments of the weekend came at dinner when my Dad was cutting my brother's steak at the dinner table while my brother was trying to eat and hold his son at the same time. Welcome to parenthood, Brett!

Mom also sent me home with an unexpected gift. She is a wonderful quilter and made this beautiful Christmas wall hanging for me! How cool is that? Mom really does beautiful work, and I am thrilled to have this. Thanks Mom!

'Tis the season!



This was a fairly short weekend, but it was good to go home. I will be spending some extended time up here at Thanksgiving, which I am already looking forward to. :)

Until next time,

Jean
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