Our first camping trip as adults was at St. Croix State Park in 2006. One of the most popular state parks in Minnesota, it was a favorite camping destination for my family when I was a kid. A relatively short drive from home with lots of hiking, bike and canoe rentals, and interpretive activities, they also had a little store in case you forgot anything. We decided this was the perfect location to test our camping skills and eagerly hit the road for the weekend with our borrowed gear.
Located on the Minnesota shoreline of Lake Superior, Tettegouche State Park is home to High Falls, Shovel Point, historic campgrounds, and stunning vistas. We were there on a warm spring day and hiked along the Baptism River, across the old suspension bridge, and down to the bottom of High Falls – the second highest waterfall in Minnesota. With the roar of the rapidly moving water and the sun on our faces, we stopped often along the trail to breath in the heavy smells of pine trees.
I remember as a kid being told that if my chin turned yellow when rubbed with a dandelion, that meant I liked butter. My chin was turned yellow more times than I care to admit before I realized that dandelions turned everything yellow. I can also remember blowing hard on dandelions gone to seed and making wishes, and I can remember counting the seeds to see how many boyfriends I would have one day.
I spent my college years living in a small, rural town in western Minnesota. Not only did this city girl learn the hard realities of life on the prairie where blowing wind could snow the town in for weeks at a time, but I also found Minnesota’s very own mountain range.