The most fun you can have with a cold

Posted by Nate in Beer, Holidays/Birthdays/Etc, Weather, Wedding.
Monday, September 17th, 2007 at 8:52 pm

The honeymoon, as they say, is over.  Although I think "they" are usually speaking metaphorically, and in this case it’s actually over – literally.  We’re home!

And it was the most fun you can have with bad weather and two colds!  As you read last week, we aborted our put-in attempt at Sawbill due to wind, rain, and cold, and headed towards Ely for two nights.  pict0006-5.JPGKaren got her cold in Ely, and it unfortunately peaked in congestion just as we headed out and decided to go half a mile underground to tour the Soudan Underground Mine…  The 3 minute trip down the mine shaft resulted in popped ears and renewed sneezing, but it was a really interesting tour that gave me a much better understanding of the mining history of the region.  pict0009-5.JPGThere’s also a physics lab down there(!) where they run experiments with subatomic particles – the half mile of earth shields them from cosmic rays that would interfere with their instruments.  Pretty cool.

pict0104.JPGKaren’s cold had progressed and added a hearty cough by the time we made it to Scenic State Park for an awesome two nights of "almost camping".  pict0027-2.JPGWe stayed in a fantastic CCC-built cabin right on Coon Lake – no running water, but they had electricity and a gas fireplace(!) so it was nice and cozy.  We spent the days sneaking out for hikes and then returning to the cabin for Karen to recoup in her little sleeping bag cocoon by the fire.  pict0006-6.JPG(Karen had to stop for a nap on the trail during one of the hikes).  Overall it was a really nice compromise between hotels and the boundary waters – we got to cook our camping food, but also take care of Karen’s cold, and overall it was super relaxing.  We both powered through our books, learned to play cribbage, and enjoyed the amazing scenery and hiking.

pict0110.JPGFriday night neither of us slept well – there were mice running around in the cabin, and some bird outside decided to screech every time you’d start to drift off.  Really weird, I wish I knew what it was or what its problem was…  Saturday it was my turn to wake up with the cold as we packed up to head to Duluth.

pict0015-4.JPGThe first day in Duluth was great: a nice long walk on the boardwalk, lunch in Canal Park, shopped for some gifts, then back to the room for a quick round of cold medicine and ibuprofen.  Finally off to the Brewhouse for the finest beer they brew – their Anniversary Cherry Ale!  Karen had two of those and I sampled their cask IPA and an Irish Stout.  While I love the Brewhouse beers, I gotta say the Irish Stout at the wedding was better…  :)  Two games of Cribbage and some yummy food, and I was totally exhausted.  We watched some TV and passed out.

pict0004-13.JPGSunday was absolutely gorgeous.  We got a late start, then headed up the shore a bit for an amazing lunch at Nokomis, a relatively new restaurant just 9 miles from Duluth.  Karen had a really nice wine and I got to try Bell’s Batch 8000 – this year it’s a wheat wine, like a Belgian Wit but X2, really nice even with a stuffy non-stop runny nose.

pict0012-6.JPGWe mosied back to Duluth and took a harbor cruise on the Vista King, super nice weather and again, I got a much better understanding of the importance of Duluth as a shipping hub.  Pretty incredible examples of raw "industry" out in the harbor – huge grain towers, powdered cement storage, and an entire dock filled with enormous turbines for wind power.  Very cool, and we got to see the largest freighter on the lakes, the Paul Tregurtha. Oh, and Karen got a little trip down memory lane, since she worked for the Vista Fleet during her first smmer in Duluth as a college student. 

pict0117.JPGThen across the harbor into Wisconson for some more microbrews at the Thirsty Pagan — apparently they’ve been around since ’96 but we’d never heard of them!  Good beer, more cribbage, and we met someone who corrected a few of the rules we’d had to guess at.  But I was crashing fast so we headed to the room for a quick round of meds (and I power-napped on the floor) and back out.  We decided to do dinner at Karen’s old college haunt, Sir Benedict’s, where we had some delicious soup and sandwiches, free popcorn, and yet more cribbage.  For those keeping score at home, Karen was winning a lot early on, but I believe the final count for the week has me in the lead.

pict0128.JPGMonday morning we grabbed a quick breakfast at a local coffee shop, another of Karen’s former places of employment, then headed to the Brewhouse to fill a growler.  No fools, we decided to share a pint of their Cherry Ale – hey, it’s only served once a year!  pict0130.JPGWe took a quick spin up to Hawk Ridge and saw a few Sharp Shinned Hawks and got some up close views of a Kestral they had caught and banded just before we arrived.  Coooool.

And then… it was over!  I’m writing this on Karen’s laptop as we drive south on I-35, back towards life and reality — but with a few key differences from how we left it!  It’s been nothing like we planned, but it was actually really exciting to be able to improvise and re-plan so well, and still have such fun.

More soon, and we’ll try to set up a central place for wedding photos!

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4 Responses to “The most fun you can have with a cold”

  1. Rick Says:

    What a great post! So good to hear about your adventure and see the pix. You guys are great and the honeymoon is never over for good, it goes on and on as you have more adventures.

  2. Mary Jo Says:

    Welcome back. Wow, this sounds like a fantastic “Plan B”. So glad you had such a great time and so much to do–it was nice of Karen to share her cold with you, wasn’t it?

  3. steve Says:

    I’m too happy for you guys – this sounds great – even in spite of the colds. And I agree about the stout at the Brewhouse – the wedding’s was far superior (we stopped at the same brewhouse on our way back, but the Cherry Ale was not yet available). I agree with Rick – the honeymoon should never be over. And reality and life is anywhere – BWCA, Minnapolis, Ghana, Nicaragua . . .

  4. troy Says:

    I am still so damn hppy for you both. Plus now we can play Cribbage! I tried to teach some people so I’d have people to play with and so far only Scotty learned it.