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A Duluth Dance Party and Savanna Portage Winter Cabin Camping for Brooke's 30th Birthday



While cleaning out closets I stumbled upon my old Gumby toys. Meadow took a liking to them right away.

We decided to bring them along on Brooke's birthday trip.

As a request for my birthday breakfast I chose Big pancake.

I split the batter into three skillets, but it didn't quite pop up along the edges. Still a delicious option for breakfast. 

Then we headed up to Duluth for the night. Blake was at work and his landlord showed up and said, "What are you doing here?" Then preceded to say "Oh fer cute" when he saw Meadow.

She is pretty dang cute.

When I told Blake we were coming he asked if we wanted to crash a birthday party with him. It turns out the birthday girls name was also Brooke. The party was to have a potluck and folk dance. Potluck and dancing? Of course we would would come.

Scott forgot our bag of food that had kale in it to make the kale chips.

It also had all of our other ingredients for cabin camping. We did manage to to bring the frozen chili.

 Both Blake and Scott agreed that I should bring taco dip instead. I would later learn that nobody knew what it was and didn't realize you dip chips in it. Crazy Minnesotans.


Scott was worried this was going to be an awkward college party. It turns out there were people of all ages invited. We had an awesome array of food to eat. And someone else brought kale chips, so I guess forgetting the food worked out in the end.

Beyond the potluck, the party also had a house band for some bluegrass square dancing. I didn't know that was a thing!

We may have joined in for a dance.

Then Blake's friend Justin showed up. With a bagpipe.

Meadow got along with everyone quite well.

When everyone was dancing Meadow kept wanting to run out and join. She almost got stepped on a few times. Finally the music played with no dance planned. Then it was Meadow's time to shine.

She took to the floor and did a little dance for everyone. Then a few of the dancers joined in.

After the first song she wanted more.

Blake always manages to take us to surprising and strange (in a good way) places.

Someone had put out some free books to whoever wanted them. Blake and I grabbed a few.

As we were leaving everyone sang Happy Birthday to me. I thought they were singing to one of the other Brookes. (I don't think I've been anywhere with two other Brookes) All in all it was a pretty great day to spend my 30th Birthday.

I hope we never get too old to sleep at Blake's. 

The next day Blake had to work early. Meadow must have been worn out, because she slept in, even with daylight savings time.

The weather was so nice today. We were a little overdressed.

We drove a slightly meandering hour and half due west to Savanna Portage State Park. This camper cabin is the only one in the park. We had the whole place to ourselves.

Once we unpacked we walked around checking out the place. 

We had worried that it may have all melted. It turned out there was still a good foot on the ground.

It was a little strange to think we were the only people here for miles.

Well, other than the day trippers and the park ranger.


It wasn't quite as warm as Duluth, but we did get some picture worthy clouds.

While we waited for our cabin to heat up and our dinner to thaw we quickly grabbed our snowshoes for a walk around the lake.

Snowshoers and skiers were relegated to certain trails. This park also has many snowmobile trails. It would be awesome to take Mr. Mike's sleds up here one of these years.


What side of the tree does moss grow on?

The north side.

The warming temperatures made the snow was so heavy. Meadow on my back it made it even harder.

It was really best to stick to the trails. 

Since this cabin doesn't have electricity I thought for dinner we could eat leftover soup. We had frozen some soup we made earlier in the week. I thought it would have thawed on the car ride over. Apparently not.

By soup she really means chili.

After breaking up the still very frozen chili Meadow ran out of the cabin. She's really taken to her boots and snowpants after not being able to walk in them earlier this winter.

Brooke bought me this awesome and very affordable Primus Trail Stove. This little beast warmed our chili in no time.

Chili and cabin camping is becoming a Brooke birthday weekend tradition.

Thanks to the time change it was still light out after dinner. We went out for another walk.

Meadow wanted to use the hiking poles, but we thought her sled would be a better option.


By the time we got back from our little hike it was nearly dark.

Our little lantern wasn't quite bright enough to illuminate the whole cabin.

It was good enough for a few games and a Brooke book reading.

Someone had left some books behind. I started to read one of them out loud, but Scott wasn't into it.

I'm not a big romance novel fan.

It wasn't a romance novel.

We put Meadow to bed and played some king's corners.

Meadow wasn't having it and joined us instead.

It was so dark at night that we waited until mornings to use the toilets.

Brooke has a fear of being in the woods alone at night. I can't exactly blame her.

Then we made some straight-from-the-box pancake mix for flapjacks.

I had to turn it down a bit, but our little stove did the job it was intended for. No more unnecessary morning fires for me.

I'm not sure Brooke was so impressed, but Meadow was happy. She's always happy with carbs.

It was so warm out today we didn't even need coats. We followed some trails to a historic marker.                      
I spotted a weird shelter and decided to go check it out. I think it was for backpack campers.

We just waited for mom until she got back.

We were the only humans to use this trail in what looked like awhile. We saw lots of different animal tracks. One looked it could have been a bear. Yet we didn't see any wildlife during our stay.

A few miles down the trail and we had made it to the Savanna part of the portage trail.

I love when I see Meadow's little footprints in the snow.

Back when there was fur trading going on traders would portage their goods from the St.Louis River to the Mississippi River. This trail connected Europe to the Gulf.

And much of the west via the Mississippi's many tributaries.

After our hike we ate the remainder of the chili. Meadow was intrigued by the tiny stove.

We had to check out of our cabin. Our walk took too long so we had a picnic by the lake instead.

"Don't forget me guys"

So long 20's hello 30's.

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