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Adventures in the Key of Fall

Meadow is like me and she needs to eat right after waking up. Apparently breakfast was taking too long for her so she snacked on dried apple scraps while she waited.

We didn't have any flour in the house, but had veggies so we made a greens omelet.

It's that time of the year again where we wait as long as we can before turning on the heat. Thankfully, whenever it gets cooler we have a few warm days after that. 

Meadow always starts with her grains. Can't blame her.

We all went to a walk and talk along 26th Avenue North to discuss how it connects to the Mississippi River in the future. The street is currently being reconstructed with an off street path. It's going to be sweet.

Meadow was getting antsy just sitting in the bike seat so I let her get out while we slowly walked down 26th Avenue.

Once you cross the highway the Northside shifts to an industrial wasteland.

I don't think I've ever gone farther than 2nd Street.

If you keep going you pass some industry, pass under a cement manufacturer's conveyor belt and you're at the mighty Mississippi.

The park board plans on connecting this dead end to the West River Road bike path and building an epic pier.

My bike is very off balance when Meadow is in the seat. Thankfully Will caught her a few times when I almost dropped her.

After some snacks we had to head home to get some painting done.

We could probably get all the trim painted in one day if Meadow wasn't around.

Then my brother Blake showed up. He was in town to see a musical on Glensheen.

You know, because he used to work there.

When Blake said he was coming he mentioned that he might go to Willmar to visit a friend the day after the show. Luckily for us that didn't work out for him and he was able to stay with us for a few days.

We decided to drive out to Wisconsin's Kinnickinnic State Park for some balmy fall hiking.

We played on the natural playground for a little bit when we arrived. We need to make some balance beams at the cottage.

It seems like every view of the St. Croix is spectacular down here.

Blake noticed on the map there was a path to the beach. 


I can't believe we didn't make it here all summer. This beach would have been awesome to swim at.

Meadow didn't waste time and threw some rocks.

Then we walked along the beach.

These folks had the right idea.



Meadow slowly walked behind us playing in the sand and collecting sticks.

Meanwhile Blake and I discussed our next hiking plans.

Onward!


Meadow just wanted to stay at the beach.

She was really lagging today so into the Ergo she went.

I bet this place is beautiful in the summer with all the wild flowers.

She trailed behind us for quite a while before we decided to put her back in the Ergo.

Sorry kiddo. You can't nap on the prairie.

Blake pumped us some water from the well instead.


Monday was even warmer than Sunday so we decided to kayak Minnehaha Creek starting at Lake Minnetonka's Grays Bay.

After learning that you could kayak the whole thing I wanted to check it out.

The weeds were so high here that once in awhile we would get stuck.

The flow was a bit low and the weeds and rocks were stopping us.

We trudged along fine until we hit I-494.

It looks like all we did was portage, but there was a big chunk of the creek that was kayakable.

Brooke managed to kayak the last 100 yards or so.

It's a good thing the guys decided to only go this far. Not sure how much more paddling we would have gotten in.

We got out at the historic Burwell House. I wonder how many awesome old homes were demoed in the Twin Cities' suburbs?

I forgot all about this place. Blake and I will definitely have to come back next summer for a tour.

Enough playtime, we had to go pick up the car.

Meanwhile I stayed back with Meadow running around the estate.

We were having fun playing in the leaves when the guys returned.

Uncle Blake sure is fun.

Since Blake was around for one last afternoon we drove down to Coldwater Spring just south of Minnehaha Park. It's part of the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area.

Emma had gone here recently and I was surprised I had never heard of it. Blake's visit was the perfect timing to check it out.

The paths lead down to the Minnehaha Off-leash Dog Park. We don't have a dog, but Meadow's good at scampering through the woods.

"Papa come in too?"

This was a bit claustrophobic.

She managed to talk us all into coming into the tree house.

I think we found another spot to go snowshoeing this winter.

Meadow has so much fun playing in the woods. There were so many different paths and directions to take. We let Meadow chose which way to go.

I think Blake's trying to tell us that there is a waterfall ahead.

A tiny waterfall that even Meadow can jump over.

Along with an old axel and wheels in the background.

Then we stumbled upon this awesome woodsy home. I expected to find someone in here.

I wonder who built this wigwam of sorts? I do know that Meadow was totally into napping here if we let her.


We kept hiking and hiking and eventually ended up at Fort Snelling.

After making our way back to the park we finally found what we were looking for, the springs!

Blake attempted to stop the flowing. The spring house was built in the late 1800's to supply water for nearby Fort Snelling.

I guess there really is a spring at Coldwater Spring. 

Beautiful place. Definitely coming back again.

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