During the second week in September our family vacationed in one of our favorite places in the world--the North Shore of Lake Superior in Minnesota. The trip was too significant to our still-adjusting adoptive family to let the photos lie dormant in our computer. The week was like family glue and being able to look back at posts here on our blog will keep us thanking God for His goodness to us. So, even though I'm a bit late, here's the first in a series:
One of our favorite pastimes in this favorite place is hiking. On our first full day there we drove to Split Rock Lighthouse State Park. Before embarking on our hike, we hopped from rock to rock across a low spot at the edge of the bay to get to the small island below. This island, which is about the size of a football field, is only open to human visitors about four months a year, while it is preserved as an animal sanctuary (primarily birds) the other eight months.
When we got to the rocky shore on the other side, Amy found a divot just her size.
From the far end of the island we had a beautiful view of the century-old lighthouse, just across the small bay. Split Rock Lighthouse is no longer in use but remains a popular tourist attraction.
After circle the island on a trail that was only one person wide and sometimes precariously close to the edge of the cliff (okay, okay...the worried mother in me is showing), we headed off on a steep climb up Day Hill.
We went through a lovely birch stand.
Tatiana found a favorite trunk amidst the many options.
I huffed and puffed up the steep grade and struggled to keep up with my children and husband. When I came around one of the curves, I found two of the girls resting on a log.
At the apex of Day Hill is a large stab of rock that has only a slight downward tilt. Mr. Beaver found this a great place to get horizontal and enjoy the warm sunshine.
Daria (16) and Oksana (7) spent a bit of sister time in the same reclined position. They still communicate with each other primarily in Russian.
Daria didn't rest for long before she began exploring the strange landmark that tops Day Hill. A sign nearby says that the history of the fireplace is unknown. It's thought that about 100 years ago a young man built the large structure before proposing to a woman, who then reportedly jilted him. Her rejection kept him from building the rest of the house.
No matter what the story of the fireplace, Daria was intrigued and investigated it from all angles.
We'd been to the North Shore one other time since adopting our newest threesome. However, that was in January--not the best time for relaxed exploration of the great outdoors. This September trip was pure joy to Daria.
From the top of Day Hill, we had yet another fine view of the lighthouse. This time the building was much farther away, but my telephoto lens brought it close. At this point in our outing, we were above the landmark in elevation.
After the kind of rest only a vacation can allow, we began the hike back to the van.
Fall colors are everywhere now, but at the time these leaves were the first to hint of the coming season change.
At the end of the hike, Daria asked for the family camera and insisted on a group picture of the hike's straggelers.