Saturday, March 17, 2012

Interstate State Park

Mom came to visit this weekend, and with the continued run of spectacular spring weather, we decided to do some hiking at Interstate State Park.  The name truly doesn't do the park justice--"interstate" would suggest that the park overlooks a well-traveled road; if that were the case, it would not have been my ideal choice for where to spend my Saturday afternoon.  However, in this case, "interstate" just means that the park crosses state lines, as it straddles the Minnesota/Wisconsin border along the St. Croix River.  (Unfortunately, each state manages its half of the park separately, meaning two separate pass are required.)

Over the course of an afternoon, we covered roughly ten miles of trail, and I squeezed in a short run (two days in a row!).  The scenery along the river was impressive, enough to make a person briefly forget that he's still in the Midwest.  And today's excursion provided an odd seasonal hybrid experience--the calendar said spring, the dead leaves covering the ground reeked of fall, the temperatures felt like summer, and the still-frozen lakes screamed winter.

All of that outdoor activity today left me exhausted and with limited time to spend on this blog post.  So I'm going to let the pictures do most of the talking on this one, with a few supporting captions...

The icy tunnel of doom.

 Evening shot of the St. Croix River.

One of the more painful parts of the run.

The St. Croix and Taylor's Falls, MN.

The completely obvious, unnecessary trail sign reminding hikers to turn left and remain on the path rather than plunge to their deaths over the cliff in front of them.

A reminder that winter isn't completely gone just yet...

Another shot of the St. Croix.

The minute you move away from the river, there's no mistaking the fact that you're still in the Midwest...

Some cool rocks along the trail.

Not a bad way to spend a St. Patrick's Day afternoon!

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