BigWoods State park is a short 50 minute drive south of the cities. Its popular with photographers for it's wild flowers and large tracks of original growth hardwoods. They have a well defined set of hiking trails, mowed wide and reasonable length. Not too long or to short. Many parks have overly long loop trails like 8 miles or so. That could take close to 4 hours. Nerstrand has several 1 miles spurs so we link up Hidden Falls Tail - Beaver trail - Fawn - Hope Loop and that connect back to Beaver and we return on Hidden Falls for a 4.5 mile route.
Hidden Falls is the primary attraction and I'm sure it can be very impressive but it's almost dried up. I thought it was cool the way it was. I get distracted playing with the waterproof camera and seeing how the falls isn't more then a trickle I start making it more then it is.
I didn't hold my breath but I did put my camera down as far as I could to get these. I like both.
As a diver that enjoys local lakes I see this quite often but I don't carry a camera on a dive so maybe this is in some small way, a way to share what I see from under.
I think he enjoyed it. He liked running in the river on top a great deal.
Below: At the back of the Hope trail we find a table and take a break to heat up some Cider and have a small cookie snack.
The stove is a beer can stove. It burns alcohol. It's lit and heating our cider beverage on the left but you can't see the flame. I'm learning how to deal with that in daylight so this is more for learning then needing a hot drink but it goes down easy. Below: That stove is lite and has a 6 inch flame!
Lets get out of the wood and over to Lake Elmo for a scuba with my good buddy Terry and his lady friend, Cat.
I'm on the right; I don't recall why I'm so serious. I'm putting my glove on so that explains the odd pose.
Snacks between dives. Jerky, Nuts and Oatmeal cookies.
I jump off the back and lose my mask. I've jump off a boat 100's of times and today, I lose my scuba mask. Terry goes to find it, if he can in the silt about 26 feet below me. I float around for a few minutes and think, "How could I lose it?" and search around behind my head and find it! It caught on my tank valve and was between my tank and BC (that's a rig I wear to control my buoyancy). I go down to get Terry and after some confusing hand waves we are off to look around. We find a 22 inch plastic conduit that we believe is a gas line. We follow it for a few 100 feet but at 70 feet deep we turn around and follow it to shore. Its unmarked but there are two old post that must have held signs at some point in the recent past.
This is North Star Beer.