Autumn 2007


 Autumn 2007

Locations: Cable WI, Osceola WI and Woodbury, MN









You'd never guess that the above picture was taken within a half mile of a McDonalds, a hospital, a Pizza Hut, a fertility clinic, a golf course (complete with driving range), an Ace Hardware, an interstate highway, the Maplewood Police super double secret firing range and of course, an old folks home.  I almost forgot the Ramsey County Jail.  Gotta have one of those.  And I should also throw in the rather large apartment complex directly behind me.  Why do I mention this?  Because no matter where you are or live, no matter how developed you think the area you live in is, you can almost always find solitude and natural beauty.  Like the scene above.  Like the deer I spotted three times.  Like the rather large pile of animal poop with which my boot came in contact when my attention wavered for a split second.  Enough to slip on.  Which I did.  Please do not blame the deer as I believe she had nothing to do with it.










The area north of Marsh Creek Lake is the closet thing to a wide open undeveloped area within walking distance of the house.  It lends itself to panorama photographs like the above.









This was taken post-animal poop incident.









Osceola, WI, home to Cascade Falls, is a small, charming (yes, I said charming) community about an hour northeast of the Twin Cities... similar to Stillwater, MN and New Hope, NJ but without the throng of shops and people.  The falls are literally right in town -  the main road through town is to my left and the St. Croix River is no more than a half mile downstream.  To get the bottom, a very high set of stairs was built from the street level along side the canyon wall, giving it a certain non-Midwestern feeling.










And yea it shall be known on this day that we shall speak no more of the fabled poop incident of September 2007.  Okay, now that that is out of the way, for which I am sure you are thankful, we can move on.  Up until literally this day, our fall colors were rather lame.  But then, after week-long continuous rains, they finally popped.  So then naturally the very next day I had to fly to NY for a week.  Just my luck.










I took a Friday off in late September, planning originally to backpack with the kids but Brooke had a gymnastics meet that weekend (she placed second on her squad!).  So, I changed plans and took a daytrip up to Wisconsin.  But the part of the state I drove to had zero fall color.  Almost anti-color.  So, I changed plans again and drove to the Chequamegon National Forest east of Cable, about 175 miles northeast of Saint Paul.  This area, by contrast, still had some color remaining and it was worth the unexpected extra six hours in the car.  Five bucks to anyone who can pronounce "Chequamegon" correctly.










Okay, I'll admit it, this was taken in August.  Those sumac leaves are simply heat stressed.  My bad.  Sorry, it'll never happen again.









Back to Cascade Falls in Osceola, WI.









The first part of the trail in the Chequamegon National Forest to Morgan Falls and St Peter's Dome was in great shape like in the above picture.  After Morgan Falls though, the trail turned into less of a freeway and more of a real hiking trail, complete with toe smashing rocks and wet feet-inducing water.  It reminded me of the last six miles in Little East Fork Blacks Fork in Utah's Uinta Mountains although I suppose there is probably only one other person (hey Tim) who will read this that will know what I am talking about so you might ask yourself why I'd mention something that has literally no meaning and can provide no context for anyone save for one person.  Bewilder and confuse... that's what I do.










The pièce de résistance in Wisconsin this year was the view from the overlook on St. Peter's Dome.  This is that view in case you were wondering.  And if you were wondering further, the correct way to pronounce "Chequamegon" is sheh - quah - meg - en.  I think.








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