Heidi (in front) - The Staff to Rylie

Heidi (in front) - The Staff to Rylie
Heidi (in front) - The Staff to Rylie

Thursday, August 30, 2007


Besides seeing the bears, I had another wonderful experience while I was staying at Pelican Lake. I flew over the area in a small Cessna plane. It was really beautiful to see from the air some of the lakes in the area. We flew over Pelican Lake and the tiny town of Orr (population 249), Moose Lake and some other small lakes, Vermillion Lake, the town of Tower, and the Vermillion River. Unfortunately, the photos did not turn out very well, but I'm including a few anyway.

Orr, Minnesota

Pelican Lake and Orr (I stayed on the far side of this bay)

Vermillion Lake

The leaves are turning early this year because it has been so dry in Northern Minnesota, and this was really apparent from our bird's eye view. It's going to be really beautiful up there in a few more weeks. I will remember well how pretty it was up there and how much I appreciated this experience. It was the first time I had been in a small plane like that, so it was a special event.

Rylie's Notes:

Once again, I wasn't invited.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Pelican Lake, Minnesota

What is there to see at Pelican Lake? Bears, and lots of them! I went to the Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary, which is only about twelve miles from my campground on Pelican Lake. At the sanctary you take a shuttle bus to a large viewing platform where you can watch and photograph the black bears. They have workers that feed the bears seeds, fruits and other things they would find to eat in the wild, which is how they get so many of them gather in one area.

I was surprised to see how close these workers got to the bears, esecially because there were quite a few mothers with cubs in the area. Most of the cubs stayed up in the trees while their mothers ate, but there were a few romping around on the ground. There were probably close to thirty bears there in the hour or so that I was there. One of the bears was a very pregnant female, and another had only three legs. Apparently one of its front paws got stuck in a trap, but it still managed to limp around on three legs.

Three-Legged Bear

I'm still getting used to my new camera, but I did manage to get a few good shots of the bears. I really enjoyed this experience, and would definitely do it again.

Bear Hug

Mother and Cubs

Four Bears

Cubs in Trees

Worker Feeding Bears (Don't Try This at Home, Folks)

Rylie's Notes:

I didn't get to see any bears. I miss out on all of the fun stuff.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

New Camera

My Sister Julie, Me, Mom and Dad

I'm happy to report that I bought a new camera. I got a Panasonic Lumix 7.2 megapixel camera with 10 times optical zoom. The picture above is one of the first photos taken with it, but I'm still learning how to use it. I'm very happy with it so far. I wanted to get it before I head up to Pelican Lake in Northern Minnesota tomorrow, because while I'm there I'm going to be visiting the Vince Schute Wildlife Sanctuary, where you can observe and photograph black bears. From Pelican Lake I'll be heading to Ely and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. The fun just never stops!

Rylie's Notes:

I'm not thrilled about bears or canoes.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Minnesota Wild Rice

Every time I come to Minnesota I have to eat something with Minnesota wild rice. It's good stuff. One of my favorite wild rice dishes is soup, so I decided to make some for my parents' dinner yesterday. I bought some wild rice the other day, so I cooked that up and made some wild rice and chicken soup. Yum. My parents liked it so much that they requested an encore, so I guess I'll be making it again.

I also had to go dump my holding tanks yesterday and fill up the water tank, and my Dad came along to help. It turned out that it took two people to do both tasks because of faucet/hose problems, so I was very glad he came along. Not only that, but he replaced the rear brakes on my car yesterday. It's nice having Dad around! Mom too.

I thought I would include a picture of Rylie saying hello to the little ponies we see every morning during our walks. He really seems to like them, and they really seem to like him. They even interrupt their breakfast to come over to say hello, and he always insists on stopping there.

Rylie's Notes:

Those ponies are just my size.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Bear Country

Mom and Dad's Back Yard

After what felt like weeks of driving but was in reality only six days, I finally made it to the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Minnesota is really green and wooded, and my parents live just south of Duluth, up over the hill. The back part of their property is dense woods, as you can see in the photo, and they get a fair amount of wildlife through their yard, including deer and bears.

Yesterday we drove to the town of Mahtowa, where my brother lives, to have lunch at his house. When we returned, there was a message on the answering machine from the next door neighbor telling us that a bear had been on my parents' back deck while we were gone. The bear apparently was also trying to get to the bird feeders my parents have hanging outside the bay window on the side of their house. I was really sorry that we missed seeing our visitor, but maybe he'll be back.

I've been so busy having fun with family that I haven't had time to do blog posts, but I'll try to do better.

Rylie's Notes:

Bears, now that's something new and different. I was tracking the bear afterwards, and they are pretty stinky. I don't think I want to try herding one, though.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Minneapolis Bridge Collapse

In case any of you were wondering, I was not anywhere near the Minneapolis bridge when it collapsed. I do take Interstate 35 through Minneapolis on my way to Duluth, but I take 35E rather than 35W. I was planning to visit a friend of mine who lives in Minneapolis when I'm back there, and I have emailed her to make sure she is okay. My heart goes out to those poor people. What a terrible tragedy.

I am currently in Wyoming, slowly making my way across these huge states of ours. We had a big thunderstorm last night. I like thunderstorms, but Rylie is not too crazy about the noise. When we stepped out of the motorhome this morning we discovered we were in the middle of a mud puddle.

Rylie's Notes:

I didn't get much sleep last night with all of that racket. I think a long nap is in order today.