Sunday, August 29, 2010

Family Vacation 2010: Big Lake

We just got back from our 3rd annual family vacation up north. As usual it was so absolutely gorgeous up there.

Day 1
We picked up the rental car in the morning and then drove to pick up Trevor and his girls. I sat in the back seat with them. It was a little squishy but not too bad. We met up with the family near Hinckley (about half-way) for a late lunch.

Shortly after that, we realized that Chelsea (my brother's girlfriend) was driving all by herself since she wasn't staying the entire week. I offered to ride with her, so she wouldn't be as bored. ☺ It was very fun to talk and get to know her better.

We arrived late in the afternoon, after driving the 4-5 hour drive. We didn't do much that day. Just settled into our cabins. Relaxed.

Day 2
Trevor, Dan, Chelsea, Jeff and I decided to tackle the BWCAW via canoe. This is something we'd been saying we'd do every year! There is an access point at the other side of the lake from the lodge. We didn't make it very far into the Boundary Waters, but it was a lot of fun.

There were SO many water lilies and lily pads. I really wanted a picture.
Unfortunately, this was the best I was able to get.
Trevor kayaking into the BWCAW
Dan & Chelsea
Day 3
We drove to Bass Lake and hiked the trail to Dry Falls. It's not a very long hike, but it is quite rugged! Most everyone went on this outing. Most of those who went jumped into the lake, too. It was COLD, but the water coming off the falls was so very warm. Delightfully warm. It was so fun to go swimming in that big beautiful lake. And lounge in the warmth of the waterfall. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera on this outing (or just didn't take any pics).

Day 4
Another day for hiking. We tried a new trail. I can't remember which one. I think we  probably walked in about a mile or so. Rested for awhile, and then returned back to our cars and the lodge.
Grandpa pointing something out to the girls.
We didn't bring any water bowls for the dogs, so they got to drink right out of Dad's hands.
We had to cross a little foot bridge on our hike, so I made everyone stop on our way back to get a picture of all the hikers.
If you look real close up the trail, you'll see a speck of black. That's my sister. I wasn't really feeling the brisk pace they set, so I lagged behind with Sallie.
Soaking in the beauty of my surroundings.
 Also helping to prevent Sallie from getting tangled in everyone's heels.
Day 5
We mostly hung out on the pontoon this day. We had the pontoon all week, but Jeff and I hadn't spent much time on it prior to this day.
I love the look of the sunlight on Big Lake.
I found The Lovely Bones in the little lending library at the lodge. I was quite glued to it for most of the trip. I wasn't sure I'd like it but was quickly sucked in. I would definitely recommend this book!
Sallie lounging on the pontoon.
Day 6
Bass Lake was so awesome back on Day 3 that we decided to go back again. It was a very small group this time - just Jeff, me, Trevor, and Tatiana. This time we brought (and used) the camera.

View of Bass Lake from up on the hiking trail
Jeff the Conqueror
Bass Lake near Dry Falls
Rushing torrent of Dry Falls (taken while out in Bass Lake. We ♥ our tough camera)
The Falls were COLD and flowing at what seemed a mere trickle compared to just two days before.
It was a little disappointing.
Tatiana swimming
Clarinda swimming.
I don't know what it was but both times we went, I loved swimming so much that I just didn't want to get out.
(I think I swam more in Bass Lake in those two days than in Big Lake all the other days combined.)
Until I saw this guy. Then I was pretty much DONE with swimming (at least that day. in Bass Lake).
While we were swimming, Trevor was exploring.
He found the reason why the falls had shriveled.
A beaver dam.
Day 7
On our last day, the entire family took the pontoon out to an island for lunch. It was fun to hike around the island. The lodge has a camping site on this particular island, so there was an easy place to dock the pontoon. (The camping site was very nice as well: a mess tent for cooking and a couple sleeping tents with cots.)
Sallie rolling around
Mmm...there's the scent!
Guess I should roll around on it again.
Treva looking out at the lake
What perfect form!
Shortly after our lunch on the island, Jeff, Trevor and his girls, and I loaded up the rental car and headed back to the cities. Everyone else returned the next afternoon.

Until next time...we ♥ you Big Lake Wilderness Lodge!


Reuben said...

Awesome. Mel and I love hiking in to dry falls. Somehow, I always forget my swim suit so I've never gotten in the water. Bummer. It looks like you guys had a great time.

Clarinda said...

The hike to Dry Falls is so beautiful! This is the 2nd year we went, and both times we just hiked in and out. I'd like to spend more time in the park. Next time, you should both definitely remember your swim suits - especially if there is NO beaver dam. It's seriously one of the greatest lakes for swimming (my opinion, of course).


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