Realizing that school is starting on Monday, I decided to pack up the kids and venture out again since I’ll be in class teaching again in just a matter of days. We headed east and stopped at Afton State Park on the St Croix river first. The beach you see in the picture was not easy to get to. It’s about a half a mile hike straight down and if you are pushing a stroller like I was the trip back up is painful. But it is definitely worth going down to. Just make sure you don’t pack too much gear unless you are really in shape.
This is the look Andrew gave me when I told him he couldn’t swim yet. For some reason I had it in my head that the next park we were going to had a beach but I was wrong. The website for Frontenac State Park says swimming nearby but I had no idea where “nearby” was. I could have stopped and asked but when you are on the road with toddlers you don’t make a lot of stops unless absolutely necessary and a beach today wasn’t totally necessary. The view however, was nice:
The park isn’t the most toddler friendly. Besides the height factor, there was a sign posted warning me of another danger- the timber rattlesnake. Um, no thanks. Another scary thing for me at this park was the dragonfly factor. Millions of them. I felt like Hunter S. Thompson in bat country. My slight phobia of things that can fly was difficult on the nerves, especially since I had to worry about rattlesnakes and falling off a cliff as well. I enjoyed driving through Red Wing and seeing what that town was like since I always wondered, but I think I will pass next time around on this particular state park. At least until my kids are a lot older.
Next we drove west to Nerstrand Woods State Park. I almost skipped it but am glad I didn’t. There was a slightly less horrendous walk than the Afton experience to get to the water here but it too was worth it. Along the way we saw all kinds of beautiful emerald-colored forestry.
Andrew was especially into collecting acorns. They are sitting in bowls out on our deck now. . . waiting for squirrels. . .
Andrew and I thought these were blueberries but we’re probably wrong:
The water wasn’t that easy to get to with a stroller but it was doable.
Here’s Andrew, blocking the waterfall with his arm…
I realized waterfalls are not easy to shoot.
On the way out, this red leaf caught my eye. Proof that school is right around the corner.