Monday, January 31, 2005

Lake Vermilion Weekend

I had a great weekend 'Up North". Lake Vermilion is roughly 4.5 hours North of Twin Cities. My parents own a cabin on Lake Vermilion. I have always though of it as 'our' cabin, as my parents bought the property when I was 12 years old. As I was telling co-workers that I was going to 'my cabin' I realized it is not mine, it is theirs.

The cabin has no road access. In the summer we park our vehicles at the local resort and boat approximately 2 miles to the shoreline. In the winter, a neighbor, who lives there YEAR ROUND (I can not fathom) plows a road right over the ice. I had emailed him previously to make certain that we could use his private road and could he please please please plow the road over near our shoreline so that it would make our trek that much easier. He was willing, and did a wonderful job!

We arrived at the cabin around 3 PM Friday afternoon. The ice road was fantastic. It was wide - at least 20 feet - and well marked. They have received over 5' of snow this winter so there were obvious snowbanks on both sides of the road. We hopped out of our vehicles and shovelled our way up to the front door. Our (their!) cabin sits atop a huge hill, approximately 1/2 mile from the lakeshore...we shovelled and shovelled and shovelled our way up..then some more to the sauna..the wood shed...the outhouse..eventually we were unpacked and in the cabin. Where it was 28 degrees F INSIDE of the cabin!. Yeah, welcome to Northern Minnesota.

Larry started a fire which had the cabin at a toasty 75 degrees within 3 hours...amen! Is there anything worse than being cold? Don put on a huge kettle of turkey soup that he brought along, I put together a loaf of bread for the breadmaker, dinner was ready before we knew it.

There were 8 of us who spent the weekend. We did many hours of snow show running. I brought Topaz, my trustee running partner along, he slept all the way home yesterday..I think he had a great weekend workout..

We headed on out with snowshoes Saturday morning, ran for 5 hours through the deep snow and made our way to the Vermilion Gorge, which sits atop the Vermilion River. It is a spectacular damn and waterfall. The water was running so quickly, it was around 35 degrees outside, and then freezing on the rocks. I have some really neat pictures I'll post.

We headed back to the cabin, near the lakeshore we cut out holes for ice fishing. I don't really care to sit and ice fish. It is not my thing. I and Topaz opted to run a few more miles up and down the ice road while they caught many many perch.

Pierre, ultra-runner magnificent- (he ran the 135 mile Badwater Ultra - through Death Valley this past summer AND the Grand Slam- 4 100's in 3 months...and placed in the top 100) fried up huge fish fry for us Saturday night.

Our neighbors up there thought we were crazy. Running, snowshoeing and Pierre brought his 'winterized' bike. He rode 100 miles in the Susitna 100 race (Alaska) last February. This February, he and Don are snowshoe running it..not only do you have to run the 100 miles, you have to pull a sled with 15 pounds of survival gear/food and water. Yowzie...these are the folks I spent the weekend with! They make me look quite moderate!!

My best friend, Bonnie came along too; she caught the biggest perch. A whopping pound, I'd say! (Bonnie is the friend who WON the woman's McNaughton 100 mile race that we are doing this April 16).

We went out for another couple hours of running yesterday AM before we cleaned up and headed on home. Sure was a great weekend!!

I indulged in some chocolate chip/pecan/cherry cookies that we baked up there, some homeade caramel corn and the fried fish. With all the running, my weight didn't creep up, THANK GOD! I maintained!!

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