Saturday, November 20, 2010

Grand Portage

Previous post: Winter is Coming

Despite ominous clouds hanging over the lake this morning, it appears we will be blessed with another gorgeous day . . . time for road trip!

Grand Portage State Park has a new visitor center that our hostess/tour guide for the weekend is eager to show us. The facility is a partnership between the Grand Portage Band of Ojibwe and the state and will feature information on native culture as well as serving as a rest area and part visitor center.

Our hostess has also held out the possibility of meeting Travis Novitsky as part of this little adventure (I had discovered Travis’ amazing photos on my last trip up this way) and, indeed, Travis is working at the visitor’s center when we arrive. He is funny and unassuming (I suspect his friends and family wouldn’t allow him be otherwise) and it is a treat to get to meet such a talented photographer.

Of course, the real reason to visit here is the Pigeon River’s “High Falls” – at 120 feet, the highest waterfall in the state of Minnesota.

It doesn’t disappoint.

Winter is Coming

Previous post: On the Shore at Little Marais

Next Post: Grand Portage

Friday, November 5, 2010

Mixed Use in Saint Peter

For those of you who aren't familar with Saint Peter, its a historic town a bit south of the Twin Cities Metro. It's actually a reasonably charming place, despite the fact that the highway running through the downtown business district way out of scale with the surrounding development.

I was there today for a sustainability tour and found a lot to like -- the city is doing some innovative things to try to make sure it remains a healthy, vibrant place. Things aren't perfect there by any means, but it was inspiring to hear about so many things that are working, to know it can be done.

(I even found out why the highway is so ridiculously wide and, no, it is not Mn/DOT's fault!)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Dreaming of Travel to a Remote Corner of Vietnam

This week's New York Times Sunday travel section featured an article on the geologically and culturally fascinating Dong Van plateau in northern Vietnam.

It was recently designated a UNESCO Geopark, which is likely to make it a little easier to reach this remote part of the country (tucked up against the border with China). I'll hope it doesn't change too much too quickly.

And I'll hope I can get there someday to experience it for myself.