Sunday, September 22, 2013

I'm in Columbus

Hey there, head on over to the ExplorationVacation and see what I've been up to in Columbus, Ohio. 

This blog is not being updated. Please visit ExplorationVacation for more great photos.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Moving Day!

This blog is moving!

Please visit the travel gal's new home at

All new posts will be part of the Exploration Vacation - come on over and check it out.

Moving is a messy business, so, while all of the content of the thetravelgal is being migrated, it will be awhile before all of the links between the posts have been migrated. Until that happens, please hop back to Exploration Vacation when you unexpectedly find yourself back here again!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

End of Summer at Leech Lake in Minnesota

We have the good fortune of having generous friends with a place on Leech Lake near Walker, where we joined them for the long Labor Day weekend.

Leech Lake is a large, shallow lake, ideal for fishing and water sports. However, its distance from the Twin Cities metro area (about four hours) limits the number of people who vacation here. There is still undeveloped shoreline and, even on a holiday weekend, there are seldom more than a few boats visible at any given time. It is a lovely, relatively quiet retreat.

Our friend’s place is at Trapper’s Landing, a resort that also offers various ownership options. It has a good location on the south end of the lake, with a scenic island just offshore and a nice beach.  
The resort has a variety of combination lakehomes/condos with a welcoming “north woods” d├ęcor, big windows and decks with lake views, and fireplaces. They would be comfortable in any season and a fine place to spend a rainy day! 
As a full service resort, it has just about anything you could want: There are fire pits behind the homes for late-night campfires (please put out the fire before you go to bed); a full-service marina with plenty of space for your own boat, along with a pontoon, fishing boat, kayaks, canoes, and speed boats (with a driver for water skiing, if desired); a heated outdoor pool; a sauna; bicycles; a full bar (often with live music on weekends) and restaurant; ice houses (for fishing). Resort staff can also arrange fishing guides and other activities, including scenic flights over the lake. There are also plenty of hiking and bike trails in the area for those wishing to wander a little farther afield. 
 Of course, while there is no need to just sit and stare at the lake, that’s a reasonable activity too.

2013 Trip Journal
•    Leech Lake from Our Patio
•    From Trapper’s Landing to Whipholt Beach
•    On the Water
•    Hiking the North Country Trail
•    Sunset from Our Backyard

Photo Thursday: The Last Day of Summer

Up North at the Lake   

Photo Thursday: Hilltop Barn in North Dakota

My recent trip to North Dakota was a chance to see some great old barns in various stages of decay. Here's one of my favorites.  
This is my contribution to Travel Photo Thursday at Nancie's Budget Traveler's Sandbox. Head on over and see what she's posted this week and then follow the links to images from around the world.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Photos for Sale!

I now have a website to sell my photos!  
 Check it out at and let me know what you think.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Photo Thursday: The Last Day of Summer at Leech Lake, Minnesota

All the signs have been pointing to the end of summer, but last Saturday was a perfect day to catch a bit of remaining summer sun at the beach.
By evening summer ended as a storm moved through, dropping the temperature by 30 degrees and whipping the lake into a frenzy of rushing waves.

This is my contribution to Travel Photo Thursday at Nancie's Budget Traveler's Sandbox. Head on over and see what she's posted this week and then follow the links to images from around the world.

More Northern Minnesota Lakes posts (coming!)

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Sunset from Our Backyard, Leech Lake, Minnesota

The clouds that have hung overhead all day break up just enough to allow for a wonderful sunset.  
 Don’t let the pictures fool you. This was no calm, quiet sunset. . . even as the sky lit up with soft pink reflections, the wind continued to howl. I was careful to maintain firm footing while shooting so I wouldn’t find myself suddenly being blown down onto the rocks along the shore below!  

Previous post: Hiking the North Country Trail

End of the Summer at Leech Lake

Up at the Lake  

Hiking the North Country Trail, Walker, Minnesota

The North Country National Scenic Trail winds through northern Minnesota near the city of Walker.

Our friends have hiked various sections of the trail in this area previously and want to take a short, maybe half-mile, hike that passes a meadow and small wetland. It sounds lovely, so we head into the woods.
It’s quiet and beautiful and will be even more so in a few weeks when the poplar, birch and maple start to put on their fall colors. 
After a mile or more we reach the meadow.
The wetland lies just a short distance farther down the trail.  
 It was a lot more than a half-mile hike, but it was lovely.  

There is trailhead (with parking) for the North Country Trail at Lake Erin where the trail crosses state highway 371. From the parking lot, follow the trail to the right past the lake. (Watch for poison ivy as you enter the woods.) We probably walked a couple of miles to get to the meadow and wetland featured here. This section should be stunningly beautiful in spring when the flowers are blooming and again in fall when the leaves are turning.

Next post: Sunset from Our Backyard 
Previous post: On the Water

End of the Summer at Leech Lake

The North Country Trail

All Minnesota posts