Sunday, March 15, 2009

"If I Could Talk to the Animals" - Grand Marais, MN

There is definitely not a lack of activity or Mother Nature in Minnesota during the winter. Alex and I took a horse sleigh ride one evening. I think we both romanticized it thinking we would be in some sort of "Santa" sleigh with benches pulled by beautiful horses. Well that wasn't the case. The "sleigh" was a box with hay and runners. So we bundled up with several other couples and headed out on the trail which turned out to be more of a roller coaster than anything. There were moments I thought I was going to fly out. At the end of the ride there was a bonfire and hot chocolate not to mention a million stars in the sky! Amazing!

Alex and I contemplated going for a dog sleigh ride or actually learning how to mush. We decided to save that for another trip. However, we did find a dog sleigh race that we were able to watch. It was called "Mush for a Cure" to raise money for Breast Cancer. The dogs were so cute. 

As we waited for the dogs to pass, I tried to get to a better spot. I took one step off the trail and found myself knee deep in snow. As Alex literally picked and pulled me out, a local turned around and said "Unless you are a moose, stick to the packed snow." A little embarrassed I simply stated that "Clearly, I'm not from around here." I did get to thinking . . . where were the moose.

We read about the Gunflint Trail being a great spot to find moose. Apparently they like to lick the salt off of the roads during the winter. Alex and I went for a very scenic drive and found every kind of animal except for a moose.

I have never seen so many deer in my life. The horse sleigh driver called them "trail rats." After the 50th deer (no joke) of the weekend they didn't seem quite so cute.

Feeling pretty defeated from not seeing a moose we headed back into town. In front of us I saw a critter walking down the side of the road. As I said "What is that?" it turned its little red face around. A red fox! It was so cute and actually pretty friendly. Alex slowed the car down and I rolled down the window. The red fox actually sat down on the side of the road and stared at us. I started calling the fox, "Come here foxey . . ." and it got up and started walking towards us. As Alex was taking a million pictures he told me to be prepared to roll my window up because he didn't want it jumping in. I told him I doubt that would happen. Apparently, Alex has heard of foxes attacking humans. Whatever . . .

On our way back to Minneapolis I caught out of the corner of my eye a bald eagle sitting in a tree. Alex immediately pulled over and took some amazing shots. It was so neat to see our national bird and an animal once on the endangered species list. We caused about 4 cars to pull over to see what was going on as well as a lot of rubber neckers driving by. I can't believe I was able to see the eagle. He blended very well into his surroundings. Of course, Grandma always said I had "Eagle eyes." 

Alex and I had a great time in Grand Marais. Even though we didn't see a moose we experienced and saw a lot more than I thought we ever would in our lifetime let a lone a weekend. To top it off, I think winter is coming to an end. We have had beautiful weather in the Twin Cities. It is sunny and warm! I can't wait to see what the Spring and Summer will bring . . .

1 comment:

Kristan said...

Dude, that fox is SO cute! You're gonna laugh, but... it reminds me of Riley!!