February 27, 2015

Bear Head Lake State Park & a Birthday Boy

During a day trip to Ely, MN (which included giant flying pigs made of snow) a couple of weeks ago, we made our way to Bear Head Lake State Park.  Voted "America's Favorite Park" in a major poll in 2010, the little-known park, not even among Minnesota's most popular, won in a surprise landslide, capturing 28% of the more than 5.7 million votes.  Despite that acclaim, we saw only two other people during our visit to the park February 7th.  A cold, bleak, northern Minnesota day.  
All was quiet on frozen Bear Head Lake.

Some updates:
Beau turned eight years old! 
Similar to when we awaited his arrival eight years ago, our household was hit by a winter virus this year leading up to his birthday.  Lilly was down with it several days, followed by a feverish Johnathan.  
Still, Beau's birthday has been surrounded by all kinds of love and special fun.   
At 8 years old, he receives steady compliments on his manners and sweetness.  He's incredibly honest, while being incredibly kind.  He's fun loving and funny.  (I shared some of my favorite photos of Beau here.)  He brings us so much joy! 

Our long winter of traveling across the north half of our state for basketball games came to a close Monday with another 220 mile evening.  I was able to attend all 26 games of Mason & Eric's 11th grade season.  It feels very strange to suddenly have no basketball schedule filling our weeknights.

Days are growing brighter.. We can still see daylight holding on at 6 pm!
Our dark and dreary winter has shifted throughout February to more blue and sunny skies.  But it's still been mighty cold, dipping down to thirty below this past week with more bitter wind chills.

I made travel arrangements for an adventure someplace warmer, prompting me to do a little happy dance the other day.  A ways off yet, but it warms me to look forward to it.

From the Land of 10,000 Frozen Lakes,


  1. Happy birthday to your sweet boy. Love the muted colours of your snowy landscape.

  2. Happy birthday, Beau! It's amazing to me how quickly the years fly by these days, and it seems that I've known Beau when he was having another birthday. That surprises me. It sure does look cold up there, Amanda. :-)

  3. It looks cold and wild , but very beautiful! All the best for Beau and I hope that he did not catch the virus.
    220 miles on just one evening gives me a feeling of the distances of the place.
    Have a wonderful weekend.

  4. A Happy Belated Birthday to Beau. I really like the picture of him enjoying the snow. If we ever make it to Minnesota we'll have to check out Bear Head Lake.

  5. sweet beau. glad your household made it thru the virus crud. now, lets just get thru the winter stuff, shall we? even texas got hit with snow and sleet, then several inches of snow. now temps in the 20s.

  6. Your Beau is a cutie! Nice shot of him on the sled. Stay warm up there, my friend! Glad you have an amazing trip to look forward to.

  7. Happy Belated Birthday to Beau! He is a sweetie! The snowy scenes are gorgeous.. Looks like a beautiful place.. Have a happy weekend!

  8. Manners, sweetness, kindness, and honesty - Beau has many gifts to welcome his 8th birthday. I don't suppose your were wearing your bathing suit on the beach trail, Amanda? I like the daintiness of those huge evergreens. Glad you have a warm adventure awaiting you in the future.

  9. I can see brighter days coming, too! It is a relief even when there is snow and cold. How wonderful to have a vacation on the schedule! I hope you have a wonderful time!

  10. You seem to have had a very eventful and cold February. Isn't it nice, yet strange, to have a sudden change in sporting calendar. Our summer cricket will soon end - with the beginning of hockey overlapping it. Hope you are all well again - and happy belated birthday to Beau!

  11. Nice post - love that last shot - I know two kids who would like to be able to do that on a regular winter basis! But I don't suppose you get much beach swimming!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  12. Beautiful Beau - from inside and out! He looks like a little joy-spreader ... so gentle and kind!
    The Bear Park looks really peaceful and awakens an awe to the mighty forests and the nature - the keep on existing year by year, coming up to life after the coldest winter, the ecosystem keeps on going ... "Breathing for us", being the lungs of the earth.
    PS. So happy for your joy - the sunny place awaiting :)

  13. Happy birthday to Beau! He sounds like such an amazing kid. Boo for winter viruses though! I had one several weeks ago and it was horrible. How wonderful that you were able to attend all of Mason & Eric's games. They will remember that and I know they loved your being there. I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel with winter! Days are getting longer and I know spring is coming. I hope you guys get an early spring! :)

  14. Beautiful place... Happy Birthday (after the fact) to Beau. What a gorgeous child.... I know you are proud of him --as you are all of your children...

    You had said that you were having a fairly mild winter --but it sounds as if February has been more 'normal' for you....We had a mild winter until Feb. 16..... Then --all heck broke loose!!!!! What a mess.. The huge Ice Storm on 2/21 along with 50 mph winds totally devastated our area. You'll have to check my last several posts and the next several to hear about it all.

    Hope you are staying nice and warm. We are FINALLY thawing out some from all of our storms. They said on TV that the temperatures here did not get above freezing since Feb. 14.... Then the 5 storms hit.. It will take awhile to get all of this junk thawed out --and then the yard clean-up begins in our yard. HUGE JOB.

  15. Looks mighty cold there. But your snowy photos are beautiful. Happy Birthday to you son. He does look like a sweet and happy boy..


  16. 200 plus mile for a game of hoops. What we do for our kids. When I was coaching my back used to complain about the bumpy team bus ride. And they were rarely more than 75 miles....:)