We spent a beautiful autumn day north of Minneapolis and St. Paul in an area called Taylors Falls. There is a state park named Interstate Park where you can hike and climb the rocks surrounding the beautiful St. Croix River separating Minnesota and Wisconsin. My family loves this adventure and looks forward to it every Fall.
This year, we were missing one son who is away at college in Florida. Incidentally, he happens to be one of the better hikers in the family and we missed him a great deal on this trip! It seems to me that the fall colors are especially brighter this year – whether that is my sole perception or perhaps the more consistent spring and summer rains made the difference, I cannot tell. It was an especially more enjoyable trip for me this time probably due to my stronger health and physical condition. Unlike some previous years, I felt more energetic and ambitious in ascending the trails and climbs. The crisp air and sunshine were invigorating and the opportunity to be somewhere else and doing something different is always a wonderful diversion from the routines of life.
We transitioned later in the day to a downtown stroll in Stillwater poking our heads into an occasional antique shop and the requisite stop at the local candy store. Everybody (except papa) picked out their favorite sweets and put them in the little white bag eventually finding its home atop the weight machine where Carrie plunked down some cash and we made our way out of the little shop. Stillwater traditions in this family require a supper time stop at Grand Pizza where we have yet to be disappointed by a less than perfect pizza. We ordered the standard pepperoni, large and traditional crust. Then we passed on the favorite white pizza and selected a large gyro pizza complete with cucumber cream sauce and lettuce. It was very tasty and while I should have stopped with the second piece, I justified consuming the third, but much smaller slice.
We finally made our way home with a couple of stops and the day ended with a game of cribbage between Tucker and I then off to bed to rest the tired legs.