I have wanted a little Jeep Wrangler for like, well, forever. Nothing fancy or high tech, just plain and simple. A friend that would go with me wherever I go, not ask questions and enjoy the adventure.
Back in January, this dream came true. Stella was meant to be, that Midnight Blue 2-door, 6 speed manual hard top. She too was looking for a new friend to take her to new places and I was in the right place at the right time.
Over the past few months, we’ve gotten to know each other, getting past that awkward phase and becoming one. And then one day, it happened, it was going to be just the two of us. So I packed up Stella with everything we’d need, a tent, some food, firewood for warmth, and a map – just in case. And then Friday noon came along and we were off.
We landed at Gooseberry State Park for the weekend, a cold, blustery, one at that. We got set up and settled in for the weekend. We were up early Saturday morning and we headed north. Our first stop – a back road that was up the Beaver River. The path off the road looked daunting, I didn’t like it and Stella had her doubts too, so we played it safe and parked just off the road. Good thing too – someone was doing some back roads camping. I took my time, scoped out the area and snapped off a few shots. It was time to get going and Stella was getting antsy.
Coffee was calling my name and Stella was getting thirsty, so I got my typical sissy coffee and Stella’s thirst was quenched. We continued up Highway 61 and an idea took hold – let’s head back up to that crazy waterfall, Devil’s Kettle. It sounded like a good idea and off we were. On the way up, we ticked off places we should try and stop at on the way back, knowing that we would never remember half of these places.
We finally made it to Devil’s Kettle – Stella waited while I made the two mile round trip trek and it was well worth it. When I got to the waterfall, I stopped for sustenance. A young family asked if I’d take their picture. Well of course I would, then another couple showed up, I offered to take their picture as well – this was getting fun. And when everyone was gone, it was my turn. I got the shots I wanted and headed down.
Stella was ready to work our way back. On the way back to camp, we ended up stopping at Fall River. I scrambled up and over boulders and rocks at this spot along the highway and grabbed a few more shots. We continued onto Temperance River. I have found this to be a difficult place for pictures. The river starts wide, as in a four-lane highway and because of the canyon like wall, narrows to maybe less than one lane and becomes a raging mass of water with no clear spot for pictures – but I worked with what I had.
Sunday morning brought a bit warmer weather and brighter skies – the day looked promising. As we packed up and started for home, we made our first side trip to Park Point in Duluth. With the high sun, photo ops would be tough so we continued on.
As we got closer to home, I was reminded that the orchids might be up in Wild River, so we made the executive decision to stop. It was a good stop, three different orchids have broke ground with one in bloom. It was time to head home….
As we reflected on the way home, Stella and I had a great time. We have decided that even though this was our first trip together, it most definitely won’t be our last trip together.