Thursday, July 06, 2017

Looking down on 4th of July fireworks!

 A quiet week up in Northern Minnesota, on Lake Vermilion.

Relaxed with my younger daughter Heather and grandson Aiden.

I was so laid back I didn't even try fishing.

Sun came up early (I missed it) but the sunset was right around 10 pm so caught a lot of these scenes.

Another favorite spot was standing on a deck facing the lake, down from the geodesic domes on the family private island.

 My son-in-law is a former Marine so this flag is proudly on display often.

The mainland is not very far from the island and the nearest town - Cook, Minnesota - with Pop. 574 - is about 12 miles away. The whole County has 5,286 residents.

The island has varied modes of water travel: a power boat with a 40-hp Mercury outboard engine, a fiberglass paddle boat, and a bicycle-style float to get across to the other side.,

Handy, nearby Cook is where the gas station and general store is conveniently located. The Comet Theatre was founded there in 1939 and notes "There must be 5 patrons or you pay the difference."

About 25 miles away is the larger town of Virginia, MN - Pop 8,716 - with it's Wal-Mart, Great Clips, various small businesses,  and several very nice family-run restaurants.

Now, I'm back on the island for the first time in about 30 years and have not been there ever in the winter. I did live down in the Twin Cities for one year so I have experienced cold weather. "Cold" is when trucks drive on out the ice to deliver materials for summer construction projects. The ice usually "goes out" in April-May.

There are several rustic cabins on the island as well as three hardy and spacious wooden Domes.

My grandson filled most of the space with his various toys in the main dome's Great Room.

The almost 6-year-old was very good at clearing up all of his toys before bedtime. He used an abundance of large, empty, clear plastic containers.

The week on the island offered sunny days, a rainy afternoon, gorgeous sunsets, temps in the 50s and 60s and a slowed pace.

As Charleston comes into its hottest month of the year, it was a welcome change.

Oh and HHH, Hot, Hazy, and Humid down south.

I was surrounded by birch trees and Douglas firs, the sounds of a loon on the lake and the chatter of an occasional passing outboard.

Well, it had to end.

We packed up all we needed for travel and headed to Hibbing, Minnesota, to the regional airport, to fly back to Minneapolis/St. Paul, the Twin Cities.

The lobby was covered with images of famous Hibbing-ites such as Bob Dylan, recent winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, and a man I've seen in concert a few times.

Also from there is baseball hero Roger Maris.

And Vincent Bugliosi, Prosecutor of Charles Manson, a trial I covered for CBS for about four months.

The "Fame on the (Iron) Range" display also included Judy Garland, listing her as born in Grand Rapids, about 41 miles from Hibbing.

Hey, close enough. Still part of the Range.

I took a photo of my grandson, posed with a "photo bombing" moose, grinning behind him.

Our plane arrived, we quickly went through TSA in the regional airport and the grandson was given a sticker with a badge image stating he was a Junior TSA officer.

I asked for one also.

It might come in handy at other airport security situations. Haha.

Oh, yeah, about "looking down on fireworks."

That happened after I landed in Atlanta and, eventually boarded the flight to Charleston.

We taxied out and as we slowly moved forward (a bit after 10 pm), we could see fireworks exploding and lighting up the sky off to the southeast.

By the time we were in the air, all the city and county "official" firework shows had ended but, as we climbed, there were dozens of small, individual flashes in backyards.

I could see the rockets climb and explode, scattering shiny and sparkling bits and pieces until we got higher and could see only the scattered flashes.

And, then we were in the clouds. Happy Fourth, America.


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At Fri Jul 07, 06:07:00 PM , Blogger Joan Perry said...

I agree, a cool break is a treat in the Charleston summer!


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