Monday, May 4, 2015


If you didn't already know, this blog originates from the great state of Minnesota, also known as the Earth's ice box. Minnesota has the reputation of being really cold for about 10 months of the year, and I do everything I can here on the blog to keep that stereotype going. Us native Minnesotans have a kind of weird provincial pride that makes us feel better than people from other states because we have to put up with weather-induced misery for a large portion of the year. It's this state pride that causes me to make fun of our neighboring states like Iowa, Wisconsin and North Dakota, even though they pretty much have to deal with the same weather we do. If you're not from here you probably wouldn't understand it, any way...

So, I like to make fun of our neighboring states, even though, deep down inside, I kind of like them, or at least some parts of them. I especially have very fond memories of Wisconsin, since I spent a large portion of all my youthful summers over there at my grandparents' hobby farm, and I have spent countless hours fishing and camping all over the state. I haven't spent a lot of time in North Dakota, but it seems fine, too. I really like to make fun of Iowa, saying things like the only things in the state are corn and pigs, and complaining about how it seems to take about 4 years to drive through it when on our way to somewhere else (this is obviously an exaggeration. It actually takes about 7 years...). But, Iowa has some good parts, as well, and we experienced one of those parts this past weekend.

Yes, we took the 2.5 hour drive south to the beautiful Cedar Springs Wesleyan Camp in Floyd, Iowa. Cedar Springs is owned by the Iowa-Minnesota District of the Wesleyan Church, which our local church is a member of. The campgrounds sit right in a little nook on the banks of the Cedar River, in a lovely little
wooded valley that is surrounded by, surprise!, a bunch of corn and pig farms. We went down to Cedar Springs in search of two things: morel mushrooms and smallmouth bass, and we caught exactly none of both of them. Yes, we got skunked, but it was a wonderful weekend any way. We had a great time tromping through the woods with our kids; we got a lot of sun, which is necessary after spending the past 10 months inside; and none of our kids fell down any sheer precipices, so I would call it a successful trip despite the lack of bass and 'shrooms. The most exciting part of the weekend, for me at least, was when I unexpectedly flushed a full-grown turkey out of the forest undergrowth about 15 feet in front of me. After making sure the thunderous, flapping beast wasn't in attack mode, I was able to get my heart rate back in the "normal" range in just a few hours, so that was good. If you ever want to spend a nice relaxing weekend in a beautiful valley, next to a pristine smallmouth bass river, surrounded by turkeys that seem to explode up out of the earth, check out Cedar Springs Camp at

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