Lest I mislead everyone into thinking that Minnesota is simply
a place where the winters are cold and the storms unpredictable, I want to share with you the tale of my splendid summer day.
Around noon, I decided that this was an ideal day to leave the metro area and explore a state park. A proud state park permit holder, I have not actually had many state park adventures yet, so I was overdue. I hopped in my car and headed northwest, to Lake Maria State Park.
The park was lovely. The hiking loop I followed was three miles long, doubled as a horseriding path, and took me through some old growth forest as well as some areas of prairie. I met a few other people on the path, so it wasn't the entirely isolated afternoon I had expected, but that was fine. Being surrounded by the lush green of the park was calming, and I left my cellphone in the car so that I wouldn't know the time, be tempted to contact anyone, or be startled by any incoming calls or messages. I ended up wandering around for nearly two hours, doubling back at one point to lengthen the hike.
On my drive home, I stopped at a public access beach, threw on the swimsuit I had brought along, and jumped in for a swim. It was perfectly refreshing and cool after my rather hot and buggy wanderings. As I sit here on Sunday evening, preparing to wrap up my weekend and begin a new week at work, I feel as though I experienced a truly splendid summer day.