An Ode to Whitewater

Do you have a place – a spot – somewhere you love to explore that you can’t seem to get enough of? It’s like that movie you can watch a million times – where you will always notice something new or catch a new detail.

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I have a place like that here. When we move away, I know it will have permanent place in the back of my mind. It’s brought so many adventures with so many people. It’s brought me a deep sense of clarity on my first hike alone (scary but good). It’s brought me a better understanding of who I am and how I feel towards the world I’m in.

Whitewater State Park in SE Minnesota relatively close to the start of the Mississippi River. It’s such a fun and magical place filled with endless adventures. There are creeks, rivers, limestone bluffs, hikes, views, deer, wild mushrooms, and a swimming beach. It’s located in a one-of-a-kind terrain where rivers once intricately carved bluffs throughout flat lands. “The rugged terrain is due both to the lack of glacial deposits, or drift, and to the incision of the upper Mississippi River and its tributaries into bedrock.” This Driftless Area also holds another one of my favorite places – Root River Park – but that’s for another post.

When I drive to the park, I’m surrounded by flat farmlands. All of a sudden, the elevation drops and I’m surrounded by sky-high bluffs peeking out of a dense forest. When I reach the top of my hike – I can look beyond the trees and see a silo and a barn – back at the farmlands. It’s a gigantic magical pit in the middle of rural Minnesota.

What I love most about Whitewater is that it is completely different every time I experience it. Just like my favorite movies. I can navigate the trails, but no tree, plant, or rock looks the same – sometimes covered brush or moss, or completely gone!

Highlights at Whitewater include Inspiration Point, Chimney Rock, Eagle Point, and the Dakota Trail. I’m hoping to get out there a few times this winter to see how it handles the fluffy snow and ice. I’m also planning to camp there in the spring before we say bye to MN!

September 1, 2017

I love that noise – wind in leaves
weaving through the forest
vibrant colors are the melodies and
bridges to the songs
soaring, cawing birds that are always content
never scared, understanding life to the fullest extent.
listening, observing, enjoying, living

different wind noises, louder, different trees
paths and mazes for all of us – or for none of us?

inhale – exhale with the trees
thank you

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