Thursday, September 3, 2009

A Reunion to Remember

It's amazing how time flies. I can hardly believe it was fifteen years ago that I graduated from high school. Fifteen years! Graduating from a small Christian school, there were only two of us. In some ways, it seems like just yesterday that Jenny and I were planning our graduation ceremony, freaking out over having to give a speech, and dreading answering the one question every senior hates... So, what are you going to to next year?

After we graduated, we planned an awesome senior trip. Are you ready? You better brace yourselves for this one. We went shopping in a town 30 miles away and then drove back to Grand Rapids and camped 10 miles from town. How's that for excitement?

The following fall, Jenny and I began our college journey at our local community college. After surviving that year, we decided to celebrate it big by camping on the North Shore of Lake Superior.

After 2 years, Jenny and I went our separate ways, yet stayed in contact. She attended college in Wisconsin and I headed to a university in Minnesota, both of us pursuing degrees in education.

Long story short, Jenny got married, and for the past five years, her husband has been the youth pastor at my home church. So we've basically have a reunion every Sunday. Earlier this summer, though, we decided that we needed an real class reunion.

Ahem. That was supposed to be a short introduction. Oh well. Now for the rest of the story...

Last Thursday, after packing a van crammed full of camping stuff, Jenny and I headed up the North Shore. The day was beautiful, and we were excited to be out enjoying the outdoors. Our first destination was Palisade Head. The sheer cliff rises 300 feet above Lake Superior, providing a spectacular view of the gorgeous blue-green water, thousands of trees, and miles of shoreline.

My one and only senior classmate, Jenny

Shovel Point extends out into Lake Superior.

The "drop-off" was about 3 feet... she was completely safe!

After we'd eaten lunch and had enough thrills on Palisade Head, we drove to Tettegouche State Park and walked out to Shovel Point (pictured above). The view was incredible!

When we were sufficiently tired after our hike, we headed to our campsite at Cascade River State Park. I would love to tell you that the tent and screen tent went up in a snap, but that would be a lie. Yes, we did read the directions, but they didn't seem to help much. Being the high school--yes, even college--graduates that we are, Jenny and I got the tents set up in ten minutes nearly an hour, just before it started to sprinkle. Having that less-than-desirable job done, it was time to turn our efforts to dinner. Now I've had plenty of yummy camp food in my time, but this meal was right up there with the best I've ever eaten. Maybe it tasted better because we had to wait so long for it, but it sure was worth it. Jenny got the fire started and as we waited for coals to be ready, we assembled our hobo dinners. Hamburger patty + cubed potatoes + carrot slices + slices of onion = a dinner so delicious I had to take pictures.

Oooooo, it's enough to make your mouth water.

We played some games as we listened to the gentle rain pitter-patter on the tent roof. I lost enough games to ensure I would never have a winning record, so we decided to go to sleep. When we awoke in the morning, it was still drizzling. We opted for plan B for the day. After a breakfast of bacon, egg, and cheese wraps, minus the wraps (yes, I forgot the tortillas at home), we decided to drive north. Almost to Canada. Since we didn't have passports, we decided not to cross into our neighboring country. By the time we drove back through Grand Marais, it was no longer raining, so we explored the town. We looked around a few shops and then headed out to the lighthouse.

Our Grand Marais excursion ended with a trip to Sven and Ole's Pizza where we got a slice of pizza to hold us over until dinner. Since it wasn't raining, we headed back to Cascade River to hike to the falls. It was beautiful.

What camping trip is complete without S'mores? Well, Jenny and I did not make S'mores. We made something that definitely equals or maybe surpasses S'mores in yumminess. For all you camping enthusiasts out there, don't worry... I still have a place in my heart for the squishy, chocolatey, crunchy taste of S'mores. But if you try this creation, I think you'll agree with me that they are tasty nearly to-die-for.

Okay, here goes. Are you ready?

Step One: Take Pillsbury Buttermilk biscuits (in the "pop" tube). Stretch dough into narrow strip. Wrap one or two stretched biscuits around 1/2 inch wooden dowel. Holding dowel over fire or coals, roast the dough, gradually rotating so it won't burn. Dough is done when lightly browned and it pulls off dowel in tube-like shape.

Step Two: Dip in melted butter, completely coating all sides.

Step Three: Combine sugar and cinnamon in ziploc bag. After dipping in butter, drop twist into bag and seal.

Step Three: Shake, shake, shake!

Step Four: Remove from bag and ENJOY! **Holding them on your finger completely optional.

On Saturday, we once again woke to a gentle rain. After a yummy pancake breakfast, we packed up the tent, soaked and dirty as it was, and then played another game (yes, I lost again). The screen tent came down (must more easily than it went up, I might add) and after throwing everything else in the van, we left campsite A6 at Cascade River State Park and began the trek to reality and home.

We saw beautiful waves crashing on the shore as we drove, so we stopped at Bluefin Bay and watched them for a while. Gorgeous!

Our next stop was Temperance River State Park. The churning, swirling motion of the water has created round caludron-like formations in the rock as the water tumbles over the many waterfalls.

I believe one of the highlights for Jenny and me was walking along the beach as the pounding breakers crashed on the shore. Looking out at the water, you wouldn't know the difference between Lake Superior and the ocean. Listening to them was even better. So calming and relaxing.

It was a wonderful trip and we had a great time reliving "the good ol' days" of high school. Jenny, I thank God that He allowed us to be such good friends, and I hope you know how much your friendship has meant to me all these years. God has blessed me through you!


ben and erin said...

wow... holy long post! :-)

looks like fun. i wouldn't mind having one of those delicious looking dowel dough delectables for breakfast right now... yum!

beautiful pics! glad you guys had aa good time!

Ashley @ {Let Go, Laughing} said...

looks like a really fun time... i really want one of those pillsbury cresent sugary rolls right about now!

only 2 people in your whole graduating class? i've never heard of such a thing. i mean i know that many places have very small classes but only 2?!? haha

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

Wow! You really make me want to head up north this weekend! What a great time and great pics!

A day in the Life... said...

Great pictures! I looks like you guys had a great time :)