Saturday, July 12 - Today Olivia and I went rock climbing at Tettegouche State Park along the north shore of Lake Superior.
It was, by far, one of the most challenging mornings of rock climbing that either of us had ever done.
We had done rock climbing at Taylors Falls, but this type of climbing was completely different. You are lowered from the top of the cliff down to where you want to start climbing.
The first climb was very challenging because it was essentially a sheer cliff that you had to make your way up before you got to a section that had more features in it. The features allow you place the tips of your toes or your hands as you make your way up to the top.
Both of us experienced periods on the climb where we thought we couldn't make it. But, we persevered and made it!
It was such a sense of accomplishment when we reached the top of both climbs.
In the afternoon, Sophia, Olivia, and I did some sea kayaking on Lake Superior. The starting point was Split Rock Lighthouse State Park. When we arrived, we changed into wet suits, put on wet shoes, and the girls each wore baseball caps to keep the sun out of their eyes and their heads a bit cooler.
After learning how to put together the paddle and some tips on paddling, we headed out with a group. We went northeast towards the lighthouse and saw a different view of it than we had seen before.
We continued northeast around the cliff and came to a small sea cave.
We kayaked into the sea cave and explored the walls closely and then kayaked back out.
We continued northeast to an area where there was a shipwreck - the Maderia. The ship crashed back in 1905- five years before Split Rock Lighthouse was built. We were able to see large sections from the ship - including a porthole, big pieces of metal with rivets in them, and smaller pieces of the ship.
It was a beautiful and informative kayaking experience that was both relaxing as well as invigorating.
Sunday, July 13 - We drove back home from Two Harbors. We stopped at Tobies in Hinckley for baked goods to bring home.
This was such a wonderful trip and one that was filled with lots of activities and great memories!
Monday, July 14 - The girls relaxed at home and worked on 4-H projects while I visited my mom. I was able to see my brother and two of his children at Culvers where we all enjoyed lunch together.
Tuesday, July 15 - We took Cooper for his weekly agility lesson. He did very well and was focused and excited to be there.
The regular instructor, Diane, wasn't there. So, Sue filled in. She had some great tips and ideas for each of the dogs.
Each project receives an award that is based on 50% the project itself and 50% the youth's knowledge and interviewing skills.
The girls were pleased with how they did on their projects, and felt relieved when all the interviews were completed.
Thursday, July 17 - Sophia and I went back to the county fair to do two hours of volunteer work in the 4-H cafeteria. This is a requirement for youth who win a trip to the State Fair.
When we arrived, the trips had not yet been announced. So, we came back afterwards and the list was posted. Sophia had qualified to go to the State Fair for many of her projects. Even Olivia won a State Fair trip, but couldn't go since she was too young (next year she will be able to compete at the state level).
Sophia was pleased to see that her display about drying fruit received the Grand Champion award in the food preservation section. She decided to go the State Fair with this project.
Friday, July 18 - Olivia turned 11 1/2 years old today, and we celebrated her half birthday. As requested, I made caramel rolls for breakfast. This is a favorite breakfast of hers on special occasions.
There were gifts to open throughout the day. Lunch time brought a brownie sundae. The brownie is a sea salt and caramel one. Sophia put some ice cream and chocolate syrup on it to make it extra special for Olivia.
After dinner at Olivia's restaurant of choice (Perkins), she opened her final presents at home.
It has been a busy - but very fun - week!