The following is a true story, only the names have been changed, to protect the guilty.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sponge Bob, Patrick, and Squidward

Thankfully they can read on their own now!
 When my kids get into a cartoon they like to pretend they are the characters in the show. This weekend they were into Sponge Bob Square Pants. Super"Y" was Sponge Bob, Big "D" was Patrick, and "G" Man was Squidward, I was Mr Krabs, and by default, since there is only one girl in the cartoon, Lynn was Sandy.
Scouting, no the cave is not under that tree

We found it !
 The weekend was action packed and included, the search for a cave, hiking, exploring by van, a campfire, sleeping in a tree house, bike riding, and a waterfall. On Saturday it was just me and "Sponge Bob" and "Patrick". "G" Man has gymnastics on Saturday morning and Lynn likes to hit the gym. The three of us were off and running by 8:45am in search of a cave that had eluded us this past winter. I knew roughly where to look, but didn't know exactly where it was. When we got to "the spot", the approach over a stepped cliff, looked way more dangerous than I was comfortable with taking my two youngsters down. I decided to pass on the cave and go hiking instead. The thought of being "skunked" twice gnawed at me, and when we returned from our hike in the woods, I had the boys wait at the top of the cliff while I searched for the cave for the next few minutes. I found it right away and decided to bring them along. It's one thing to scramble along a cliff edge not knowing where you are going, and completely different when you know right where you have to be, and have control over the specific route you want to take. With a little bit of spotting, the three of us were in the mouth of the cave in about five minutes.  
Note: Inside is big enough to sleep in :)

Spider, fossil, bat ?
 I was really excited, locating the cave on my own was like some sort of childhood dream. There wasn't much to the cave but it was a real cave none the less. I brought along helmets and headlamps and we poked around inside for about a half hour. There was no evidence of recent activity, but there were several old beer bottles inside as well as a couple bats.

Don't try this at home
 Back on the surface we had some snacks and were rollin' in the van for some "road exploring" or "bombin," as my dad calls, with stops at anything we found interesting. We stopped at a lock and dam on the missipp' to see what that was all about. Later on we found ourselves on Grey Cloud Island to look for the "haunted cemetery" with no luck. It was late afternoon by now and we headed home. That evening I tried to put together a group camp fire by the river, everyone bailed out except Otey, and we ended up having a good time.

Dinner on the river bottoms, Dinty Moore Beef Stew  MMM
 As I headed out that evening I was reminded that I promised to sleep in the tree house that night with the boys, ooops. I told them to get everything ready and I would stay out there when I got home. When I arrived home around 9:45pm, I fully expected them to be awake, and have the tree house ripped to shreds, since there was no way Lynn would stay out there with them. To my surprise they were fast asleep, but left me no room. I ended up sleeping perpendicular to them at their feet, and all bunched up against the tree trunk and the wall. It would have been quite an enjoyable evening with the portable heater maintaining close to 70 deg inside on a cold night, if my sleeping mat had not deflated.

Where am I supposed to sleep?
 Sunday, Lynn and I planed a bike ride with the gang. We weren't sure where, but we knew we wanted to get outside. After a death match of trying to pry the boys away from the computer, the TV, and the Nintendo DS we finally got out before lunch and were headed for Minnehaha Falls via bike path. We stopped along the way and checked out the newly finished, renewed, Cold Spring. The area was, and is, a sacred place to the native people of the area. At one time the land was inhabited by settlers and people that were once stationed at the nearby Ft Snelling. Fast forward to the fifties and the government put up a huge foreboding, evil looking building for studying rocks. You know what I'm talking about, it probably looked like your school when you were a kid. The only difference is there is a huge fence around it with barbed wire on the top and those signs that read Government Property No Trespassing or you'll be shot, or something like that. It was the kind of place that looked like it might have aliens in it and scientist were cutting them up for fun, or making some sort of weapon, or building robots with human brains. Before the buildings were torn down I got a chance to check them out up close, and it was quite an eerie place.    
Nice view of the neighborhood

You don't see totem poles everyday, so had to get a pic

Cold Spring
 After the Cold Spring we moved on to the Falls. Minnehaha Creek is completely dried up right now, and offers a unique experience where the water should be plunging over a high cliff. At the base of the falls, the plunge pool is a beautiful green with lots of fish trapped in a watery grave. From a distance it's really quite beautiful, but after closer inspection it's not as nice as it lets-on. The shit-bags visiting at night have thrown beer and hard liquor bottles in the pool which are now floating in the green pool covered by a sheen of oil from who no's where. The fish are beginning to die and their rotting, smelly carcasses are littering the shore line. It appears the raccoons are enjoying it though, as they are having a field day devouring everything but the bones and scales.  
The actual spring is right below us

Skidding contest, contestant #1
 We all ride back to the van and start getting ready for the dreaded Monday. It was a great action packed weekend I'm glad to have shared with my family. This is what weekends are made for......FUN!
Contestant #2

Contestant #3

Minnehaha Cliff?

Everyone from around the Twin Cities knows where this is, My kids love playing here, and it's hard to get them to leave

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