Here's the ironic thing about having alternative energy . . . or, more to the point, solar energy in northern Minnesota. In the summertime, when the days are longer and the need for electric lights minimal, there is OODLES of sunlight to charge the batteries and provide the needed electricity. In the winter and shoulder months, when the rains come and every single day is drearier and cloudier than the next . . . when you need the glow from lightbulbs even during the height of the day . . . there is no sun to charge the batteries and the generator seems to run constantly. Hrrumph. What a kick in the pants.
The maples have long-since lost their leaves, and the golden glow of the popples and birch is more than 2/3 gone now. Before all the leaves had disappeared and we could no longer tell, Tom and I went walking with a can of red spray paint last week to mark the standing dead trees that we will harvest for wood this fall and winter. Standing dead wood is some of the best/driest you can find.
We were in Duluth this past weekend celebrating a dear friend's 50th b-day on Saturday. To commemorate the day, he'd decided to participate in a 27.4 mile hike on the Superior Hiking Trail . . . an event that an outdoor store is trying to make an annual one - this year being the inaugural (and non-competitive) first "go" at it.
Anyway, point being, The Birthday Boy asked Tom to do it with him! Despite our friend blowing his knee out at approximately mile 15 and not being able to bend it for the rest of the journey . . . and Tom losing his headlamp (it was pitch black when they started at 6 AM) and smashing his big toe on an ankle-biter (and then the rest of his body into the mud of the trail), it was a successful jaunt. They were even having SUCH a good, easy time of it (ah-hem!) that they took an extra, 4-mile detour, boosting their total mileage up to 31.4 miles! (Okay, they got temporarily lost, taking a spur trail instead of the main path.)
That night, the gang met up at The Birthday Boy's house for an informal - but truly joyous - overnight of homemade food, drink, cake, and presents. And, Tom and I got the benefit of getting to know some truly fabulous folks better who we'd only peripherally known or had heard about!
P.S. Canadian trivia: as today's title suggests, it is Thanksgiving Day in Canada. I'll have to find out what, exactly, they celebrate! I mean, their ancestors didn't land at Plymouth Rock! Hmmm!