Making the Love Shack...Home

I’m already behind in keeping up with postings!  Definitely not the start I anticipated, however things have been busy settling in and getting acclimated to life in the Love Shack. 
My Empty Office...Tear!
It was bittersweet to pack up the office and leave my position at the Consulate, but I was ready for a change.  My co-workers gave me a wonderful send off with mimosas and fresh baked goodies.  As a parting gift they all chipped in to get me a Kindle.  The most perfect gift…I can fit all the books I want in the Love Shack now! 
We left on Thursday, May 12th the day after my last official day of work.   A boat purchase was made in the Nissawa area.  Its an upgrade from the dinghy and will be perfect for the summer at Voyageurs.  Thank goodness for good friends- Michael you are wonderful…thank you for getting us in touch with Dennis.  After the little transaction was made we continued north.
Dennis & E
Nissawa wasn’t exactly on the way so it took a bit longer to reach our final destination.  When we finally arrived, the trip had taken about 8 hours on the road.  But we made it safe and sound with no real hiccups- God does answer prayers!
The Love Shack
Our living situation is perfect though…everything we need and nothing that we do not.  We have electric, water, sewer, and gas…and only about 100 square feet of living space.   Much of the first night and next morning consisted of getting organized and putting everything where it most made sense.  We made a run to International Falls to get groceries the following day.  We will have to be a little more strategic when it comes to planning meals, as it takes about 45 minutes to get to the closest grocery store with decent produce.
Opening fishing was last weekend, and it was great to get on the water in the new boat (new to us anyway).  On Sunday E caught his first fish of the season and first ever small mouth bass ever.  The ice out was late this year and temps have been cooler so we haven’t been experiencing great fishing.  E was starting to feel a little disheartened until one of the local guides shared the same frustration.  There is hope though as the weather continues to improve.
Wildlife sightings have been plentiful!  I love that we are in such a rugged area!  Bald Eagles are an everyday thing, as well as deer of course.  The other night we spotted a deer swimming across the narrow portion of the lake (see picture below).  Beavers, foxes, sturgeon, Great Blue Heron, turtles, snakes, red squirrels, ruffed grouse…and its only been a week!
Last week during training we experienced a lot of the area;
Vermillion Gorge & Vermillion Falls were beautiful.  They are both areas just outside of the Southeast portion of the Park, near Crane Lake.  The waters flow North from Lake Vermillion via the Vermillion River and spill into Crane Lake.  Vermillion Gorge is known as a sturgeon spawning area and we were lucky enough to witness one the day we were there.

Mallard Island was home to conservationist Ernest Oberholtzer, who was a key contributor to preserving what is now Voyageurs National Park.  His islands and buildings are maintained by the foundation in his name.   The foundation shares Ober’s legacy and shares the tales of his heroic canoe trips to the northern reaches of Canada.  It was a pleasure to meet foundation member, Bob Hilke.  Bob knew Ober personally and accompanied him on one of his canoe trips.  Bob’s stories brought a personality to the island and it was a joy to be one of his guests for the day.
Honeymooner House
We wrapped up the week by putting on our uniforms for the first time this season.  The local high school chartered the Park tour boats for a day trip to Kettle Falls.  Ethan swore in 2 junior rangers, lead 20 kids in the North Canoe, and remembered why he loves being a Park Ranger.

After work on Friday we headed home for the weekend.   We didn’t anticipate making a trip to the cities so soon after but it just made sense for a few different reasons.  One reason being the passing of an old high school friend, Mr. Robby Ross.  Robby was a great guy with a lot of heart and promise.  He accomplished so much in his 27 years of life and was always so much fun to be around.

Just a Memory Away
I'm no longer by your side, but there's no need to weep;
I've left sweet recollections, I'm hoping you will keep.
Eternal joy and memories stay in our hearts forever,
Strengthening our special bond that parting cannot sever.
Now it's time to journey on, So let your faith be strong,
For I am in a better place...I'm home where I belong.
And if times of loneliness bring sorrow and dismay,
Don't despair, for I am there...Just a Memory Away.
-Rita S. Beer
I will try to do a better job of keeping up and make Thursday the day for blog updates…so check back soon! 


Voyageurs 2010

Ethan secured his first paid position with the National Park Service last summer at Voyageurs National Park in Northern Minnesota.  It just so happens that is where we will be spending this summer; E as an Official Park Ranger and J as a VIP☺(Volunteer in the Park).  We spent many weekends last summer enjoying all that the park offers and very much look forward to discovering new things and visiting the memorable sites.  Take a peak at what we experienced last summer...it really is no wonder we've decided to take the leap of faith and live out of the Love Shack.


Love. Crazy. Spontaneity.

As young as our love maybe for each other, our love for adventure and freedom stems from childhood.  Jessica’s fondest childhood memories are spending time at the cabin, on the lake, and in the hunting woods.  Ethan often shares stories about the Oregon coast, about wanting a lifestyle different than most, and about solitude.  These things are hard to come by in an urban setting and an unconventional lifestyle is the choice we have made for our future.

As crazy as it may seem to most, we are hardly the couple forging ahead to live life on the road.  There are a lot of people who have decided this path for their lives- all propelled by different reasons; choosing adventure over conformity, spontaneity over security, and life experiences over material things.  We are giving up our humble-young adult- beginnings and calling a 1978- 20 foot travel trailer our home for the next…while.  We don’t know for how long, but it’s what we want for now.

We just don’t feel life should be as predictable as it has become for us.  We want a little more spontaneity and a little less regularity.