The Ice Box

At least that’s what they call International Falls, Minnesota, because of all those abominable snowman temperatures they get in the winter. For us, it was the Melted Ice Box in early July:

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Yep, rain. Stunning, huge rain. Yes, huge. Raindrops that hit our windshield left splotches about three inches across. Truly.

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While California struggled with a major drought, we were getting all the rain they were missing, and it seemed like it was all falling in International Falls. Flooded driveways meant locals were parking their vehicles alongside the road, and high water was everywhere. Even the beach was closed due to — can you believe it? — too much water:

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It made for gorgeous, moody photos, though:

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We shopped in town, rode our bicycles, and discovered a new treat at Voyageur Restaurant, though it’s common locally:

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Wild Rice Pancakes! And topped with real maple syrup?!? It was like eating dessert for breakfast (or lunch… or dinner). Proof? Here’s my “after” photo:

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The clouds broke long enough for us to venture up to Voyageurs National Park on the edge of Rainy Lake. Our timing was off; the visitors’ center had closed about five minutes before we tried the door, but we did wander the grounds, which was rewarding enough.

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I especially appreciate the informative signs that help us learn about the native flora. Of course, sometimes it’s hard to match the picture to the real thing, but that adds to the challenge, right?

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And seeing recreations of how things used to be are always interesting, as is this bark-walled shelter:

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The weather kept us from exploring the park as much as we would have liked, and too soon it was time to head on down the road.

Like so many places, we kept thinking, “Too bad it gets so cold here in the winter… or it would be a great place to settle down!” (Of course, when we’re someplace like southern Arizona, we’ll say, “Too bad it gets so hot here in the summer….”!)

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About Ellen

Fiction writer and photographer, I travel the country with my sweetheart of a husband as a "full-time RVer."
This entry was posted in Cool Experience, Interesting Stories, National Parks and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Ice Box

  1. So, I’m betting you guys decide to spend a lovely winter there at International Falls, eh? NOT! Head South before global warming has polar bears and ice flows blocking the roads leading out! Hurry before it’s too late! (Apologies to the polar bears and other critters who are facing tough times in the once-frozen Northern climes. I truly do care about their plight!)

    Happy Trails, Michael

    • Ellen says:

      No prob heading south, Michael — we’re in the southwest, our preferred winter destination. And being a very casual avian fan, I don’t mind at all being called a “snowbird.” 🙂 Hope you’re well!

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