Adventure Sister Stacy and I went camping with our husbands last weekend at Tettegouche State Park in Silver Bay Minnesota. It was a spectacular park with lots of hiking and stunning waterfalls of the Baptism River that led out into Lake Superior. We were only there for a very short weekend, but it seemed to be the get away that I needed to reset. You know, like an iPhone… power down for a bit and restart so I work on all cylinders instead of just some.
I needed to get out and reconnect with nature. I put my feet in the water, my mind back into the present, and gave my spirit some time to play. My husband and I got to the cozy campsite a few hours earlier than Stacy and Marty. We had time to set up the tent and hit the trail for a hike and to see the water falls. Jason was a little intimidated by the swinging bridge, but he made it over to the other side. I was very proud of him for pushing past his fear of heights, so we could be rewarded with waterfalls.
The next day we all hiked together, the park was scenic and vast, the steps were handier than BWCA portage trails but brutal in their own way. Luckily the water views and opportunities to swim made up for the stair master level 17 drill we embarked on. I think we all had over 10,000 steps in before early afternoon. I wasn’t expecting all the flights of stairs, but I believe they were totally worth the effort!
After our group hike we had decided to go back to camp and eat lunch. There was a great beach at the mouth of the Baptism river that led directly into Lake Superior. I wanted badly to swim and float on this 83-degree day and Stacy was up for some fun too. Marty drove Stacy and I to the beach while my husband who is not much of a swimmer decided he would be just fine enjoying some quiet time while we all went for a dip. We got to the beach that was made of rocks not sand, yet you would sink in them like it was quicksand in the right spot.
There was a sandbar (made of rocks) that reached like a finger of the earth just for the purpose of creating a pool before the river met the vastness of the Great Lake. All three of us wasted no time getting into the water. It was warmer than we thought it would be if we kept the current from sweeping us into the big water the temperature stayed perfect for this Minnesota girl. We know this because Stacy and I had let the current take us until it got so strong that I got a little scared and beelined for the shore and I would be able to put my feet back down.
We swam back and teased Marty about showing up to the beach with two women. All of us floated together having a great time while watched a young boy try to build up the courage to jump from a rock ledge that many others before had just done. In the end he did not jump, his fear got the best of him even though his older sister had jumped three times before. This makes me wonder about how many times I did not do something I really wanted to do because of my fear?
We swam for an hour or so then walked over to the other side of the rocky peninsula, so we could put our feet into Lake Superior. Even though the two waters were connected just yards away the large lake was much colder and seemed to have a fierceness about it. I walked in on the Lake Superior side and the rocks almost swallowed my legs up to my knees. The water was much cooler, and the energy of it was much different. It was a very cool experience to see how quickly Mother Nature can change her power.
I was in my happy place. I am a water baby. Always have been, always will be. Stacy also loves the water and as we turned to leave Stacy and I snapped a picture of us to document the moment. We didn’t check to make sure it was a good picture. We just took it quickly and kept on our path back to the campsite up more flights of stairs. When we got back to camp, I posted it to our BWCAdentureSisters Facebook page to let our readers know we were out adventuring together. It had been months since Stacy and I got together, and adventuring is one of our favorite things to do. We were both energized and very ‘here and now’ the moment the picture was taken. I believe it captured the peak of our happiness during that excursion.
I also believe that beauty comes from being happy. You don’t have to be traditionally beautiful to be perceived as pretty when joy radiates from your whole being and that is what the camera captured. Stacy and I are regular women, we have flaws, grey hairs, extra pounds, cellulite and everything else that comes with being forty-something and at that moment we did not give a darn at all, we were happy. Plain and simple.
Yesterday a Facebook fan had commented on our photo. She said, “You two are beautiful!”
It made my heart sing, not because I wanted to be perceived as pretty but because I knew that this woman could see our joy. It is not easy to find joy in our everyday lives sometimes. That’s why it is imperative to make time to do the things you love. I live in Minnesota, there are approximately 3 months of the year in which you can go swimming for any amount of time. Too soon it’s too cold, too late and dog days take over the lakes with algae blooms and other undesirable effects that keep us out of the water.
We made time to do what we love, and we were rewarded mind, body and spirit including a picture to prove it.
Thank you to our Facebook friend Pam for the nice compliment. I was having a pretty trying Wednesday after a great weekend escape, your compliment made my day. It made me feel like there is still good people who are kind, caring and most of all women who do not have to compete, women who lift others up, encourage other women for being authentic, without a beauty competition. It is okay for women to be kind and supportive of each other, we should encourage each other’s strengths, help each other on our paths, because we are intrinsically connected.
I think of the connection that Stacy and I have, and I am thankful for a different kind of sisterhood I share with other women I adore, the kind you choose. Neither of us have been blessed with a blood related sister but we seem to have found each other again in this lifetime. Don’t get me wrong, we don’t agree on everything and we have our moments of agreeing to disagree but that does not mean that for one second, I think she won’t have my back or I hers.
We seem to have embraced each other warts and all. She knows I am far from perfect and I know she is as human as person can get. I also still believe she is magical in her own way and I love that she pulls magic and courage out of me that I didn’t know I had. Sisterhood can be empowering if you let it! This picture personifies our joy on this day. Joy in just being us! No make-up, photo shop, or special effects can produce a photo that encompass happiness, it all comes from the inside.
Our goal as the Adventure Sisters is to pull this joy out of other women. To encourage others to be authentic as you can be while doing your best to find joys in your own lives. We do this by sharing how we do it ourselves. Feel free to share your own picture that shows you radiating joy doing what you love! It could be loving your babies, grandbabies, or fur babies. Hiking, swimming, or anything that makes your heart sing. We would love to see it!
Thank you for reading our blogs, thank you for the continued encouragement and support of our joint but separate journeys of the Adventure Sisters! We appreciate you.
Wishing you an abundance of joyful blessings,
Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister
Follow the Adventure Sisters on Facebook!
Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister