Frog and Crow are Friends

I just couldn’t help myself with that little riff of a title. Loved those books when I was a kid.

Just before the statewide Stay at Home order, my husband and I ventured north to see the big lake (Superior) and to do a little hiking while the snow lingered. I’d recently come to know about the country’s first National Park on tribal lands and so we headed up. It was an unblemished day with a perfect little ‘interruption’.

This is pretty much going to be the picture everyone takes for this park since the bridge is so outstanding. I wish I could have gotten off trail (comfortably) to shoot it from below.

Frog Bay Tribal National Park itself isn’t very big (a hair under 300 acres), but has a nice parking lot (with bathroom), information kiosk and cool trail markers (you’ll see one in a minute). It could use some improvement in blazing since we somehow missed the turn for the beach on our way back (loop trail with beach spur), but it’s a new place and it will get better in future. We had a great time anyway.

Forever moving still

The snow had melted and re-frozen so many times that we didn’t need snowshoes on the trail itself, but we did need our spikes since it was very slippery and hilly. It runs about a mile through some ridges and valleys that, in summer, must be host to clouds of bugs. As a matter of fact, the first sign of many showing the native words for things found in the park, was of a mosquito!

Walk it off

So I was pretty glad to be hiking with snow on the ground!

Snow trails

The light through the trees was so gorgeous. I had to stop a lot. Luckily my husband knows this from long experience and is patient. Sometimes he uses his phone to grab photos of his own, but mostly he just waits for me. Oh and here’s a nifty trail marker –

Sally forth

Like I said, we missed the trail to the beach and eventually wound up back in the parking lot. Here’s a shot looking down from the bridge to the brook below –

Looking on

We were soon on our way to another spot to hike…just across the peninsula, when I got another idea. Check out this gorgeous sign –

An abrupt change of plans

As a lover of distilled spirits and of locally produced foods, I found a place to turn around and we headed back. Lucky for us the non-essential business shut down wasn’t in place yet so we could go inside and pull up a stool at the bar. Lots of other folks in there, too, and a dog. We met the distiller and had a great chat while tasting their vodkas, gins and the alluring and unavailable vodsky! Yes, I know in hindsight that we were probably putting ourselves at risk, but can you blame us?? I think it was worth it.

Copper Crow Distillery bar

We met the owner and found out that YES, they do distillation on site instead of buying it by the truckload from huge ethanol processors. If you drink big name vodkas (even you Tito) that’s what you’re getting – the same stuff that eventually goes into gasoline. Doesn’t make it bad (I’m a Kettle One girl myself), but it’s a nice change to find locally sourced (they buy midwestern grain and whey) and locally distilled liquor.

While we couldn’t buy the elusive vodsky (vodka aged in charred barrels for a year or so), we did pick up their vodkas – one made with wheat and the other whey (yup, from milk!) and some gin. My husband is a Bombay Sapphire guy, but I’m not and so the Copper Crow gin was a welcome surprise. It’s softer and less juniper-y than BS and so I’m working it into the mix on martini night (Saturday). I’m happy we got to meet the folks and stock up on essentials for isolation!

2 thoughts on “Frog and Crow are Friends

Add yours

  1. Awsome this exists in WI. Name of the park? Did I miss it?
    Ahhh, the unofficial State Bird of Northern MN and WI. Time to get out those handy traps they sell to tourist that take them seriously that they work and that the locals make jackets out of the insect skins (that is why they never go close to the locals) 😂
    Stay safe and healthy through this situation. Homemade organic spirts seem to kill all bugs airborne or internal. Drink on and enjoy!😊

    1. There’s 8 inches of snow on the ground now, so take that tiny biting insects!
      It’s Frog Bay Tribal National Park and I probably forgot to put it in because I was too excited about my post title. I think there’s a link in the text to the official Red Cliff Band page (they’re the group whose land was used and they basically administer the park).
      The gin was used liberally on Saturday night. It’s lovely stuff and has a kind of minty taste in the botanicals.

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