A summer finale (or maybe two)

We slipped away twice last week in an effort to savor the last fragile remnants of summer.

Our first of two back-to-back adventures was just Pete, Lupine and me for three days in Northern Minnesota.

It was our first trip in our vintage RV (affectionately known as Nellie) since pre-covid when she developed some catastrophic leaks and the kids and I undertook a full restore and remodel that is only just barely done. We installed new wall and ceiling boards, painted the ugly brown and gold cabinets grey, and covered the 90’s RV beige and brown floral wallboards with white paint and road maps. So fun. (That’s a blog post of its own, perhaps).

It felt so good to be back out on the road in that little rig, taking all the backroads, of course (because she’s happier at 55 than 70 MPH).

Turns out I am, too.

We drove up to the Big Lake (Lake Superior), and even took a swim in those brisk waters. It was delightful. And drying off after our icy plunge I remembered how absolutely vibrantly alive I feel when I take the time to have an adventure, take a risk, jump in.

I don’t want to forget that.

We headed up to a place I worked as a naturalist a lifetime ago, Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center for their 50th reunion.

One of our guides asked what year I taught there, and when I told her she replied, “Oh, cool! That’s the year I was born!” And then I did some quick math and realized that she was the same age as me the year I worked there.

Such lovely reminders of the pace at which life moves.

Being at Wolf Ridge meant time at the lake testing pH and dissolved oxygen and catching crayfish, paddling those quiet waters (while exchanging insults with the French voyagers in the big canoe, as one does), and doing the high ropes course.

So many memories of the year I spent there in my 20’s! It was delightful.

It was a last-minute trip, planned just days before we went, but it was worth it to visit, remember, and play. I’m so glad we did.

We got back home on Sunday afternoon, unpacked, repacked, then turned around and left again on Monday to celebrate Sage’s 20th birthday at my parent’s cabin in northern Wisconsin. (Ya’ll. T W E N T Y. What the.)

We spent a couple of days there together, with ample time to rest, play, forage, and connect. It was so good, and just what this family needed. And then yesterday we were on the road headed home again.

What an end of summer finale! And goodness, what a ride, motherhood. We can’t slow time, but I am grateful when we slow down to savor days like these.

16 thoughts on “A summer finale (or maybe two)

    • Mary Boucher says:

      Wonderful post, Rachel- I’m so happy that I can visualize Minnesota, now that we visited the Boundary Waters.

      And. Twenty. Holy heck!

      Lupine! What a fabulous shirt! I love it! Missing your kind heart, vibrant spirit and Ireland’s magic.

      • Rachel Wolf says:

        Hi, Mary! I’m delighted that you detoured to the BWCAW on your way home from Ireland. What a journey! I shared your comment with Lupine as well. <3

  1. Rachelle says:

    We are blessed to live in Northern Wisconsin, endless blessings and natural changes of the seasons. I am new to your blog and am enjoying it

  2. Michelle says:

    What a LOVELY post! Thanks for helping me remember the value of my own slower pace. In some ways I have permission to keep it slow when I see others honoring that rhythm too. Thanks for sharing yourself here.

  3. Catherine Forest says:

    I love this. As our children grow, these moments of connexion (or reconnexion) are even more special as they do not happen daily as they used to. So glad you had that time together. Am I am envious of that beautiful chicken of the wood!

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