October 26, 2016

Interstate State Park

The outdoors of Minnesota in October are scattered with colors of orange, gold and red. People from all over the country come to Minnesota to view the foliage - and a number of different drives through the state have been designated as some of the best to see fall colors. The State of Minnesota DNR created a fall color finder that is updated regularly with weekly top picks of where to see the best mix of colors.

During a weekend in October, Matt, Rio and I headed to Interstate State Park, which is near Taylors Falls, MN, not only to see the fall colors, but to go for a hike!! Interstate State Park is located on the St. Croix River. The park is unique because at least 10 different lava flows are exposed in the park, along with two distinct glacial deposits, and traces of old streams, valleys and faults.

Rio really wanted to go cliff jumping, but Matt and I told her she had to follow the rules...

The colors were in full glow and during the hike, Matt and I took every opportunity to stop and take in the beauty around us. God really put together a nice landscape for us to enjoy, right?!

There were three trails for hiking, which all totaled to about a four mile hike. Most of the hike was flat, but parts of the trail was rugged with a number of steps.

The end of the hike was flat and lead us to Taylors Falls...

...where we happened upon the oldest existing public school house in Minnesota!

Once again Rio was a champ on the hike. Her energy has us convinced that she is a three year old dog in a 12 year old body. However, she was happy to be back in the car and slept most of the way home...

I say "most of the way home" because Matt and I stopped for dinner at Bricks Neapolitan Pizza in Hudson, Wisconsin on the way back to Chaska. Rio kept a watchful eye on passer-byes from the front seat of the vehicle while Matt and I enjoyed a delicious appetizer of asparagus wrapped in mozzarella and prosciutto, drizzled in a balsamic reduction...

...and a campagnola Neapolitan pizza. The crust was wood fired in an 800 degree oven and topped crushed tomatoes, prosciutto, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, goat cheese and fresh basil. #yum

Matt and I both agreed that Bricks is one of our most favorite pizza places EVER! We will be back.