Refresh, renew, relax

At Lake Sakakawea State Park

About a week ago, I saw a beautiful picture on a North Dakota travel site of the sailboats at Lake Sakakawea State Park. For some reason, I felt like I had to go see for myself.

So I polished off my boogie shoes and went.

I got up early for my adventure day, made coffee, quickie shower, packed the cooler, and away!

I didn’t even check my email before I left.

I could tell you I thought writerly thoughts all day. Or that I took notes. Or that I worked out a character or a scene. Nope. Can’t lie to you.

I hardly had a writerly thought all day. I just hiked, strolled, sat, watched the birds and butterflies, took pictures, and chatted with strangers along the way.

Outside Audubon National Wildlife Refuge, Cole Harbor, ND

At Lake Sakakawea

At Lake Sakakawea

Student Artwork at the Audubon National Wildlife Refuge

Fort Stevenson State Park, Garrison, ND

At Audubon National Wildlife Refuge

For more information on the state parks –,

Pictures featured – all mine.


When is the last time you took a REAL day off? When is the last time you toured a peaceful spot in your neighborhood, state, or country? What cool stuff have you seen in your neighborhood or state recently?


Filed under Personal Articles, Social Networking, Special Events

22 responses to “Refresh, renew, relax

  1. Glad you got unplugged and completely away for a day. Nothing like it for refreshing & rebooting! xo

  2. Angie’s right, you need the total recharge every so often, and I’m glad you got one, Karen. We recently went up to my wife’s unlce’s house for a family reunion. We were both reluctant, as we’re… well, you know–busy. But we were so glad to be on the beautiful Leelanau Peninsula in Northern Michigan. It’s so replentishing to the soul. Winding roads, sparkling blue lakes and bay, wineries nestled against rolling hillsides. Ahhh. So glad we went!

  3. Oh, I envy you, Karen–can’t remember the last time I took a real 100% day off. With autumn around the corner, I am definitely going to have to just do it. 🙂

  4. Where you are Shawn, you should take a leisurely drive along some back roads. I know the fall colors in New England are magnificent.

  5. What a great idea! And love the pictures!

  6. Karoline Stock

    I also love the pictures. Now that the weather may be getting cooler, I think I’ll go to the Botanical Gardens and spend the day! Thanks for the inspiration.

  7. Ahhhh, a woman after my own heart. Love spontaneous escape days 🙂 The pics are simply gorgeous! You’ve inspired me….haven’t had a proper day off since was sick. Booking one in right now! It won’t be quite as spontaneous as yours but it will still get the job done 🙂

  8. jwthibodeau

    Love that you took a vacation-for-a-day, Karen! My family just returned from five days in Ocean City, MD–when I close my eyes, I can still feel the waves lifting me…ahhhh!

  9. I LOVE “day-cations!” Sometimes I hop on my motorcycle and just explore new roads for a few hours. There’s just nothing like it!

    Your pictures do tell a thousand words!

  10. We should all take a day-vacation every so often, to refresh and renew. Plan it. Execute. 🙂

  11. It’s been far too long since I did this. I’m overdue. Loved the photos!

  12. My gosh, Karen, now I can add “photographer” to your list of impressive skills and talents. I’m SO happy you gave yourself this gift. I’ve been meaning to go do this at our local arboretum, which is only about 35 miles away. Now I know I need to just do it!

  13. I have to admit (not harshly, mind) that there is not a lot of color or flavor in Minot – still in “recovery” in a lot of areas. I enjoyed the drive almost as much as visiting these sites. I’m thinking of getting a better camera. Though the pocket camera seems to work well, I think I could do better!

  14. I’m glad you didn’t check e-mail before you left. It’s so freeing to be unplugged. I love the pictures, especially the fronds of grass with the lake behind. It reminds me of Nebraska. 🙂

  15. I haven’t done anything like this for a long time. I think I am due soon. I cna see how liberating it could be. Thanks for the reminder.

  16. I don’t think it’s healthy to just keep banging away – that was something I was doing earlier this year. I have cut my internet time in half, and it is liberating. A day away from everything – unplugged – is refreshing!

  17. Looks like a fabulous day! Great photos too!

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