Karen and I have a favorite place on the St. Croix—Marine Landing. It isn’t summer until we’ve eaten there, so today was the day!

Mike and Meg Zajac own the place and couldn’t be more welcoming. When we arrived Meg was in the parking lot hosing down a pontoon. After we exchanged our hellos, I asked if they were open because there were no cars in the parking lot; she said yes but gestured “an inch” with her thumb and forefinger. She said we’d have to access the deck through the restaurant, instead of just walking onto the deck. And then she added, “If a boat goes by, just lift up your feet.” Well … when we turned the corner we understood—water, water everywhere!

We are the only people there at noon (and got our choice of tables, which we thought for dryness sake we’d prefer in the middle) but it soon filled up with locals. I had the delicious pulled pork sandwich and Karen had her favorite, a BLT. We also happily enjoyed chatting with a reporter from the Star Tribune who was shooting photos for a travel story that’ll be in the Sunday paper in two weeks.

Meg said if the river rises a few more inches they will have to close. She mentioned that flooding in previous years has always been from snowmelt but this year it’s from rain and Mississippi River backup (which joins the St. Croix 38 miles away in Prescott Wisconsin)! That’s hard to believe! The usual strong current was barely visible as the north-pushing Mississippi canceled out the south-flowing St. Croix.

So, a beautiful sunny day with my sweetheart, great scenery, good food, and an up close and personal look at the power of nature. But I was a little disappointed a boat didn’t go by so we’d have to lift up our feet.

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