Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Superior Trail, redux

Back on the trail ...
Our days ended with a couple of hours around a campfire. So relaxing. So peaceful.

Oe night we had s'mores. Only they were made with fudge-stripe cookies with a perfectly toasted marshmallow (thanks to Bonnie) in the middle. Delicious!

Mornings began with a run (optional!) and then breakfast. Not being much of a camper recently, I was fascinated by the process of making an omelet, in a Ziploc bag!! Combine 2 eggs, some meat and cheese,

squish it up,

and boil it for 13 minutes.

Presto! A perfectly cooked omelet!

Day 2. Oberg, LeVeaux, Britton and Carlton peaks. Here's our merry little band, all of whom chose to wear St. Cloud shirts that day: Paul (SCRR shirt), Bonnie (St. Cloud State shirt), Ron (Granite City 5K shirt), Gerry (Endurunce Shop shirt), me (SCRR shirt). We started with Oberg.

And then LeVeaux.
I kept looking for something with walls and a roof!
And then Carlton Peak.
And then Britton Peak. And then back toward the Temperance River, where some of us were tipping over dead birch trees. Bonnie started it. ;-)
As I recall, this was another 11+ mile hiking day. I'd run 10 in the AM so it was another 20-miler for me. But the hiking is so much less jarring so my legs felt pretty good. When we returned to the campground, the lake and clear blue sky looked so inviting so I took a few more photos, trying to capture the waves crashing on shore.

All the trails on the Superior Trail are marked with blue paint on the trees.

Spur trails are marked with white.

We stopped at beautiful Gooseberry Falls on Sunday.

One little boy dropped his drawers and pee'ed right into the water much to our astonishment. The sound of the running water must have gotten to him. Funny!!

On the way south, we stopped at famous Betty's Pies, but the wait was 20 minutes so we continued on.

I did buy 2 pieces to go: Pecan and Cherry Berry Crunch. I have a Betty's Pies cookbook. :-)

All too soon, our getaway was over. What a wonderful trip. It will be reprised the last weekend in September again next year. Be there!! I sure hope to be.


I'll do a "regular" kind of post before I do another Superior Trail post, as time is a-fleeting!!

Morning run: 10 x 1/4 COLD, WINDY miles. Not fast. And I have a cold. I never broke a sweat, nor got warm. Underdressed. Oh, well ... 13.31 miles total.

The Rochester Half Marathon shirts are in. I'm going to have an envelope-stuffing-shirt-mailing party for these 200+ shirts at my house on Thursday at 6:00 PM. If you can stop by then, or later, for even a little bit of time, I'd greatly appreciate it. Thanks in advance.

I'm going to TCM packet pick-up on Friday afternoon. If anyone needs their packet picked up, let me know. I've picked up up to 8 of them in the past. I need the back cover of your info book in order to get your stuff for you.

Dan Strain and Trevor Distad are running 10 miles at the RAC on Saturday at 7:00 AM in preparation for Whistlestop the following weekend. If you'd like to join them, please do! BTW: The last I'd heard, there were 102 runners from the Rochester area running the Whistlestop races. WOW!!

Jim Mason is organizing a trail run at Chester Woods on 10/10. Jim says: "I’m thinking Oct 10th would be a fun day to do a little fall fun run through Chester Woods. Meet at picnic shelter #1 for a 10:00 AM start. This would not be a race, just a fun run through the woods to admire the fall colors. If we do the 10 mile course that would allow people to stop if they want after 4 miles and still find their way back easily. Bring water bottles as there will be no water stops but we probably will stop from time to time to let the group catch up. I plan on running about a 10min pace depending on the average speed of our group. If you want to run faster you might have to find your own wayJ We won’t leave anybody behind. If you want to join just reply to my e-mail address jmason@greenway.coop. There is no charge for this run but there is a $5.00 fee to enter the park. If there is enough interest we could have hotdogs etc…after the run". Sounds fun!! If I weren't running a marathon that day, I'd be there for sure.

Here's a neat new program: Pine Island - borrow a bike Program There is now a free borrow-a-bike program at the head of the Douglas trail that is just getting off the ground. It is all volunteer effort and donated bikes. Bikes are available for those who might like to just do a spontaneous family trek down the trail. Here is the blurb about it: "Borrow-A-Bike" for FREE on weekends: Pine Island's innovative "Borrow-A-Bike" program is open for residents and visitors Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., weather permitting. Bikes of all sizes are available for FREE. Children may borrow bikes with the signed authorization of a parent or guardian. Individual cyclists 18 or older simply register to check out bikes. The program currently has more than 50 bikes in active inventory. Other bikes are in various states of repair, and will be added to active stock as work is completed. The repair efforts have been headed by LeRoy "Roy" Krier, a volunteer from the local Lions Club. "Without him, this program would be impossible," says Roy Larson, Borrow-A-Bike director. "He has donated countless hours and done an excellent job." To learn more about volunteer opportunities or to donate bikes, contact Larson directly at 507-696-8453.

I went and picked raspberries

and Concord grapes

yesterday at Sterling Fruit Farms. It's wonderful to have fresh raspberries at this time of year. Now I need to make grape jelly and raspberry jam. In anticipation of a frost/freeze, I picked most of my peppers and beets yesterday.

I made Chicken Wild Rice Soup

for supper today, along with some asparagus and a salad. The recipe is on my Recipe Blog.

Quote for the day: "“Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end. It's not a day when you lounge around doing nothing; it’s when you had everything to do, and you've done it.” -- Margaret Thatcher

Gotta get busy!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Superior Trail 2009

It was such a wonderful, fun trip. We all seemed so compatible, easy-going, low-maintenance. Let's see ... friends, fun, fitness, photos, food, ...

It started out with a run with the River Runners on Wednesday afternoon. Fun! We took the hilly route from Watab Park in Sartell over to Coborn's in Sauk Rapids, and then back to Watab Park via the flat, short route along the river. A little over 8 miles total. It was a good workout. Pictured above are: Paul Ford, Jay Johnson, Anita Baugh, Taggart Downare, Rick Hlebain, Tim Peterson, Arvid Fristad and Tim's friend (sorry I can't remember his name). And my shadow. :-)

I stayed at Ron and Bonnie's house (thank you!) and went for an early morning run in the neighborhood. It was a beautiful sunrise.

Before long, we (Paul, Gerry and I) were loaded up and on our way to the Temperance River State Park. (That's Gerry's Jeep and pop-up camper at a rest area on I-35).

We stopped at McDonald's just outside Duluth for lunch. (That's Gerry, Ron's brother.)

I had a salad ... of course!

Soon we could see Duluth, which brought back memories of my last trip to Duluth. Grandma's Marathon and that oppressive heat during the race. But otherwise a very fun weekend.

We arrived at our destination late that afternoon. A beautiful state park right on the shores of Lake Superior.

Ron and Bonnie had arrived a day before us and had set up camp. I slept in the tent below. Very comfortable quarters.

They wandered over to Gerry's campsite where we had dinner and a camp fire the first night.

We did a little hiking that first day along the Temperance. It's a beautiful river.

On Friday, I started the day with an 8 1/2 mile run. Later, we summited Eagle Mountain, a 7 mile round trip. On the way up, we stopped at Whale Lake for a snack and a little rest break. A beautiful spot.

On the way down, at this same spot, I did a double take. OMG ... Approaching on the path were some hikers and I couldn't believe it, but I knew the one leading the pack.

Dr. G. whom I knew from working out at the Y. Small world!

The hiking was difficult, the most challenging we'd encounter on the trip.

But it was worth it.

Gerry and Ron left a photo of their dad, who passed away in January, at the top of the mountain. This marker is at the highest spot in MN, 2301 feet above sea level.

Then we were off to Lake Agnes, where the colors were beautiful.

I think this was a 3 1/2 mile hike.

Then, White Sky Rock and Caribou Lake, a shorter hike. About 2 miles I think. (I know I ended up the day with 20 miles "on my legs".)

That's me on some makeshift stairs ... very cool!

I ended my day rehydrating some rice pilaf for supper, along with an English muffin with peanut butter. Satisfying. We enjoyed the camaraderie of talk around the camp fire, more stars than I'd ever seen in my life, and pleasantly tired legs. ;-)

The end of our first full day. My new friends felt like they were becoming old friends. :-) A good day. Day 2--tomorrow.