Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Morning Ride

Early morning ride. Trying to figure out how I can get some miles in with as busy as I am at work and the need to study for licensure. This was one possibility. Though anyone who knows me knows that I am so NOT a morning person. I gave it a good effort. But I was a little grumpy. Couldn't find my computer... which was part of the grumpiness. But that also means that I don't know exactly how far we went or how long it took us. I do know that it was very cold and very windy. We really just went out Woodley to the stop sign at CR 42. Then turned around and headed back. Definitely woke us up!!

Distance = approx 8 miles
Time = approx 1 hour

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Red Jacket Trail

Distance = 16.56
Time = 1.30.38
Avg Speed = 10.9 mph
Max Speed = 29.5 mph (=
Odometer = 2885.7 miles

Lorrie and I headed out to Mankato to check out what might become our new Nimrod Camper. Mainly because I love the name of it! lol It is actually quite cute. We're debating. It belongs to her friends Helen and Nick. They want to give it to us. The only catch... we can't take it back if we don't want it anymore. lol We hung out at their house for a few hours and played with the kids. They all had to go to a birthday party so we went off for our bike ride. We took the Red Jacket Trail, which was conveniently located right by their home. We rode to the Rapidan Dam, which was pretty incredible. We stopped at the Rapidan Dam Cafe to share a burger that we needed to go back up the hill we'd just flown down. And we were going to be riding against the wind for a lot of the first part of the return. VERY cute little cafe. Family owned. They also have a campground attached. We'll have to check that out sometime. Lorrie said she would put in her canoe by the dam when she would go with Daryl. We'll have to try that too. The ride back was uneventful after we made it up the hill and out of the wind. The trail was well covered so we didn't have to deal so much with the wind. Some beautiful views, which I will add pictures of. And a couple of very cute goats along the trail. lol Afterwards we headed to Chipotle! YEAH! Then Cold Stone. lol Then the Liquor Store. lol The liquor was for friends coming in for the weekend. Not for after the ride. I need to start getting in some more miles if I'm going to be successful on the Red Ribbon Ride and possible the MS TRAM.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Wild River - Day 3 (Happy Bday Lorrie!)


Got up leisurely. Lorrie made breakfast. Before anyone gets out of hand, she wanted to make it! Eggs and bacon. Then she made the blueberry scones we got at the Midwest Mountaineering Expo. They were okay but not blueberry enough. Had a good fire going. Thanks to me! (= Fire bug! We putzed around and got ready to leave. Packed up the car and were on the road by about noon.

We headed to Wild River Amusement Park/Ski Area. Because it's her birthday, Lorrie got a free day pass to the park! We did the Alpine slide twice and raced the go-karts once. I'd never done an alpine slide before so that was fun! A little scary at some points. The go-karts were fun. I tormented some guy the entire time. But I opted for safety and didn't pass... even though he would have gotten in trouble for ramming into me. Oh well!

Then off to Taylor Fall and the Glacial Pothole park within Interstate State Park. That was very cool looking! Lots of rock climbers of all levels were everywhere. It also bordered the St. Croix river so some nice views. We took Emma in with us but left Tori in the car. I don't think her hip would handle all the climbing. I got a lot of great photos in there.

After that, hungry, we head the 100 feet into Taylor Falls to eat at their little drive-in diner. We sat outside to eat our burger and hot dog... with root beer of course. Frost Top. Then on to this little coffeehouse that Lorrie's been raving about. With reason! It was very good and very cute!

Then home. Pretty easy drive. A little traffic hung us up in St. Paul but nothing major. Once home, we headed directly to a gospel concert on the Carleton Campus. We smelled like campfire! ha! The group was "Essence of Joy" from Penn State University. I am SO glad we went even though we are tired and smelly! (=

Hopefully I can come up with another nice weekend for Lorrie next year! I'm doing well so far!

HAPPY 43rd! <3

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Wild River State Park - Day 2

Today is in list form:
  • Bozo up at 6:15am. Looks at phone to check time. "F*ck this! I'm going back to sleep!"
  • Slept until about 8am
  • Breakfast... eggs and bacon
  • Windy, sprinkling, 10 mile ride with a couple big hills.
  • Ahhh shower!
  • Back to Poppie's for internet and coffee... oh, and mom's birthday present
  • Lunch at a dive bar
  • VERY windy out!
  • Back to Poppies so that I could study EPPP )=
  • Stop for wood
  • Back to campsite
    • Threat of rain
    • "The Invisible" in the tent
  • Awesome! fire
  • In bed around 11pm
  • VERY bright moon again!

Wild River Cycling

Distance = 9.57
Time = 53.05
Avg speed = 10.7 mph
Max speed = 26 mph

We're camping at Wild River State Park and brought the bikes to ride around the area. They have some paved trails within the park but they are covered with Scouts. Boy and Girl. Funny how they jump out in front of us when we tell them that we're coming. Often, if we just keep out mouths shut, they don't know and we can whiz past. But that's dangerous and it would be our fault if they stepped out. So we say, "On your left." To which they step left. I'm sure it's confusing. We rode as much as we could in the park and then headed out onto the road toward Almalind, the little town outside the park. The roads within the park were AWESOME! Seriously! Black tar. Smooth. I would have been happy just riding that road back and forth for 100 miles. Or maybe 20. Anyway, we conquered a couple of pretty big hills. Lorrie was funny. She looked up at the first one and said that she wouldn't do it. Then she did. Said that was the last one for her today. Then she did the second one. And she said, FOR REAL, that was the last one. She ended up doing another tiny one but there weren't really any more bigger ones to do. So I guess she was right that time! Then we got to go downhill. Always fun for me. Always scary for Lorrie. Stopped inside the park for a couple photos.

Not long after the photo shoot, the sky started getting a little dark and the wind picked up. So we cruised through the park on the perfect roads toward our campsite. I admit that I did exceed the speed limit a few times. It sprinkled on us a little but never quite rained until later. Good early hills!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Wild River State Park - Day 1

First camping trip of the year! We had a late start after a late night. We ended up doing most of the packing in the morning. We are totally disorganized! And we are both PMSing! Bad combo! I was the worst though! I kept thinking of more things we needed that weren't already packed, which was frustrating.

The drive was easy. Some construction issues in St. Paul but nothing major. Stopped before our exit to get Jimmie Johns and some ice from Cub. Then on to Interstate State Park. It was about 2pm when we got there and all the reservable sites were taken. We went around to see what was left and it was mainly electric sites, which had no grass for a tent. There was one we thought was good and decided to take it. By the time we got back to the park office, that site was taken. Not great for our PMS and my bad attitude. We got directions to Wild River State Park and headed there.

They have more sites in general and more non-reservable sites specifically. We got here and talked with one of the clerks. We were going to drive around and find a site but then I asked at the last second about one that looked similar to a really good one at Interstate. She suggested that with dogs we take that site and if we didn't like it, we could come back and change it. I could just see us choosing one and then have it be gone by the time we got back. Good decision! The site is great!! Back in the corner with woods behind us. There would be more privacy if the trees had their full leaves. But it's still pretty private.

First thing we did was set up the tent. A string at the top had come detached so Bozo had to do a little sewing at first. She got it done in no time and we were back on track. Got everything unpacked then headed into town for some wood and to charge the computer. In case it rains, we might want to watch a movie. We ended up at a little place called Poppy's in Almalund. They were about to close but Susie said to come in anyway since she wasn't leaving any time soon. We plugged in the computer, had coffee, a donut, and some free mint chocolate chip ice cream that she was trying to get rid of. We were there for about an hour while other people came in and out. It's also a consignment shop so there were some interesting wares. She had some old Smurf glasses from McDonald's that I may have to buy for my mother! (= As we walked out, it started to rain a little. The dogs were getting wet from the windows being open. lol

On our way back, we stopped for roadside wood that Susie recommended. It rained off and on all the way in and once we got back to the site. We put on our rain jackets and stayed outside. It never really downpoured. I got to wear my new Marmot hat too! (= We had only gotten one bundle of wood so I went back to the office and got a couple more. Stuff from the office was more like kindling where the stuff from town was more like wood. It rained a lot of the time I was driving but then stopped for the most part once I got back. Bozo made us some great hamburgers and asparagus! She did lose one burger to the fire before I got back with the wood! lol She was so cute and sad about that!

After dinner, we cleaned up then enjoyed the fire and talked. A nice way to end the day! The moon was SO bright! We definitely didn't need flashlights. Off to bed around 11pm. We'll watch some of Oprah's classroom series with Eckhart Tolle. Good end to a moody day! (=

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Woodley and Around

Distance = 11.62 miles
Time = 1.03.08
Avg. Speed = 11.0 mph
Max Speed = 22.5

Lorrie and I went for a quick ride today. Just to get on the bikes. We headed out of Northfield on Woodley. When we got to CR 42 where we usually would turn right toward Dennison, we decided to see where left too us. At first it took us down this nice hill. I liked that part. Then we got to a T and turned left again back toward Northfield past the golf course, which then got us into the neighborhood near Carleton. There were a couple of bigger hills there that were good for training. In other words, they hurt this time. That's a good thing. Then we know what we need to work on. A good, quick ride. (=

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Sakatah Trail - Mankato

Distance = 10.18
Time = 56.18
Avg speed = 10.7 mph
Max speed = 18 mph

Happy Vesak! Though I'm not sure that is an appropriate salutation. Today is the day people, mainly Buddhists I suppose, celebrate the birth, enlightenment, and and passing of Buddha. Lorrie and I went to Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN for a Vesak celebration. Her friend Darshi was part of the celebration so we wanted to support them. Our plan afterwards was to do a bike ride on the Sakatah from the end opposite to where we usually ride. I don't know what I was thinking this morning when I got dressed. I wore a short-sleeved shirt. Thank goodness I brought a jacket "just in case." When I packed up my cycling clothes, I didn't include long pants. I'm not sure where I got the impression that it would be warm. It wasn't! And it rained the entire day.

After the Vesak celebration, we headed toward the trailhead. The rain seemed to be coming harder and harder. But still we went. The whole time we were both waiting for the other to say that maybe it wasn't such a great idea to go. But neither of us said anything. So we went! lol Got changed in the car and off we went. I happened to have a pair of nylon sweatpants in my bag so I rolled those up and wore them. They didn't keep me particularly dry but it took longer for my legs to get wet and they did shield me from the wind. Lorrie had brought all the right gear! What is wrong with this picture!?? lol I'm usually giving her some of my things to wear. What I was thankful I'd brought was a plastic-like totally waterproof jacket. It was an accident that I brought it though. It was already in my bag. lol I was very thankful!

The ride was good. We decided with the weather and my cold we should only go about 10 miles. We ran into two other women who were cycling. Ha! Tell me women aren't tougher than men! (= We had to cross a set of railroad tracks, which was interesting with the water mixed with oil. No incidents though. At five miles we got to the lake where Lorrie and Darshi go for birdwatching. It was nice to see the place they talk about. We stood there for about 15 seconds admiring the view before turning around and heading back to the car.

Getting changed in this kind of situation is always an adventure. I backed the SUV up to a tree so that we'd have a little cover from the water. But then it was too muddy. So we took off our wet layers outside then slid into the front seats to change the rest. We used my sweatshirt as a towel... since I didn't think to bring one of those! lol And we got into our street clothes without being arrested! Good job!

I had a $30 gift card for Whiskey River so we went for steak after our short wet ride. That was a nice finish! A quick stop at Cherish's house on the way home and we could call it a full day!

My training for the Red Ribbon Ride and MS TRAM are VERY lacking! I am trying to get my brain wrapped around two things. That's it! Cycling and studying for licensure. Somehow those two things together seem like a LOT! But I'm working on it.