From the land of sky blue waters…

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

This past weekend I traveled to the Mississippi headwaters in Itasca State Park with my friends Mary Linda, who was visiting from Texas, and Alice. It was a fun weekend but lots of driving. 
Saturday morning I picked them up at Alice’s house which is on the other side of the Twin Cities. From there it was a 4 hour ride to Itasca State Park.  I made a square pan of Special K bars as I know that is a favorite of Mary Linda.  We practically ate the whole bar on the drive up.  They are so good!  The drive was nice and smooth.  The weather was perfect, although a bit cool.  We stopped in Wadena for lunch at McDonalds. When you get up there you need to stop wherever you can find food and it will most certainly be fast food.  Mary Linda ordered a Kids meal.  Boy have they changed.  The fries were micro sized.  Think of it this way, the fries only had 100 calories…so she got 10 fries. LOL!  She also got apple slices so that was cool.  But they didn’t give her the toy.  :(
Walking across the Mississippi River
We got up the park by 2:30 and started at the headwaters first.  We walked across the rocks that mark the start of the river.  The river was very stagnant and the water wasn’t rushing over the rocks like it usually does.  That was weird.  But it was also a good thing because it made it easier for Mary Linda to walk across.  After that we drove around the wilderness drive.  It was beautiful with the leaves changing.  I got some really nice pictures.  We checked out the largest white pine tree and stopped to climb the fire tower.  There was actually a line for the tower!  The climb wasn’t too bad but it got really windy when we got to the top. It was a little scary, but the view was amazing so it was worth the trip up. Going down was actually harder because my quad muscles were freaking out.  I’m still sore from the stupid tower.
We made our way to Bemidji and checked into the hotel.  We had dinner at this fancier restaurant but the food was ok.  Considering the price, I was hoping for better.  Alice and I went for a dip in the hot tub and then spent the rest of the night watching tv and relaxing.
Hiking in Lake Bemidji State Park
Sunday morning was a bit cold. I think it was 25 when we woke up.  We had the awesome breakfast at the hotel and ventured over to Lake Bemidji State Park.  We did some hiking along the lake.  Alice took us off the beaten track and we had to scale the steep hills along the lake. When we got to the viewing area, we had to climb over (or through) a fence.  Again the trees were brilliant oranges and yellows.  It was a beautiful day for a hike. 
We took the other way back to the Twin Cities through the lakes around Brainerd.  It was such a nice drive.  We got to Alice’s house around 5 and I got home by 6.  Like I said it was a lot of driving but it was a nice weekend.  It was so nice to see Mary Linda again.
In other news, Eric’s sister Carrie called and now we (Carrie, Eric and I) are doing a triathlon next year.  Carrie will swim, Eric will run, which leaves me with the biking. When I came home Sunday and Eric told me this, my first thought was I need a new bike.  I can’t show up to a triathlon with my Townie cruiser bike with the fat seat and tires…I’d get laughed off the course.  So this is a good excuse to get a new road bike.  So I did some research yesterday and decided that between work and the Twins/Yankees game we would go to Penn Cycle and try out some bikes.  And hour later, after a 15 minute test ride, I got a new Trek Lexa bike. It is very nice. It moves so fast with little effort and it just glides. I have to get used to the tiny tires again.  But I think this will work great. I pick it up tomorrow.  I’m so excited.  Time to start training!

My new bike!!

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