From Outdoors Weekend contributors
My calendar includes travel plans for scuba diving, sturgeon fishing, and hunting turkeys and pheasants. Yet I most look forward to taking a newfound friend fishing close to home. An adult, he recently learned how to catch crappie with bobber and minnow, but has fished for nothing else. So, some summer eve we will slip into waders, tie floating bass lures to our lines and wade a natural shoreline heavy with bulrushes. The sun will be crimson. The water will be dark and still, or still until a largemouth cracks the surface and rockets upward, thereby hooking my friend’s fishing interest deeper yet.
Lisa Meyers McClintick
With a new trail hugging the riverbank through downtown St. Cloud, I’m hoping to make 2016 the “Year of the Mississippi.” My top goal is to renew a past passion for riding along the Beaver Island Trail, which overlooks many of the islands south of St. Cloud State University. Dirt tracks beckon bikers away from the paved trail and into River Bluffs Regional Park. I also hope to explore more communities upstream, including Bemidji, Deer River with its White Oak Society historical encampments, Grand Rapids with its logging history and forests, and a side trip to Hill Annex Mine State Park. It’s always intriguing to see how nature reclaims Minnesota’s quarries and mines. Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area ranks among my favorite getaways.
Mackenzie Lobby Havey
After focusing solely on Ironman training from January to September 2015, I look forward to a less performance-oriented and more experiential approach to the coming year. Rather than planning my recreational time around training logs and race goals, it’ll be about seeking out new trails, taking in the scenery around me, and finishing a run or ride with a cold drink on a patio, rather than a recovery-enhancing protein shake from our refrigerator. I plan on doing more trail running in Theodore Wirth Park and along the Mississippi River and Minnehaha Creek. My husband and I have also resolved to spend more weekends Up North hiking and running the state park trails with our dog. While we’ve visited many, there are others to explore.
I’ve backpacked Isle Royale three times, twice alone and then in 2014 with my wife, Kelly, and Ally, our adult daughter. Ally hiked solo, starting in Windigo, and we ended the trip by all meeting up in Rock Harbor, on the other side of the island. It was an immense joy to see what an incredible experience Ally had, soaking up the satisfaction and the pleasure of hiking long days on rugged trails on a remote island. This year we’ll be going with our son, Zach, who recently completed a tour of duty with the U.S. Marines. He’s backpacked with me in Alaska, but has never been to Royale. The four of us will be there for the first time together — I can’t wait.
Both to be kind to my knees and to up the fun quotient, I’m aiming to do most of my running on soft surfaces — grass, trails, track (the adventure there is feeling lungs glow like a hot coal). Close to home, that might mean the boulevard on Summit Avenue, the woods and grassy fields at St. Kate’s, or the narrow footpaths along the Mississippi. Farther afield, researching trails for my upcoming trips to Los Angeles and Hong Kong, two of the densest cement islands in the world, has made me aware of the natural topography these cities were built on. So, joint-friendly workout, adventure, exploration and getting with nature, all at the same time. Multi-tasking is an ongoing outdoors goal.
From the Minnesota Rovers outdoors group
We put the same question to the Minnesota Rovers, an outdoors club with hundreds of members who do myriad activities. The club celebrated its 61st year in 2015. More information at mnrovers.org. Here are edited responses from some of the Rovers:
• • •
1. Finish the Superior Hiking Trail (193 miles done in 2015, 113 miles to go!).
2. Coordinate a MN Rovers beginner backpacking trip.
Alison Heebsh, New Brighton
Go to Norway and take the Hurtigruten ship along the coast from Bergen to Kirkenes. Norway is beautiful with its mountains and fjords. Hopefully, as well as just looking at the great outdoors, we’ll get to do some hiking, kayaking and other activities.
Barry Shillingford, Eagan
• Hike 100 miles on the North Country Trail
• Hike 100 miles on the Ice Age Trail
• Do four volunteer work weeks: two on Ice Age Trail, one for Wilderness Volunteers and one for American Hiking Society
Diane Harp, Chippewa Falls, Wis.
Well, this year my great adventure is not as physically adventurous as years past. But I, along with my significant other, have started to blend our passion for outdoor solitude with our passion for cooking. In this case, we plan to head to our favorite trout fishing lake in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. The one where we can catch our limit every day if we so choose, and smoke the rest. We’ll try recipes we have created and know we like, along with some new creations of ours. These we will bring out to share with others using nature’s own cold storage (the cold water of the lake, fish in Ziploc bags, and stones on top to sink them to protect from predators and keep them from spoiling). We also have started to add to our wild edible foraging skills, and look to add to our food supply. It makes for a tough trip in and out of the fishing spot, but then a nice relaxing time thereafter.
Cheryl Batson, Brooklyn Center
A backpacking and paddling trip on Isle Royale in the early summer, then a two-week sojourn to explore Ireland later in the season. I plan to do a bike trip on the Dingle Peninsula, visit a castle, hike some national parks, wander the streets of Dublin, and visit a few pubs in between.
Dori Hietala, St. Paul
A thru-hike of the Border Route Trail. I’ve been involved with the BRT since 1972 when Rovers first began its layout and construction. While I’ve been on every foot of it and continue to be involved as the BRT Association Non-Wilderness maintenance coordinator, I’ve never done a thru-hike. At 74 years young, or old if one wants to look at it that way, it’s about time that I get my act together and just do it, eh?
Ed Solstad, Minneapolis
Explore new areas in England, specifically the Holy Island of Lindisfarne.
Jen Oberg, New Brighton
I received a new bike for Christmas. My goal is to ride 60 miles a week and do three bike trips through northern Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin. I plan to use primarily bike trails.
Maggie Piehowski, Danbury, Wis.
I joined MN Rovers in 2001 and have been an active member ever since. The group inspires me to do and try activities I never dreamed I would do. I am an avid kayaker and took up white-water kayaking last year. I will do some white-water and river kayaking this year. Canoe U, a white-water and canoe training course, takes place in May. I took the course last year and plan to go again. In July, I plan to go to the Winnipeg Folk Festival. I’ve been told that this was frequently a Rovers trip in the 1980s and into the 1990s. I have never attended the festival, but it looks like this will be the year. Lots of music, lots of camping at the festival, biking to get around at the festival, and opportunities to camp and hike in Minnesota and Canada before and after the festival.
Joannie Johnson, Northfield
To hit at least half of the Minnesota state park trails in my DNR Hiking Club book. (There is one at every state park, and you get rewards for each 25 miles you complete.)
Monika Kopet, Brooklyn Park
Complete the Minnesota state parks’ 125th Anniversary Challenge and the NCT’s Hike 100 Challenge. Time’s a-wasting! I better get hikin’!
Stacey Grimes, Edina
• Backpack Isle Royale for a week. The longest I’ve backpacked is three days, so this will be a longer stretch for me.
• Learn how to use a dehydrator and make my own backpacking food.
• Transition from full-time to contract employment so I have more flexibility to spend time outdoors.
• Get my bike out earlier — maybe even when there’s still snow on the ground.
Sue Wittkop, St. Louis Park
Notice beauty in nature during daily life: bare branches framed by the light of a streetlamp, silence after a snowfall, amber of a sunset on a prairie.
Tammy Nelson, New Hope
Hopefully being able to hike rim to rim to rim in the Grand Canyon. Also would like to make it a week in the boundary waters with a toddler who is 14 months. Also want to visit and hike Isle Royale, and stay there for four to five days on a loop hike.
Mick Hamberg, Minneapolis