As president of the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew, Aaron Hautala was instrumental in the region’s rejuvenation, helping establish the Cuyuna Country trail system as a must-visit destination for mountain bikers. Earlier this month, Hautala stepped aside for a new president. Hautala manages the marketing firm Redhouse Media with his wife, Beth, in Brainerd.


I just finished for the second time “Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization” by Dave Logan, Halee Fischer-Wright, and John King. This book amazes me, a game-changer for both the business I co-own with my wife, and the movement we helped start in Cuyuna.


I follow the work of Travel Oregon in their Oregon Outdoor Recreation Initiative. It’s amazing thinking, big thinking, and purposeful work that will positively impact the visitors, residents and businesses of their state for generations to come. Outside of the outdoor world, I’m starting in on reading my wife’s second published book, “The Ostrich and Other Lost Things.” (Go-Beth-Go!)


I enjoy watching “Alaska: The Last Frontier.” As we continue our work in Cuyuna, it’s fun for me to draw parallels between our very different destinations but not so different desires in life. Homestead-Cuyuna is a thought-process/idea I’m currently working on. Chickens, bees, fresh fruit and veggies, and all the trout from the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area mine lakes.


My music palette reminds me of a Mesabi Iron Range pasty: diverse ingredients but, at the end of the day, 100 percent soul food. The Strumbellas, Johnny Cash, Michael Jackson, Zac Brown Band, Matt Maher, Gary Clark Jr., Junkie XL and Pink round out the most-played list.


I am cycling my Salsa fatbike every day I can on the wonderfully groomed trails of Cuyuna, and considering how the growth and purposeful expansion of our Minnesota paved cycling trails can connect towns and regions within the state of Minnesota, thus increasing our mobility, in addition to our outdoor recreation. And smiling — we live in a great state. I’m thankful.