When I drove Sam to his cross country ski practice today, I looked up and said, “Bear.” There was a bear running across the road. It ran into somebody’s yard and went after the bird feeder. The bird feeder had a bell on it. When the bell rang the bear took off like a shot. The lady watching from across the street took off like a shot, too. Not a lot of towns where you have bears in the yard. Fighting our way through bears on the way to an hour long rollerski as a seventh grader. It’s like frigging Sparta.
Once I dropped him off to rollerski, I took the dog up to Twin Ponds. I almost left him behind since today would require a leash among all the other humans. Glad I decided to take him. Big downhill run to join the Lakewalk to the Rose Garden near Leif Erikson Park. Shelley and Grace dropped us off and we had to find our way home on foot. The next time I plan to finish at my driveway will be the last day of this project. I plan to finish by going south from Martin Road to Hartley and down through Bagley and Tischer Creek to the house. But that’s hundreds of miles from today.
It was cool today and we tumbled down the hill through fields of phlox and thimbleberry. Then there was a Hooverville near the Point of Rocks. Leo led across the Interstate. We went past all the usual suspects: the Sundew decommissioned Coast Guard buoy tender, the Bayfront Festival Park, the Aquarium, the DECC, and the Minnesota Slip Bridge, and the iconic Lift Bridge.
By my math, it was 335 years ago this week when Daniel Greysolon made it across the Little Portage or Onigamiinsing. The dog and I did it today in the other direction. I always like to imagine what it looked like before it was overrun by carbon units. A nice lady took a picture of me and my travelling buddy. Then he cooled off in the big lake. No muddy creeks for him to roll in today.
We took a trip down really familiar Lakewalk territory. To read about my love of this strip of pavement, click here. For this project, today was the first and last time I’ll be on the Lakewalk. It’s quite all right. We’ll be back on other days. More often than not. But as an example of how this path rules, we saw a loon in the water. A loon and a bear in one day. In town. This is approved and makes me happy.
We peeled out of the path where the Viking ship has been removed for repairs and headed up by Leif Erikson’s statue. We took at a look at the hill that is right next to that spot. Everybody says that Lemon Drop Hill is bad during Grandma’s. Or maybe the descent on 5th West and the bridge you have to go over next. I say it’s that stupid jink from London Road up to Superior Street. It’s maybe 50 yards long. For some reason, for ten years, it’s my nemesis. It’s hateful and mean. I don’t mind those other hills. This one was sent straight from Shmo hell to torment me.
I took Leo to the Rose Garden and made him pose in a romantic spot and then we headed home.
T-Shirt of the Day:
Supposedly, the Park Point Five Miler is the oldest race in Northern Minnesota. Even older than Grandma’s. The 2010 version where I got this shirt was a 7:58 per mile effort. In 1984 I ran a five miler doing 5:54 per mile. That was 30 years ago. I don’t care. Getting old sucks ass.
And this shirt has a big brown paw print permanently placed where the pooch punched me in the pec previously. That Minnesota brown mud just never comes out of white clothes.
Today’s trip: North Shore Shmo: Leg 12
Donate your money to the Wounded Warrior Project. It does more than a yellow magnet on your car: North Shore Shmo!