Monday, November 30, 2020

Fall in the North


Mississippi River, August 28th, 66f/81f

Pickerel Lake, September 8th, 46f/54f

Prairie transition, September 16th, 61f/ 70f

Little Blue Stem, September 16th, 61f/ 70f

Biking, September 16th, 61f/70f

Mississippi River at the Ford Dam, September 22nd, 57f/82f

University of St Thomas, September 22nd, 57f/82f

Shepard Road, September 22nd, 57f/82f

Mississippi River Bluff, September 22nd, 57f/82f

Snake River, September 26th, 61f/72f misty rain

Cherokee Park, September 30th, 48f/63f

Ironton Minn. October 15, 25f/39f

Sagamore Mine lake, October 16th, 25f/36f snowed all morning

Snowmobile trail in Ironton, October 16th, 25f/36f

Huntington Mine lake, October 17th, 23f/36f

Mississippi River bluff, November 5th,  39f/66f

Gun Club Lake outlet, November 11th,  21f/37f

Minnesota River November 11th,  21f/37f

Minnesota River November 28th, 26f/52f

Three months of beautiful, cool-weather riding in Minnesota this year. Most of my riding hours were with family on our local mountian bike trails. Mrs. North, Jr., and I took every oppertunity to get out and explore the woods on bikes and on foot, fueling the love of exploration in all three of us. This year I am most thankfull for all the time we got to spend together. While it wasn't always easy, we made the most of it.  

Happy Thankgiving!

- RideNorth

fall | 2020 | sunny with a chance of snow

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Fort Snelling State Park - Veterans Day

 One of the many wonderful things about living In St Paul is that we have a State Park in our back yard. (and a National Wildlife Refuge!) And while Tuesday was all freezing rain and snow, Wednesday was sunny and a holiday. It was a perfect, snow covered morning for a walk in the woods. 

Fort Snelling State Park, located at the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers, pre-dates Minnesota's statehood by about 40 years. It sits between St Paul and Minneapolis and features in the origin stories of the Dakota people. This has always been a special place.

The Minnesota river flows north from Mankato to meet the Mississippi. South of the fort itself, on the other side of the rivers, behind the Sibley house in Mendota is the start of the "river bottoms" trail system that runs 20 miles up stream to Shakopee. 

The Minnesota river bottoms is where the now popular fat bikes were developed. These mountain bikes have 4 inch wide tires for floating over soft sand and snow. True to form, some local fat-bikers, not to be confused with fat bikers, had already laid down some tracks. the only other tracks I saw were one person on foot and two dogs. Or maybe two coyotes. I had to wonder if my fellow park visitors were vets out finding some peace and quiet in the woods. 

I made it as far as Gun Club lake. Its south shore meets up with the northern end of the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. The floodplain was alive with the sound of mallards chit-chatting. I also heard wood ducks, widgeon, gadwall (saw), coot, and Canadian geese. A pileated woodpecker crossed my path and I startled two bald eagles out of a tree.

Before the land of sky-blue waters was given statehood, 
this river was known as the St. Peter river. 

My home is a truly amazing place and I'm deeply in debt to those who stand up to protect it. Thank you all for your service and your sacrifices.

- Ride North

2 hours | 23f | fresh snow