The National Parks Passport Program

This past fall, because all other vacation plans were crushed by the pandemic, Britt and I decided to take a trip to Badlands National Park. I love National Parks but have never planned a full trip around one. As part of our preparations, I recalled that visitors to parks could keep track of their travels with a passport. Visiting more National Parks has long been a goal, so I decided to look further into this.

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Black Hills and Badlands: A South Dakota Mini-Break

Black Hills and Badlands: A South Dakota Mini-Break

With COVID-19 came the cancellation of almost all of our planned adventures in 2020. California? Cancelled. Canada? Cancelled. Walt Disney World? Cancelled. That last one hurt the most. Partly because it was to be my first ever WDW experience, but also because it was planned almost a year in advance for February (right about now). The moment we grudgingly and mournfully pulled the plug on that trip it finally sunk in that we would be in this pandemic for the long haul.

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Securian Winter Run 2021 – Racing During Quarantine

2020 was a rough year for all sorts of in-person events and road racing was no different. After recovering from a surgery and doing last year’s Securian Winter Run 10k, I had a big year planned that was meant to culminate in running my first marathon in October. Alas, in March came the first delays and then the eventual cancellations. Race entries already purchased were converted to virtual races with small discounts for the next year.

2021 is looking more promising but it is a very different landscape. Many popular spring races have been rescheduled for fall. Others are still playing it safe and simply going virtual for another year. Out of the wreckage, some race directors have gotten creative and reimagined what races look like.

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Labor Day Camping: COVID-19 Edition

Labor Day Camping: COVID-19 Edition

I have now been camping three times and am officially a fan! I still maintain the fundamental need for toilets and running water, but as long as I have some version of that, I’m confident I will survive the excursion.

In keeping with what we hope will become an annual tradition, we embarked on another Labor Day weekend camping trip with our dear friends, Ruthann and Dan – and this time, River tagged along as well. This year, we explored Jay Cooke State Park near Duluth, and Cascade River State Park between Lutsen and Grand Marais on the North Shore.

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Love and Healing Vibes to the Twin Cities

Love and Healing Vibes to the Twin Cities

The summer of 2020 will likely be remembered as one of heartbreak and frustration. The effects of COVID-19 will be felt for years to come and our community exists on a tightrope balancing between caution and cabin fever. This should be a time of patience and kindness, love and compassion. Instead, the senseless and inexcusable murder of George Floyd at the hands of four Minneapolis police officers shines an undeniable spotlight on the pervasive undercurrent of bigotry in our society.

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Welcome River!

It’s a girl!

Logan and I would like to introduce River, the newest member of the Mountains to Midwest family! She is a 7.5-week-old German Shorthaired Pointer (GSP). After my last two female dogs, I reeeeaaaallly wanted a boy, but mother nature had other ideas, I guess. So, River will have some big pawprints to fill in the wake of her departed sisters, McKenna and Madison.

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Shaping Up: Updating My Shape

I started my “quest to shape up” at the beginning of February, weighing in at about 188 pounds and standing five feet, seven inches tall (on the tall side for Colorado, on the short side for Minnesota.) The intermittent fasting diet began around the same time. Shortly thereafter, I began a free, online, 30-day yoga program and completed a lesson almost every day. Here’s a brief outline of what has happened since:

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Soberversary: Four Years Dry

Every year on April Fools Day, Britt and I go out to a nice dinner. During the first of these outings, we got a giant tower full of raw oysters, shrimp, and crab legs at a restaurant we’d been eyeballing since it opened, but on which we had yet to let ourselves splurge. Since then, seafood has tended to be our theme mostly out of tradition. The reason we do this every year is to celebrate the day that I didn’t die.

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