Friday, September 28, 2012

Addition on the Trail

Today, I picked the Little Dude up for 4K.  And we went on a date to my favorite trail, the Glacial Drumlin in Cottage Grove.  It's flat.  Scenic.  A great mixture of shade and open prairie and sunshine. 

Since it's my favorite place to run, much of the year, I had the brilliant idea to create a four-part series of photographs.  I want to take seasonal photos of the same spots of the trail.  I want to see the differences in scenery during my runs.  So far, I have not tackled winter or snow on this trail yet.  So, I WILL stop out there some cold day this winter.  I'm looking forward to it.  I hope to the frame the photos near my treadmill this time next year. 

The Little Dude and I ran, walked, were cheesey, were hams, looked for catterpillers, analyzed dead grasshoppers, sipped on juiceboxes, lost a few goldfish crackers along the way ... and enjoyed the beautiful fall day.  The weather couldn't have been more wonderful actually.

We explored the adjacent railroad tracks.  He was concerned that a choo-choo train was going to come trough and scoop us up.  But, I assured him that this looked safe.  The tracks and the weeds made a great backdrop.
He quickly remembered the trail and said that we were there last year.  And we were, Buddy!  Exactly a year ago.  I wrote about our little adventure (HERE).  He remembered looking for caterpillers last time, after picking apples at a local orchard.  So today, we were frequently looking down on the gravel trail, looking for fuzzy wuzzy catterpillers.

He wanted to take some photos with my new camera, so I let him snap away.  Every time a runner would come towards us, he wanted to take off or speed up.  It reminded me of my twenty milers out there, when I saw some diehard approaching me and was playing it cool ... because I was out there running long too. 

We made a game of searching for the first mile marker.  Since I'm out there running so many miles, I almost knew exactly how many footsteps it was from the trailhead to the mile marker.  But I played along and he enjoyed the game.  We found it and he wanted to keep going.  But, I told him that we had a long way back to the Marathon Mommy Minivan.  I knew that he would get tired.  So, we headed back on the path.

We saw a lot of geese in a nearby pond.  We explored under a bridge.  Got a little dirty.  And, then we found several fuzzy wuzzy catterpillers.  We "collected" them and put them with their friends.  He didn't want to touch them, but was very concerned that the "babies" were with their "mommy".
And, after an hour of exploring, we were back at the Trailhead.  I explained to him that he had just walked two miles.  But, he was very concerned that we didn't walk to the second mile marker.  I assured him that we walked one mile out + one mile back and that was two miles total, regardless of walking TO the second mile marker.  I asked him if he remembered what one + one equaled.  He told a hiker, "I walked two miles", and gave the stranger a high-five.  That's right, Buddy.  1+1=2!  And, you are one awesome 4K student, .. and a great hiking companion.

After we hiked, we relaxed and played at the newest dream park in our area.  This one has, by far, THE best back drop.  Beautiful, relaxing and quiet.

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