7 Minute Miles

2008 State Fair Milk Run 5K

Posted Wednesday, August 27th, 2008 11:50 pm GMT -5 in Running at 11:50 PM

Last Sunday kid one and I ran the 24th Annual Minnesota State Fair Milk Run 5K in Falcon Heights. This was our second straight year and we ran this one four minutes faster than 2007.

This event is so much fun–you get a T-shirt, admission to the fair and a coupon for a free malt afterward. The 3.1-mile course starts and finishes near Heritage Square in the northwest corner of the fairgrounds and runs back and forth through the St. Anthony Park neighborhood and the University of Minnesota’s St. Paul campus.

Here are the top three men’s finishers:

  • 1, Daniel Murray, 21, Blue Earth, MN, 16:33 (5:19 pace)
  • 2, Thomas Tisell, 41, St. Paul, MN, 16:46 (5:24)
  • 3, Michael Nawrocki, 36, Minneapolis, MN, 16:56 (5:27)

Here are the top three women’s finishers:

  • 1, Kim Magee, 25, Mounds View, MN, 18:06 (5:49)
  • 2, Angie Voight, 31, Minneapolis, MN, 19:07 (6:09)
  • 3, Becca Nichols, 17, Lakeville, MN, 19:24 (6:14)

Full Results: Men | Women

7MM 2008 Milk Run Photo Gallery

Federated Challenge for Kids of Minnesota

Posted Wednesday, August 27th, 2008 12:03 am GMT -5 in Golf at 12:03 AM

Federated Insurance Company of Owatonna, Minnesota, hosted their annual Federated Challenge fundraiser Monday at Interlachen Country Club in Edina. The event raises funds for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Minnesota and the Annexstad Family Foundation and a large check was presented in the clubhouse ballroom for $2.3 million.

The event was supported by many well-known organizations, including presenting sponsor Wells Fargo, the Timberwolves, Tiffany and Co., Allina, Coca-Cola, Rolex and TCF Bank. Participants on each par three hole also had a chance to win a Mercedes from sponsor Feldmann Imports with a hole-in-one.

Interlachen absolutely shined during the day: host professional Jock Olson graciously hit tee shots for each team over the course of the afternoon, the grounds crew did an incredible job to remove all traces of the major event held there just two months ago and George Carroll’s catering staff served excellent food and refreshments before and after the tournament.

The weather was perfect for the double shotgun event (one was held at 7:30 AM and a second group started at 1:30 PM). Each foursome also had the services of a forecaddie during their round to help negotiate the intricacies of the famed Interlachen fairways and greens.

Special thanks to Jeff and his wife Debbie for the invitation to this great event and congratulations on raising so much money for a great cause.

Bunker Hills Course Notes

Posted Saturday, August 23rd, 2008 10:05 pm GMT -5 in Golf at 10:05 PM

Almost ten years to the day of my last round there, our Saturday group visited Bunker Hills Golf Course in Coon Rapids today. Our afternoon tee time had us on the West-North nines at the 27 hole facility (36 holes if you count the nine hole short course). The walking weekend rate was $40.

Bunker Hills hosts many tournaments each year, including the Minnesota State Open and the Minnesota State High School League Class AAA boys and girls golf championships. It hosted a Champions Tour event from 1993 to 2000 and is home to the Minnesota Section of the PGA. There is a great display of Minnesota golf memorabilia in the clubhouse (including a photo of player of the year Don Berry provided by Golfing in Minnesota).

While the condition of the course was nice, today was overshadowed by a golf issue we haven’t experienced much lately: slow play. The area around the clubhouse was full of people when we first arrived and tee times were running late. Our first nine holes took three hours and a staffer made an effort to improve things when we notified them. Unfortunately, the round still took almost five and a half hours to complete.

There is really no need for slow play on this course–balls are easy to find, there isn’t much trouble and most of the holes aren’t that tight. The long par-three eighth hole on the west nine is my favorite hole at Bunker Hills, but it does create a back-up.

ForeTees Online Tee Times for Private Clubs

Posted Friday, August 22nd, 2008 05:20 pm GMT -5 in Golf at 5:20 PM

This morning I had the opportunity to interview Bob Parise, president and founder of ForeTees, an online tee time reservation system designed by golf professionals exclusively for private country clubs.

In use by 24 of the top 100 clubs in the nation (300+ clubs overall), the system has processed more than 8 million tee times since the March 2002 launch. Top Minnesota clubs using the system include Interlachen, Hazeltine National and Northland.

Parise was a member at Dellwood Hills and owned a technology consulting firm, RDP Consulting. In the spring of 2001, Dellwood assistant professional Travis Galleberg and head professional Jay Norman led the charge to bring an online system for tee times to their members. Finding nothing to their liking in the market, Parise stepped in and the initial ForeTees system was born.

Five additional clubs joined by the end of the first year and Galleberg left Dellwood to join the company. Current director of technology Paul Sindelar was also involved from the start and the company now employs nine people in their new office, located just down the road from North Oaks.

System features have expanded over time to meet the custom needs of each club. For example, tee time lotteries are popular with Florida clubs, so that feature was added in 2005. Other new features include event sign-up, handicap integration with GHIN and expanded reporting capabilities for club managers.

With sensitive member rosters and information, security and backup systems are vital. ForeTees hosts their servers in a Minneapolis data center and have multiple procedures in place for contingencies (such as when a club loses its internet connection).

Techies will be interested to know that Macs play a big part in the ForeTees operation, while Linux is used on the back-end servers. The development platform is Java-based, with MySQL databases used to store system data.

ForeTees is a true Minnesota golf success story. Parise said they’d like to improve the look and feel of the product in the future and are managing through the difficult economy. They also continue to partner and integrate with existing club systems and web sites.

Everyone I’ve talked to at a private club that has ForeTees loves it. After visiting the operation, it’s easy to see why. Kudos!

North Dallas Under 40

Posted Friday, August 22nd, 2008 03:18 pm GMT -5 in Sports at 3:18 PM

It’s been ten years since my first (and only) fantasy football league, but the neighbors asked us to fill an opening in their league this year. We plan to set it and forget it for the most part, but here is the starting lineup (courtesy of fanball.com).

Wild Season Ticket Holder BBQ

Posted Wednesday, August 20th, 2008 11:40 pm GMT -5 in Hockey at 11:40 PM

Tonight we attended the first annual Wild season ticket holder BBQ on Raspberry Island in downtown St. Paul. Two trolleys ferried people from the River Centre parking ramp on Kellogg down to the entrance where we found:

  • Coupons for a free brat or burger, chips, drink and Kemps IttiBitz ice cream
  • A tent selling discounted Wild merchandise
  • New owner Craig Leopold flipping burgers
  • Tables with swag from channel 45 and the Pioneer Press
  • Two caricature artists doing free drawings
  • Lots of tables and chairs to sit and eat
  • A stage for a live Hockey Unplugged with Kevin Falness, Dan Terhaar, Mike Greenlay and Craig Leopold
  • A screen set up for the movie Miracle

I chatted briefly with Mike Greenlay (who plays in the Tapemark Charity Pro-Am) and asked him about the new owner. He said he worked with him before in Nashville and he thinks that Bob Naegele found a great successor in Mr. Leopold.

It was fun listening to Hockey Unplugged again, although a few of the questions asked weren’t the greatest (glad I don’t have to come up with answers for those).

The only disappointment of the night was the one caricature artist who said he had to quit at 8PM – right as my daughter got to the front of the line after waiting an hour. By itself that wouldn’t be so awful, but the guy did one more drawing after we left for a couple who offered him $10 to do a “free” drawing. Jerk.

Legends Club Course Update

Posted Wednesday, August 20th, 2008 11:10 pm GMT -5 in Golf at 11:10 PM

Today we visited Legends Club in Prior Lake. This was my first visit there this year and the course is maturing nicely. We played the 6,702-yard black tees, which play to a rating of 72.6 and a slope of 139.

As I’ve commented on before, the par threes at this course are special. The thirteenth hole gets the spotlight, with the long carry over water and the wood bridge, but the other three are great too. The seventeenth was playing 184 yards into the wind today and I needed a three wood to carry the water and rock wall to get pin high.

The service in the pro shop and on-course was superb and the food in the restaurant was excellent. Thanks to my guests Doug and Scott for a wonderful day.

Breakfast with Tom Lehman

Posted Tuesday, August 19th, 2008 09:05 am GMT -5 in Golf at 9:05 AM

Tradition Companies (Willinger’s, Legends Club, Territory Golf Club, etc.) and their family foundation are presenting a fundraiser for HopeKids next month at Edina Country Club, featuring a breakfast with Tom Lehman. KFAN’s Common Man, Dan Cole, will emcee the event, which will be held Monday, September 15, from 7:00 – 8:30AM.

Cost for an individual is $100, while a table of 8 can be purchased for $750. Proceeds benefit HopeKids, which provides a support community for children with cancer and other life-threatening medical conditions.

For more information about the event, contact Missy Hilby at Tradition Companies, 952-252-0234 or via email at milissa.hilby@traditionllc.com.

Download Event PDF

Happy 4th Birthday, MINI

Posted Monday, August 18th, 2008 11:20 pm GMT -5 in Cars,Family at 11:20 PM

Kid one and kid two made a cake and sang happy birthday to the MINI Cooper today, which I took delivery on four years ago today. Mileage is now around 55,000 miles, but it’s been running great (knock on wood). Only one more year of payments, too.

Oh, and by the way, the answer to my most asked question: I average about 29 MPG, but could get closer to the rated 37 if I didn’t drive it so hard (but what fun is that?)…

Let’s Motor!

MN Domain Names for Sale

Posted Monday, August 18th, 2008 12:56 pm GMT -5 in Technology,Work at 12:56 PM

A few years back, we bought up a bunch of “.mn” domain names at work. That extension is the country code for Mongolia, but it also works well for Minnesota-based sites.

I have several domains in production now (golfing.mn, hockey.mn, run.mn, proam.mn), but we have a bunch that we don’t plan to use:

  • bride.mn
  • cabins.mn
  • concerts.mn
  • deals.mn
  • homefinder.mn
  • seats.mn
  • sexy.mn
  • theater.mn
  • zoo.mn

If you would like to take ownership of any of these domains, drop me a line at dk@studio-4.com and we can chat. I hate domain squatters, so all we are looking for is to recoup some of our costs (.mn domains are more expensive–starting at $49.95USD per year).

Hazeltine Launches New Website

Posted Monday, August 18th, 2008 11:28 am GMT -5 in Golf at 11:28 AM

While preparing for my visit to Hazeltine National Golf Club this week, I noticed the club launched a wonderful new website at www.hngc.com.

I’ve always wished that the premier private courses in Minnesota would build online presences that matched their real-life quality and stature in the physical world.

Hazeltine’s new site is a vast improvement over their previous site and has a professionally designed look and feel that is easy to navigate. It would be nice to see aerial shots added to the course tour (similar to these) and the pages do not validate to web standards, but overall, it’s very well done.

Southview Fall Membership Offer

Posted Sunday, August 17th, 2008 04:00 pm GMT -5 in Golf at 4:00 PM

While attending the third annual Southview Invitational at Southview Country Club in West Saint Paul last week, I read about a membership offer that began August 1.

Join now for a reduced initiation fee of $3500 ($2500 per person if you get two people to join) and play free for the rest of the season with no monthly dues or food and beverage minimums until January 2009.

For more information, contact general manager Mark McCahey at 651-451-6856 or via email at mmccahey@southviewcc.com.

3rd Annual Southview Invitational

Posted Saturday, August 16th, 2008 04:26 pm GMT -5 in Golf at 4:26 PM

Thanks to an invitation from my friend (and Tapemark Pro-Am president) Phil Callen, I had the opportunity to lead the country club lifestyle the past three days at Southview Country Club in West Saint Paul.

We played an 18-hole practice round on Thursday, followed by three 9-hole matches Friday and two more matches today. Phil and I played OK, but we got smoked in our flight. Everyone was very nice, though, and the club did an incredible job with the event. Got a nice new pair of Nike sunglasses out of the deal, too.

Thanks Phil!

Links Magazine: White Bear Yacht Club

Posted Saturday, August 16th, 2008 07:34 am GMT -5 in Golf at 7:34 AM

After digging my way through the stack of old magazines in my office, I came across the March 2008 issue of Links Magazine that had a story by Josh Karp about White Bear Yacht Club in Dellwood.

With lots of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Donald Ross items, it’s well worth a read.

The more I think back on the round I played at WBYC earlier this year, the more I like that course.

Unique holes, uneven lies, perfect conditioning, a historical setting and traditional Donald Ross styling–it’s a Minnesota classic.

Interlachen Open Merchandise Clearance

Posted Thursday, August 14th, 2008 07:05 pm GMT -5 in Golf at 7:05 PM

From an email we received today:

2008 U.S. Women’s Open Inventory Reduction Sale

When: August 15-24
Where: Eagle Lake Golf Center, 11000 Cty Rd 10, Plymouth, MN

On Sale Merchandise: Men’s & Women’s Shirts – $20, Hats – $10

Hours of Operation: 7:00 AM – 10:00 PM Daily

A portion of proceeds will be donated to the Three Rivers Park District’s First Tee Program.

Golf Magazine Top 100 Courses You Can Play

Posted Wednesday, August 13th, 2008 12:22 am GMT -5 in Golf at 12:22 AM

The 2008 edition of the Top 100 Courses You Can Play ranking came in the mail today as part of the September 2008 edition of Golf Magazine.

With several listed courses costing $500 or more, this isn’t entirely a list of courses I could actually afford to play, but the only connection you need to get on is a large bank account.

This year’s list has 11 new courses on it, which means competition for Minnesota courses is stiff. Only two made the cut: The Quarry at Giants Ridge at #50 and Deacon’s Lodge at Grand View Lodge at #81.

For the first time, Golf Magazine also ranked the best you can play in every state. Ten courses were listed for Minnesota:

That list of courses holds up very well against any state in the union, in my opinion…

Red, Green and Cheez Vices

Posted Tuesday, August 12th, 2008 11:53 pm GMT -5 in Food,Personal at 11:53 PM

I lead a pretty boring life as far as vices go. The trio pictured above are the only things keeping me from my goal of reaching my high school weight.

I talked with my friend and former co-worker Jake today for tips (see this post for why Jake is an expert in this field). His secret? CalorieKing Nutrition & Exercise Manager for Mac OS X

I downloaded the 7-day demo and entered in my items for today. Very interesting statistics and feedback on the nutrition of what I ate and drank and the effect that exercise has on weight trends. Not sure if I can keep up with the record-keeping aspect of it (I long ago stopped using Quicken for this reason), but it will be interesting to do it for one week anyway…

8th Annual John Massetti Golf Tournament

Posted Tuesday, August 12th, 2008 08:31 am GMT -5 in Golf at 8:31 AM

Yesterday we attended the 8th Annual John Massetti Golf Tournament at Crystal Lake Golf Club in Lakeville. Presented by the Minnesota Chapter of the Guide Dogs of America (Hawgs for Dogs) and IAM Air Transport District 143, the tournament raises money to provide guide dogs free of charge to blind individuals.

The scramble event is well run and the weather was perfect. Our team played well, but could only make it as low as three-under before finishing with a 69 (-2). The winning team shot an incredible 57 (-14), but I did manage to win the men’s long putt on the ninth green (about 15 feet).

When I got home and opened the mail, I read a thank you letter from the Tapemark Charity Pro-Am. This really highlights for me the positive impact golf can make on society via charity events. While other programs seem to exist to make more money for golf companies, tournaments like Guide Dogs and the Tapemark Pro-Am truly make a difference in the world.

Golfing in Minnesota plans to provide enhanced coverage of charity events next year so more people will participate and support these wonderful causes. Have fun and help out at the same time…

GolfWeek: Minnesota Range Roving

Posted Sunday, August 10th, 2008 08:18 pm GMT -5 in Golf at 8:18 PM

Following on the heals of the Golf Digest article we mentioned earlier this week, the August 9th issue of GolfWeek magazine contains a story by Martin Kaufmann that talks about golf on the Iron Range, covering The Legend and The Quarry at Giants Ridge, The Wilderness at Fortune Bay and Superior National in Lutsen.

The two page spread included quotes with Toney Curtis, owner of the famed Whistling Bird restaurant in Gilbert, course architect Jeff Brauer, Giants Ridge director of golf John Kendall and several others.

The story does not appear to be online at golfweek.com yet, but it’s well worth a read if you can find it.

Heritage Links Course Update

Posted Saturday, August 9th, 2008 02:30 pm GMT -5 in Golf at 2:30 PM

Our team for Monday’s John Massetti Charity Golf Tournament at Crystal Lake decided to get in some practice holes at Heritage Links in Lakeville yesterday evening. The twilight walking rate is only $25 and we dodged raindrops until darkness hit after 14-1/2 holes.

I hadn’t been to Heritage Links in about three years and was looking for an inexpensive twilight rate in the south metro. The 6,672-yard course isn’t one of my favorite Joel Goldstrand designs, as there are too many blind shots and hidden hazards for my taste. There are also several holes that require target golf tee shots to the 150-yard mark (like #8 and #10).

Course condition was good for the price, however, and playing 14 holes is always more fun than hitting balls at the driving range. Bring on the tournament!

September 2008 Runner’s World Races

Posted Thursday, August 7th, 2008 04:20 pm GMT -5 in Running at 4:20 PM

Here are the Minnesota Runner’s World Race Series races for September 2008:

Click on the race names for details on each event.

Golf Digest: Minnesota’s Fab Four

Posted Thursday, August 7th, 2008 01:10 pm GMT -5 in Golf at 1:10 PM

The August 2008 issue of Golf Digest featured a story by Matt Ginella called “Minnesota’s Fab Four: In the Land of 10,000 Lakes, water is always in play.”

Ginella notes that Minnesota has four courses in their top 60 greatest public courses ranking, while California has just three.

His story covers a trip he made to review those four courses: The Quarry and The Legend at Giants Ridge, The Classic at Madden’s and Deacon’s Lodge in Breezy Point.

Always fun to see Minnesota golf showcased on the national stage.

Thoughts on the Departure of Mr. Parrish

Posted Wednesday, August 6th, 2008 02:29 pm GMT -5 in Hockey at 2:29 PM

I was looking at my personal blog today and remembered I met Mark Parrish at the 2006 Minnesota State Fair (post here).

He was a nice guy to talk to and I remember he asked me what “DK” stood for and always liked to hear stories about how people got their nicknames.

I understand the cap explanation and the player-coach tension, but I’m sorry to see him go. We still have a need for junk goals from in front of the crease and that was a Parrish specialty. His off year was in large part due to the injuries suffered by getting in there and battling. It’s hard for me to not see how you at least give him a chance with the new teammates–especially with the contract he had.

By the way, where do I sign up for one of those deals? Five million to not do anything is pretty sweet…

Good luck Grumpy, wherever you end up.

GreenFix Ballmark Repair at StoneRidge

Posted Wednesday, August 6th, 2008 08:37 am GMT -5 in Golf at 8:37 AM

Last week at StoneRidge Golf Club in Stillwater, we mentioned the starter handed out and recommended we use a new divot repair tool: the GreenFix Ball Mark Elimination System (pictured above).

You can watch the instructional video on the GreenFix site, but basically you just push the divot mark back towards the middle instead of lift and twisting like other tools. It took a few times to get used to it, but the end results seemed to be good.

Scott Turtinen, the executive director of the Minnesota Golf Course Superintendents Association, said that he hasn’t personally used the GreenFix tool, but said Spring Hill Golf Club (site of the upcoming Gopher Invitational) uses them and are very pleased with the results.

“The MGCSA believes that any player that fixes their mark is great and any tool that would help them do this is a good thing,” said Turtinen.

August Work Crunch

Posted Tuesday, August 5th, 2008 10:46 pm GMT -5 in Technology,Work at 10:46 PM

August means the end of summer, the Minnesota State Fair and the beginning of the school year. It’s that last one that means my workdays will be getting longer soon. Here’s a short list of things going on:

  • Rebuild and upgrade the networking infrastructure in the server room and big advisory space at HSRA Minnesota (pictured above)
  • Execute a new Apple lease for Minnesota and take delivery of a boatload of new equipment that needs to be configured and deployed (50+ workstations and 25+ laptops)
  • Install upgraded studio and pre-production equipment in Minnesota
  • Reposition security cameras and upgrade and enhance digital recording systems
  • Upgrade Minnesota server operating system and re-configure
  • Re-image older workstations in Minnesota
  • Deploy site licenses for Final Cut Pro, Logic Studio and Aperture
  • Upgrade and deploy enhanced graphics lab in Minnesota
  • Plan for tech contingencies at HSRA Los Angeles and a possible late August visit

On top of all that, I’m still dealing with DNS and firewall issues in Seattle, an overall cleanup of the four Seattle servers, test installs of Elgg, Moodle, Buddypress and Drupal and a re-design of the HSRA New York website. Oh, and I’m trying to learn Ruby on Rails and subversion on the side. Fun, fun.

Oberholser Wins Second Women’s State Open

Posted Tuesday, August 5th, 2008 04:52 pm GMT -5 in Golf at 4:52 PM

TPC Twin Cities professional Angie Oberholser won her second Minnesota Women’s State Open Championship today at Stonebrooke Golf Club in Shakopee.

Oberholser eagled the par-five twelfth hole (above) on her way to a second-round 69.

First round leader and former MSHSL Class A champion Katie Detlefson had four bogeys and a double in her round of 75, placing her four shots behind Oberholser, who also won the title in 2002.

Here are the top five finishers for 2008:

  • 1, Angie Oberholser, TPC Twin Cities, 75-69-144 (+2)
  • 2, Katie Detlefsen (a), Somerby GC, 73-75-148 (+6)
  • 3, Leigh Klasse (a), Meadowbrook GC, 75-74-149 (+7)
  • 4, Kelli Berns (a), Southbrook GC, 75-76-151 (+9)
  • 5, Maggie Loney (a), Troy Burne GC, 80-72-152 (+10)

Full Leaderboard

Gopher Golf Volunteers Wanted

Posted Tuesday, August 5th, 2008 06:49 am GMT -5 in Golf at 6:49 AM

The Gophers are looking for help next month at Spring Hill:

Dear Gopher Golf Supporter,

On September 12th-14th, some of the finest collegiate golfers in the country will gather at Spring Hill Golf Club to compete in the 4th Annual Gopher Invitational.

We are looking for Gopher fans and avid golfers to help us with live scoring. This is a great experience for golf fans of all ages. Volunteers will be working on the golf course where you will have a front row seat to watch these future PGA Tour players compete. We will also be looking for a few people to walk the golf course on Sunday with a group serving as a scoreboard standard bearer (great way to see the entire golf course and watch the leader groups play an entire round).

All volunteers will receive an official tournament golf shirt and lunch on the day(s) they volunteer. Details of the event are as follows:

Tournament Location:
Spring Hill Golf Club, Wayzata, MN

Teams in the 2008 Field:
1. University of Arkansas
2. University of Iowa
3. Iowa State University
4. Louisiana State University
5. Marquette University
6. University of Minnesota
7. Pepperdine University
8. Southern Methodist University
9. University of Texas
10. University of Washington
11. University of Wisconsin
12. Yale University

Tournament Dates – Please note that this year’s event is 3 days
Friday, September 12th
Saturday, September 13th
Sunday, September 14th

**Shift starting times will vary based upon the hole you are located at. Each shift should last about 5 hours and the last shift will conclude at 3PM each day.**

If you are interested in helping with The Gopher Invitational, please email mgolf@umn.edu with the following information:
Email Address
Cell Phone Number
Shirt Size
Preferred Shift(s)

Please reply no later than August 25th. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Go Gophers!

Andrew Tank
Tournament Director
Men’s Golf Coach

Show your Gopher pride and get an inside look at a very exclusive private metro course.

Golfing Near Itasca State Park

Posted Monday, August 4th, 2008 09:51 am GMT -5 in Golf at 9:51 AM

This weekend my family and I visited Itasca State Park north of Park Rapids. While I did not bring my clubs with, there were many courses on the drive up that made me wish I did.

Heading west on I-94 from the metro area, you catch a glimpse of Albany Golf Club on your right. Exiting at Sauk Centre and heading north on highway 71, you soon pass the Tom Lehman-designed GreyStone Golf Club, also on your right.

Just past Wadena is White Tail Run Golf Course, followed by the Joel Goldstrand-designed Blueberry Pines Golf Course just north of Menahga (15th green pictured above). Several other courses lie just off highway 71, including the scenic Headwaters Golf Club in Park Rapids.

Have you played any of these courses? Leave us a comment with your recommendations…

Itasca State Park Weekend

Posted Monday, August 4th, 2008 09:30 am GMT -5 in Family,Food,Travel at 9:30 AM

Got to cross item #8 off my Things to Do Before I Die list this past weekend:

Wade across the Mississippi headwaters with my kids.

We spent Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Itasca State Park in northern Minnesota, staying in the wonderful Itasca Suites near Douglas Lodge. Worth every penny…

We spent some time hiking around the south end of the lake on Friday, visiting the Old Timer’s Cabin and the Clubhouse. We then went to the headwaters for the classic wade across the Mississippi before taking a trip around Wilderness Drive to visit the large white and red pines. For dinner Friday, we ate at the Douglas Lodge dining room, which serves a mean Lake Itasca walleye.

After sleeping in Saturday morning, we rented bikes and rode from the bike shop back to the headwaters area for lunch. Colleen and kid one headed back to the rental area to switch to kayaks, while kid two and I rode our tandem/trailer bike on the 16 mile loop around the lake. Way too many hills, but spectacularly beautiful scenery (on par with 17-Mile Drive in Pebble Beach).

The kids went swimming for an hour before we went back to the room, cleaned up and hit the road for Lake George, Minnesota. I love the diners in small towns in rural Minnesota–friendly staff, huge portions and low prices. Our total for dinner for four at the Lake George Cafe was under $23.

On Sunday morning, I woke up early to run, but was still too sore from the bike ride to get out the door. Everyone woke up and packed the car to beat the 11AM check-out time. After another quick visit to the Old Timer’s Cabin (and the gift shop), we hit highway 71 and headed south. We stopped in Wadena for another great, cheap lunch at Larry’s Family Pizza ($15) before dodging rain storms and hitting heavy Sunday traffic on I-94 back to the metro area.

Loved everything about this trip and hope to go back again soon. Highly recommended.

Pictures posted in both the private and travel galleries.


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  • Mile - 6:10
  • 5K - 21:42
  • 10K - 44:40
  • Half - 1:38:40
  • Full - 3:43:32
  • 50K - 7:37:00
  • 2018 Mileage: 53.8

Upcoming Races

  • Get in Gear 10K - 4/28

Upcoming Sporting Events

  • Monster Jam - 4/7
  • Twins vs. Houston - 4/9
  • Supercross - 4/14
  • Twins vs. Reds - 4/27
  • Twins vs. Detroit - 5/21
  • Twins vs. Cleveland - 6/3
  • Tapemark - 6/8-10
  • Twins vs. Boston - 6/20
  • Summer X Games - 7/19-22
  • Twins vs. Cleveland - 7/30
  • Twins vs. Pittsburgh - 8/15

Upcoming Concerts

  • Cloud Cult - 4/7, Orchestra Hall
  • Trampled by Turtles - 5/4, Palace
  • Kenny Chesney - 5/5, USBS
  • Caroline Smith - 5/17, Cedar
  • I Love the 90s - 5/18, Mystic Lake
  • David Byrne - 5/17, Orpheum
  • David Byrne - 5/18, Orpheum
  • Trampled by Turtles - 7/7, Bayfront
  • Jack White - 8/6, Armory
  • Beyonce & Jay Z - 8/8, USBS
  • Pearl Jam - 8/18, Wrigley Field
  • Pearl Jam - 8/20, Wrigley Field
  • Taylor Swift - 8/31 & 9/1, USBS
  • Leon Bridges - 9/20, Palace
  • Ed Sheeran - 10/20, USBS