Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Scooter Girl, Cuyuna Trails and a Companion

There was a wake for Mike Blume on Tuesday afternoon in Burnsville. It was nice to see so many people turn out. Lots of retired controllers, some I hadn't seen in years were there. Just before 5:30, they had us all gather in the parking lot to observe a Missing Man formation flyover in tribute to Mike. It was very moving. We would all do well to be remembered so fondly.

Rachel posted on Facebook a few days ago: "Someone on the lightrail exclaimed today, ""you're the scooter girl!"" Made my day." Tammy texted her to ask her what she was referring to and she replied: "I'm a 22 year old riding a razor scooter around the sidewalks of mpls. That's what it means!"I love how she's out there doing her thing and leaving impressions on people along the way.

Tammy has been spending time down in the shop working on some fused glass projects. She had an idea for a small wall vase that could hold a few flowers and came up with the design in the photo to the left. Very fun.

I got up way too early Friday morning trying to get a jump on peak traffic for a quick trip up to Cuyuna mountain bike trails near Crosby and Ironton. It's a part of the state I've spent very little time in and I don't know why. It's so beautiful up there.

The 25 miles of trails are relatively new and the mountain bike community is breathing new life into an area that could use a little help pumping some money into the local economy. I saw a few cars loaded with bikes making their way to the area as I drove the 150 miles to the trail entrance.

I knew the minute I stepped out of the car that I'd forgotten one thing: bug spray. As long as I was moving I was fine but if I had to stop for any reason I'd be doing some sort of slap-happy dance so I kept my stops to a minimum.

I spent a little more than two hours playing around on the trails, trying to ride as many as I could but all too often finding myself on sections I'd already ridden once or more. Even with my Garmin Edge 705 to show me where I'd been and with trail markers along the way it wasn't always easy to get to where I wanted. I'll do better next time. There will be a next time!

The trip gave me a chance to try out the Garmin NĂ¼vi 2597 that Tammy gave me for Father's Day. It's got some nice features that our previous Garmin didn't have such as Garmin Traffic which warns you of delays ahead while offering alternate routes. I actually got to see this in action on my return when I got a voice message alerting me of a delay 48 miles ahead. It then recalculated my arrival time by adding 7 minutes to my drive-time and telling me that I was on the fastest route. The Garmin continued to count down the miles remaining until the congested area and when I got within a few miles of it, a small preview box appeared on the display focused on the area with both red and yellow shading depicting the areas and levels of congestion. Within one mile of the delay, it started counting down by tenths of a mile and sure enough, when it reached zero so did my speedometer. Quite cool!

I occasionally have a companion with me on my walks now. Tammy made it out with me twice this past week. She's intent on getting in shape for some hikes we have planned for our South Dakota get-away later this summer. We did a couple of 6+ mile walks together and plan to gradually increase the distance. When she's breathing hard up a hill I remind her of Harney Peak and that's motivation enough.

I'm happy to have her out there with me.


steve c said...

Thanks for the update Kevin. Sorry for the loss of your friend

Kevin Gilmore said...

Thanks, Steve.

Marielle said...

Supercool vase!!

Kevin Gilmore said...

Thanks! I'll pass that along! :)