Thursday, September 28, 2006

Change in the weather

Since my last run on Tuesday, the temperature swing was 25 degrees to the negative.

It was 77 on Tuesday, and today when I got home for my run, it was 52! Drastic, yes, but also very welcome. I love running in this weather. I felt rather speedy today (relatively speaking, of course!), and I got around the route in good time. It was extremely comfortable weather.

I saw all kinds of birds and wildlife again, and there were even some coots out on the pond. That is a sure sign that winter is upon us. I never see them in the summer down here, so when they show up, you know we are in for big changes shortly! :)

I am getting excited because Saturday I get to see the family! I am taking a few days vacation and will be heading up to the shore. We are even playing in a charity golf tournament at Superior National on Sunday, which is great because I have all of 9 holes of golf under my belt this year! Ought to be real interesting. But, there will undoubtedly be lots of great fun, food, and wildlife to report on, so I am looking forward to the long weekend.

Until next time,

Jean

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

New stomping grounds

So today I was supposed to go to my new apartment in the northeast metro to review my lease and take care of some preliminary paperwork. Unfortunately, I got there and the apartment manager was caught up in an emergency at another one of her facilities, so it was all for nothing. However, since I was up there, I got to do a little exploring, and now I can't wait to move.

The running scene should be absolutely awesome. Not even counting the trails in the large regional park that I am next to, virtually all of the main roads have a biking/running trail along side of them. I could even take a trail all the way to my new office (perhaps I need to get a bike?). I will have so many options for routes than I have now, and certainly many better and prettier options. That, and every store I would possibly need is mere miles from my new pad. This should be great!

It was almost hard to run on my normal route today after I had seen my soon-to-be-new surroundings, but I did anyhow! It was really quite warm today in the mid to upper 70's, but the wind was howling out of the southwest. That was one of the hardest winds I have experienced on a run in quite some time, so it was a little slow going. But, I tried to enjoy the day, as this is the warmest it will be for several days to come.

Tonight's agenda; pizza for dinner, I need to watch FOX's great new show "Vanished" that I recorded last night opposite Monday Night Football, and then it is on to the new episodes of "NCIS" followed by "The Unit." I am happy the new shows are back for the fall season! :)

Until next time,

Jean

Monday, September 25, 2006

Packing, cleaning, and running

Yesterday was a relatively uneventful one. I didn’t do much except watch sports from morning to night, given that we had the Ryder Cup in the morning, NASCAR at noon, and football from noon on! Actually, I did get a lot done in the way of packing and cleaning. I threw away a lot of crap, so that made me feel like I am making progress.

Nice run today! It was bright and sunny, mid 60’s, with a relatively strong NW breeze. I took it pretty easy, as I was still a little stiff from the 13 miler on Saturday, but it was a good, leisurely run.

There were all kinds of birds along the route; geese, an assortment of ducks, several grebes, and even a small flock of yellow-shafted flickers that were gearing up to head south for the winter. You know the season is changing when you start to see these guys banding together. Winter is on its way! :)

Until next time,

Jean

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Lucky #13.1

Today was my “long” run; that is, the longest run of my training before my race.

I took the trail and ran until I saw Lake Minnetonka. My turnaround point was the bridge over beautiful Carson’s Bay. The map tells me it is about 6.5 miles or so to that location, That means I covered at least 13 miles today, so I covered close to, if not the full, half marathon distance. The last mile was tough, but I finished in less than 2 hours, so that was encouraging.

The weather is weird. It started out very cloudy and overcast, looking like it could rain any minute. Then the sun came out for a while and there was hardly a cloud in the sky. Great, and me wearing a long-sleeved black running shirt! Now it appears to be clouding up again. Who knows?

With the Des Moines Half Marathon only three weeks away from tomorrow, this means I will start tapering my training down a bit to save some endurance for the big day. I will still do some longer runs on the weekends, just not near the distance I ran today.

Not too much on the agenda for today. I am going to try to take it easy, watch a little NASCAR this afternoon, and make a homemade pizza for dinner tonight!

Until next time,

Jean

Friday, September 22, 2006

Dean Karnazes "Endurance 50" update

In a followup to the post about the Endurance 50, here are a couple of interesting links:

Dean Karnazes has his own blog where he is chronicling his experiences at each race. It sounds like he has had some pretty amazing personal experiences thus far. What an incredible athlete!

Also, Runner’s World magazine is hosting a slide show of the whole event. Please check it out if interested!

Index of 2006 Races

Below are links to my 2006 races and results:



January 22nd - Frigid 5 - State Fairgrounds, St. Paul, MN

February 12th - Heart of St. Paul 5k - Lake Como, St. Paul, MN

March 19th - Human Race 5k - St. Thomas University, St. Paul, MN

April 8th - Run The Valley 5k - Golden Valley, MN

April 29th - Tornado Trail Mix 5k - Anoka H.S., Anoka, MN

May 21st - Cellcom Green Bay 5k - Green Bay, WI

June 10th - Easy Does It 5 Miler - Plymouth, MN

July 4th - Jan Horak "Tofte Trek" 10k Wilderness Run - Tofte, MN

July 8th - Keweenaw Trail Running Festival 10k - Copper Harbor, MI

August 6th - Hennepin-Lake Classic 10k - Lake Calhoun, Minneapolis, MN

September 9th - Get Ready to Rock 10k - White Bear Township, MN

October 15th - IMT Des Moines Half Marathon - Des Moines, IA

November 19th - Turkey Run 5k - St. Paul, MN

Raindrops keep fallin' on my head

Wow, what a gloomy couple of days! Here in the metro, it has been raining for since yesterday morning. Needless to say, it is perfect weather for the beef & Guinness stew I have been subsisting on for much of the week, but it does still make it more difficult for enjoying outdoor activities!

So today, I ran in the rain. It was a steady drizzle, but I don’t mind running in it so much. At least you stay cool, and there are very few other pedestrians out and about! It was the usual route again, and I ran pretty easy since I need to do a longer run tomorrow.

Around my apartment, it is starting to look like I am moving! There are boxes strewn about, the packing has begun, as has the cleaning. It is amazing the stuff you discover. For instance, underneath my bathroom sink, I found a bottle of shampoo that I don't think they even make anymore. Yikes! Anyhow, things are becoming official; I sign my paperwork on the new place next Tuesday, so I am very excited.

Until next time,

Jean

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Movin’ On

To quote some of my favorite 70’s rockers, Bad Company, I’m “Movin’ On.”

My department at work announced earlier this month that we would be moving from our northwest metro location to a new office in the northeast metro (about 20 miles east of where we are now, so a pretty significant distance). I won't go into all the reasons justifying it, but this would nearly double my commute. However, my lease on my apartment was set to expire, so the timing was right. Therefore, I am moving to the northeastern suburbs!

And not only am I movin’ on, but I am pulling a George and Weezie Jefferson and I’m “moving on up!” :)

This is an upgrade for me from my current place. I secured a really sweet apartment in a brand new building. Get this; I am on the top floor (penthouse suite, baby!), I have a spacious kitchen, finally have laundry in my apartment, and the walls are soundproofed because the building is a state-of-the-art concrete frame. Did I mention I am mere blocks away from a large regional park with miles of trails (a runner’s dream)? And, I will be 5 minutes from my new office. A pretty nice deal all around.

I move in November. My head is positively spinning thinking of all the stuff I need to do between now and then. But I am excited. You’re all invited over for cocktails once I am settled in. :)

Anyhow, another good run tonight with ideal temperatures. 57 degrees and sunny. Couldn’t ask for much more. I ran easier today, so I just took things at a comfortable pace. And the new shoes are feeling great. Just a fantastic day to be a runner!

Until next time,

Jean

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Italian food, long-sleeved running shirts, and fuzzy squirrels

I ran quite well today despite eating too much at Biaggi’s just a few hours earlier. As far as national chain Italian restaurants go, this one isn’t too bad. However, the “Penne Sardi” was trying its best to weigh me down this afternoon. Ugh...I think I will be eating light this evening!

Today I broke out the long-sleeved running shirt for the first time in a long time! It was 51 degrees, cloudy, very windy, and I even got hit with an occasional stray raindrop. But as I mentioned, it was a good run. The temperature is perfect, and I clipped right along.

Fall is upon us, and further proof of that is that the gray squirrels are starting to get very fuzzy. You can see they are getting that extra bit of winter fur on the tails and ears. And you know what that tells us; A fuzzy squirrel in September means that a long winter is in store!

Actually, I just made that up, and I have no idea if that is true. All I know is the squirrels are very fuzzy right now. OK, I am babbling.... :)

Until next time,

Jean

Monday, September 18, 2006

The Endurance 50 begins

Today is a day off from running, since I went for a long one yesterday. And it is raining today, so that seems like a good enough of an excuse!

Given that I am being lazy and taking the day off, I wanted to point out that ultramarathoner Dean Karnazes has begun his quest of 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days! Yesterday he kicked things off with the Lewis & Clark Marathon in St. Charles, MO. It sounded like the day got off to an interesting start in that Dean renewed his wedding vows with his wife in a surprise ceremony before the race!

For anyone interested, you will be able to follow Dean's progress at The North Face "Endurance 50" web site.

Until next time,

Jean

Sunday, September 17, 2006

May the wind always be at your back

I had a fun day yesterday. You can check out my trip to the Peppermint Twist and my stop at a cute meat market in St. Bonifacius over on my food blog.

Fall is definitely upon us. It was 65 when I started my run, and 58 by the time I finished! We have a cool week in store for us as well, so the tide is turning.

I ran 11 1/2 miles today on the trail through Minnetonka. That was my longest run of the year, and I felt great. I got some new shoes yesterday (the same pair of Brooks that I had before), so they felt fantastic. And. perhaps best of all, there are some very strong winds coming out of the west/northwest; while it was challenging to start, the wind pushed me all the way home during the last half of the run. Not bad!

Until next time,

Jean

Friday, September 15, 2006

800 miles

Another warm day today, and extremely windy. Couple that with a tiring work week, and it was a bit of a struggle! The local cross country team was out on the same route as me, so I took a few different streets than normal so I wasn't running right in the middle of the pack. And I'm not trying to brag, but I am faster than a lot of those kids. I think I might have a shot at making the starting lineup with that outfit! :)

I passed the 800 mile mark for the year, and things are going pretty good. It will only be another month of higher miles and some longer runs, and then I will dial things down a little bit after the half marathon. I do need to think about replacing my shoes. I have more than 350 miles on them, so I will definitely need to break in a new pair before the big race.

Until next time,

Jean

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Summer returns

Whew, a warm one today! It got up to 84 in my neighborhood, making for a rather sluggish run. Here I was just getting used to some of the cooler temps, and it heated right back up again. I suppose I should simply enjoy it, because the bottom will likely drop out soon.

We are a month and a day away from the Des Moines Half Marathon! I am feeling pretty good, and I feel like I am preparing better this year than I did last. I hope to get a few quality long runs done over the next couple of weekend, and then I need to taper my training in the weeks leading up to the race so I am fresh and well-rested. I am really looking forward to it.

Until next time,

Jean

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Latest race results

Today is a day off from running, but I have a quick running note; The results have been posted for the Get Ready to Rock 10k race from last weekend. They spelled my name wrong during the registration process (the whole "Jean" spelling vs. pronunciation often throws people for a loop). But as my Dad pointed out, at least they didn't have me in the women's division (which has actually happened to me at two different races, by the way!).

All for now,

Jean

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Respect from the younger generation

Another gorgeous day. 68 degrees, overcast, and great for running. The colors are starting to show up more and more each day. I am starting to see some reds and oranges showing up in the maples, and there is that crisp smell of dried leaves in the air.

I had another spirited run around my route today, once again feeling strong and fast. It is so much easier to keep the body temperature regulated in the fall. I will say this again and again, but I love running in this weather!

I met the local cross country team out on their training run today. One of the kids smiled, gave me a “thumbs-up” sign, and enthusiastically shouted “Runners!” to me as an obvious sign good will towards other runners. I smiled and waved in acknowledgment. I believe this means I have officially been accepted by the younger generation of the running community. And darn it, they should show me a little respect; I am more than twice their age and I was running stronger than they were! :)

Otherwise, no hawk attacks to report, and no new Halloween decorations out. Yet...

Until next time,

Jean

Monday, September 11, 2006

Cooler days

I’ll make this quick because I have to get some dinner ready, and then the Vikes play at 6 PM! :)

I had a fantastic run today. It was 59 and cloudy, so the temperature was ideal. I felt strong and fast, which is not always the case after a race weekend. It is amazing how much the weather plays a factor in performance. These slightly cooler days make running a whole lot of fun.

Two quick non-running related notes:

1. While on my run, I saw a Coopers hawk swoop down out of a tree in an attempt to pounce on some unsuspecting songbirds. It was a near miss. The songbirds scattered, and the hawk left empty handed...or would that be "empty taloned?" :) Anyhow, what a sight! To see that hawk come out of nowhere like that was really cool!

2. Some eager people along my running route have taken the liberty of putting up the Halloween decorations already. And, I was at Target today, and the Halloween candy is already on the shelves. Summer is officially over! :)

Until next time,

Jean

Saturday, September 9, 2006

RACE REPORT - Get Ready to Rock 10k

You might recall that today was the day of the Moose Mountain Marathon that I didn’t enter! I think I made a wise decision, and I am happy with it. I’ve been having too much fun running in the shorter races. And since I had originally planned to do a race today, I found a different one to add to my schedule.

This morning I ran in the Get Ready to Rock 10k. The race, currently in its 8th year, was held in White Bear Township, which is just slightly north of the town of White Bear Lake on the northeast side of the Twin Cities metro.

This was a pretty small event (there were around 100 runners in the 10k). There were two races to choose from; a 10k and a 20 miler. The 10k consisted of one lap around beautiful Bald Eagle Lake, and for the 20 miler, three laps. I am still unsure why the race is called "Get Ready to Rock." They had a van playing music at the finish, but most races do something similar. Who knows?

A lot of folks were using the 20 mile race as a tune-up for the Twin Cities Marathon in a few weeks. And, this race course is actually part of the original Twin Cities Marathon course, so there is a bit of Minnesota running history here as well.

(An interesting side note; only a couple miles south of us in White Bear Lake, there was another 20 mile race going on, the Bear Water Run! What are the odds of a town holding two separate 20 milers on the same day?)

Registration was a bit chaotic. In this day and age, most events offer online registration, and this race had two different online registration vendors. Virtually everyone who used a specific vendor did not show up on the official registration list. To the credit of the race organizers, they were incredibly accommodating and apologetic (needlessly so, as it wasn’t their fault) to those of us used this certain vendor and got us all processed manually.

It was a near perfect day to run with temps in the low 50’s. The only quibble would be the strong east wind, but otherwise it was great for running. I was astonished that people were actually complaining about how cold it was. Heck, I have been waiting for this weather for months. Bring on the cool! :)

The race began at 8:30, and we started our counterclockwise trip around the lake. The course was mostly flat with only a few rolling hills to contend with. I settled in to a comfortable pace.

The course was really quite beautiful. The lake is pretty, and there are many magnificent homes along the route. I know very little about the White Bear Lake area, but I am sure this is the “high rent district,” if you catch my drift!

By the second mile, I had passed a number of folks and I realized that there couldn’t have been more than a few runners ahead of me. I felt like I was running alone for a lot of the race (a strange feeling, especially when you have police cars blocking off intersections seemingly just for you!). I was doing pretty well time-wise, and was on pace to set a personal record if I kept it up. I felt quite strong today, so I was very optimistic.

Rounding the south end of Bald Eagle Lake, we turned east and headed into the wind. That offered a bit of a challenge, but thankfully there were enough trees to give us some protection. With about a mile to go, there was perhaps the steepest hill on the course. I actually like these hills because I see them as opportunities to pass people! It was here I made a final pass of a runner who was struggling, and I never looked back as I did my best to accelerate to the finish line.

As it turns out, I won my age division, and I finished 4th overall for the entire race (that should give you some idea of the level of competition here!). More important to me, though, was that I crossed the finish line in 45:28, which is a new 10k personal record by 1 minute and 49 seconds. I ran very well today and couldn’t be happier.

My prize was a really nice Fuel Belt waist pack with a water bottle and a gel flask. That, and a new PR, made for pretty nice birthday presents. Did I mention it is my birthday today? :)

Finally, I must apologize that I took no pictures today. I did not realize that parking was about half a mile away and they were bussing people across a busy Highway 61 to the race start. That being said, the camera and my other gear stayed locked up in the car. I will try to do better next time!

Onward to Des Moines!

Until next time,

Jean

Thursday, September 7, 2006

Are you ready for some football?

It was like summer today! 84, sunny, and nice, with a fairly strong south wind. I ran the usual route and took it pretty easy so I can save up for my race on Saturday.

Given that it feels like summer, it is hard to believe that the NFL football season starts tonight! I am very excited. For the first time in many years, I am not in a fantasy football league. I decided to take a break this year so I could actually enjoy the games in peace instead of screaming things at the TV such as “Why didn’t they throw to the tight end?!?” It should make for a much less stressful season. :)

And when you are watching the Packer game on Sunday, remember that I got to run through Lambeau Field last May... ;-)

Until next time,

Jean

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Back to life, back to reality

The lyrics from an old Soul II Soul song sound most appropriate today. After a weekend of eating, drinking, enjoying nature, golfing, and running in beautiful surroundings, today I find myself at work with a pile of e-mails, a veritable laundry list of things to do, and I am running on my regular route. Adding to this, school is also back in session, which means traffic around the school has increased dramatically, so my running route is no longer very quiet.

“Back to life, back to reality...” :)

Anyhow, I had a good run today despite being a little tired. Vacation weekends always throw off the schedule, and it is tough getting back into the regular routine. The route wasn’t as bad as I made it sound in the first paragraph. It was relatively quiet and peaceful in the residential areas, which was relaxing.

And on an unrelated note, I am guessing my run was more relaxing than trying to get around downtown Minneapolis today. Good grief, what a zoo! Can’t we do something to make this show go away? :)

Until next time,

Jean

Discovering the artisans

I made the trip home on Tuesday, the day after Labor Day. As is becoming typical with my trips, I have been making efforts to hit some of the back roads and go off the beaten track a little bit. I am learning that you can have some truly rich experiences by doing so, ones that might not be possible if you stick to the main roads.

After a leisurely drive down the North Shore, I stopped for lunch at a place called Gordy's Hi-Hat in Cloquet, MN. It is a local, seasonal burger joint that has been in business since 1960. Located on Minnesota Highway 33 and just across the bridge on the north side of the St. Louis River, they do catch some traffic heading to the Iron Range. However, if you are on I-35, you have to venture off the Interstate and drive a few miles through downtown Cloquet to get to Gordy's.

It was so worth the trip.

Their menu had a variety of hamburgers to choose from. I selected the California burger with a side of fries and a diet Pepsi. The burger was truly homemade; hand-formed from fresh ground beef, topped lettuce, mayo, and a perfectly ripe, thick slice of tomato. It was juicy and delicious. The fries were an excellent contrast of crispy and creamy. Just fantastic, and it cost just a little over $5, or what you might pay at a typical fast food restaurant. But it is light years better than any fast food.

After my lunch, I got back on the Interstate and continued my journey south. For years, I had seen a billboard advertising a country store in Mahtowa that sells homemade sausages. Mahtowa? Where in the heck is that? Feeling adventurous, I decided to check it out.

Mahtowa is a very small community just a few miles west of I-35 on County Road 4 in Carlton County. I am not saying it is in the middle of nowhere, but I strongly suspected that nowhere might be just around the corner. On the western edge of town, there is an honest-to-goodness country store. TJ’s Country Store, to be more precise.

TJ's Country Store is a rarity in today's world. According to the sign out front, it started in 1977. They sell groceries, gas, and other things, but they are known for their sausage products. Their slogan is "Our Wurst Is Best," and they sell a large variety of different sausages.

I picked out one of their specialty items, some wild rice wursts, and also a ring of Swedish potato sausage. I went up to the counter to pay, and a gentleman who I presume was the owner asked me, "Have you had our sausages before?" I told him no, and that I had ventured off of the freeway just to find his store.

His eyes lit up and he got very excited, telling me all about the wild rice wursts, which he said would be unlike anything I have ever tasted before. I even got some cooking instructions, too (low and slow, because they are made very lean). Then he said, "And the Swedish potato sausage; it's my Mom's recipe, and it's excellent!" It was obvious that he was very proud of, and passionate about, his products. And I knew before I even tasted them that they would be as good as he proclaimed. They had to be!

After these two experiences, I wondered what would prompt someone to start an independent fast food joint that was slightly off the beaten track? Why would you have a sausage shop in an out-of-the-way place like Mahtowa? Did they each have their own "Field of Dreams" moment where they said "If you build it, they will come?" And did people tell them they were crazy for trying it?

You have to admire folks like this. Perhaps they could be located in better, more easily accessible locations, but they said, "You know what? We are going to make our own hand-crafted products, we are going to do it better than the other guys, and we are going to do it our way right here in this very spot!" That takes a dream, a lot of passion, dedication, and a strong belief in what your are selling. And clearly, the customers are finding them and loving what they are making.

The dictionary defines the word "artisan" as "a skilled manual worker; a craftsperson." The etymology of this word was likely (or at least partially) derived from the Latin word "artitus," meaning "skilled in the arts," implying that there are artistic qualities involved. Most of the time when I hear the word today, it is used to describe a unique food product that is hand-crafted and not mass-produced (artisan bread, artisan cheese, etc.).

However you define it, the word "artisan" could certainly apply to the people at Gordy's Hi-Hat and TJ's Country Store. Not to sound too introspective, but they really are artists; they just use food as their medium. And these skilled workers are perfecting their hand-crafted products on the back roads of northern Minnesota.

And that is why it is fun to go off the beaten track.

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

It’s raining fish!

Nature Notes

Nature and outdoorsy stuff always play a big part of my trips up north.

My Mom and Dad’s bird and animals are the friendliest creatures around. I had black-capped chickadees landing on me to take their sunflower seeds. Hummingbirds were dancing around my head as I attempted to refill their feeder. And I had chipmunks crawling all over me. As I have said before, I feel like I am in a Disney cartoon when I am up there!

I'm unsure if this was Chip or Dale... ;-)



We did a couple of hikes, and the leaves are really starting to change rapidly. The birch leaves were turning a bright yellow, and the other trees will not be far behind. We could see it in the woods, and we could see it on the golf course (yes, I played my first round of golf this year...a crowd-pleasing 54 at the Superior National “Mountain Course”...ugh!). It could be an early fall this year.

There were a number of warblers still hanging around, getting ready to make the long journey south. Blue jays were flocking together, which is always a sign of the changing seasons. And I got to add a Northern Waterthrush to my life list. Dad even rescued a young ruby-throated hummingbird who hit one of the windows and got knocked goofy. The hummingbird sat on Dad's hand for about 15 minutes before he regained his bearings and flew off to inspect the geraniums, apparently no worse for wear. A great weekend for birds.

A recovering hummingbird



Speaking of birds...

Look, up in the sky...

All apologies for the picture below, but it is the only photographic evidence we have of "the incident." I can’t possibly describe this, but I will try...

We were enjoying a leisurely Monday afternoon in the yard. The sky is blue, the weather is perfect, and I had a beer in my hand. What could be better?

Suddenly we hear a loud “thud” on the roof that startles us. Then an osprey and a bald eagle come flying over at rooftop level. This also startles us because they were so close. The eagle vanishes into the woods, but the osprey circles back a couple of times before departing. We walk around the house, and Dad discovered a half-eaten, headless pink salmon carcass. What the heck is going on?

The "flying fish"



A quick bird lesson will help to explain our detective work...

The osprey is a fish hawk. He catches fish, and eats nothing but fish. Watching one of these guys in action is a thing of beauty because they will dive into the water from great heights and at high speeds to catch their prey. An osprey would never lower himself to eating a fish he did not catch. The bald eagle, on the other hand, is pretty much a scavenger. He will eat virtually anything and is not known for catching live fish to eat.

That being said, this is what happened; the osprey caught this pink salmon in Lake Superior. He must have partially eaten it when this eagle butted in and tried to take the fish. The osprey grabbed the fish and took off with the eagle in hot pursuit. A midair tussle ensued, causing the fish to fall from the sky, slam into Mom and Dad’s roof, and eventually tumble to the ground. The osprey was obviously looking for the fish, but couldn’t see it. All that was left up on the roof was a glowing pile of salmon eggs that fell out of the carcass!

So, I am officially chalking that one up as "something you don’t see every day." I am just glad it didn’t land on my car, or perhaps more importantly, on me! Could you just imagine me sitting on the lawn and enjoying a beer on a beautiful Labor Day only to get pummeled by a pink salmon that fell out of the sky? Wow...

You have to love nature.

Good eats

As always, we managed to have some pretty good eats over the Labor Day weekend.

The Friday I arrived, Dad scored some fresh herring from the Dockside Fish Market in Grand Marais. If you have never had fresh herring, it is one of the mildest fish you can imagine. Absolutely delicious! We had them deep-fried with a light cornmeal and flour-based breading.

Over the course of the weekend, we also dined with the neighbors on Saturday and enjoyed a wild game feed; slow-cooked pheasant, grilled, bacon-wrapped venison, and also some grilled venison tenderloin. Yum! If you ask me, there are few things finer than grilled venison. Sunday we had an absolutely outstanding grilled prime rib dinner with Mom’s roasted veggies (pictured below) in early celebration of my birthday (this was one of the best prime ribs Dad has made...he roasts it in the oven until rare, slices it, and finishes them on the grill). And Monday was Thai basil chicken, which was awesome as well.



I can't go without mentioning Mom's wild raspberry waffles that were made with raspberries picked in their woods. Best waffles ever! And Mom and I even made a trip in to Grand Marais where we stopped off at Sydney’s Frozen Custard on Artists’ Point to indulge. The coffee-toffe-crunch custard was amazing.

So, as you can see, we did things right this Labor Day weekend! :)

Running, Running, Running

OK, let's get the running stuff out of the way, because I have so much more to tell from my Labor Day weekend!

I only did two runs over the course of the weekend; One was on Saturday, and it was a 10 miler down one of the frontage roads along Lake Superior. I run past all kinds of cabins, and I get to see a lot of great views of the lake. Keeping in mind this is one of the busiest holiday weekends in the north country, I saw all of two people in my 10 miles. And, there were people at virtually every cabin. Slackers!

My other run was on Monday, and that was a simple 4 1/2 mile jog into town and back using the trail along side the highway. The reason I only did two runs is because I am attempting to stagger my days off due to an upcoming race this weekend, and to account for travel days to and fro Mom and Dad's.

Anyhow, both my runs were really good. Now, on to other things!

The North Shore - Labor Day 2006 Index of Posts

This post will serve as an index for my various notes from my recent Labor Day weekend visiting the family on the North Shore of Lake Superior.

Part 1 - Running, Running, Running
Part 2 - Good eats
Part 3 - It's raining fish!
Part 4 - Discovering the artisans

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