Teasing Temps

It’s really quite a tease, these couple of days of near 60˚weather. Because of this unusually warm winter we’ve been having, I was able to ride my bike on Sunday to our friend Walken’s house. Last warm spell I rode to t’ai chi class at the Friendship (Senior) Center, and to pick up a few items at Midtown Foods. I am also in either walking or biking distance from:

– Paperbacks and Pieces, a book exchange that also sells some new books and other items

– Nia (aerobics class) at the WMCA

– the Winona Public Library and Post Office

– two coffee shops and the Acoustic Café  (plus innumerable fast food or pizza joints)

– Chapter Two Books (more used books)

– Bluff Country Food Co-op, and the downtown Farmers Market (in season)

– Winona State University, incl. theaters and auditoriums

– several large churches that host musical events and ad hoc groups like our Wellspring Singers

– Winona History and Winona Art Centers, which have classes, art show openings, political events, and films

– my chiropractor, dentist, and doctor

three thrift shops

It- a couple of pubs, and Ed’s No Name Bar (where artsy types gather every Friday eve)

This is the advantage of living in the “inner city”, here on this nice flat piece of land stretched along the Mississippi. I consider “walking or biking distance” to be anything I can get to within ten minutes. Several other things are not prohibitively far – for an outing, we have biked the 4 or 5 miles to my mom’s residence in the west end, and even out the Marine Art Museum.

Where would you like to walk to or bike to, once spring is really here?

62 thoughts on “Teasing Temps”

  1. Rise and Shine Baboons!

    I still want to end whatever I say in a question mark? Congratulations to Anna who gave us a FUN day of silliness yesterday?

    I am ready to take my dogs to the dog park for a daily walk. We have been out several times on nice days; however, the mud and slime demand a thorough toweling of the critters after the experience, and sometimes an entire bath. It would be lovely to take them out there and not be covered in mire.

    I don’t bike much anymore after several experiences with a bath SI joint that biking seems to aggravate. The SI has been ok for awhile, so this summer, with more time and less responsibility in my life, I hope to be biking again around Staring Lake in Eden Prairie, and maybe on a state trail somewhere (Lanesboro?)

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  2. It’s probably cheating that the library, grocery store (and all it’s fine chocolates and cheeses), and liquor store (my wine cellar) are within a block or so of my house. Even in the throes of winter I can walk around the corner for a decent bottle of French red.

    Once it warms up, it’s nice to wander along Minnehaha Creek. With a bit of ambition, I can bike to the big bronze bunny who sits by the creek near Portland Ave and back to my house in fairly short order. I have walked to the hardware store over on Nicollet – though I have learned that even though my pooch is welcome there, that is too far for his old, basset legs to want to travel (last time I tried it, I thought I was going to have to carry him most of the way home…not sure I could have carried 50lbs of basset plus my purchases). When the custard store was still around, we sometimes biked there – or to the little book store that was in that same intersection for a few years (Daughter and I still mourn the loss of both). We can bike over to Lake Harriet and around to Bread & Pickle for a meal or a bit of ice cream – though that doesn’t happen as often as it could. Mostly, though, it’s walking to meander or biking to no particular place.

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  3. Oh, to have somewhere charming to ride to! If I ride west I could get to the NDSU agrculture experiment station to check out the wheat varieties later this spring. North takes me to I 94 and the c-stores and hotels. I would have to scale the butte a couple blocks east, impossible for one in my deplorable state of fitness. South is more promising, as it leads to the college, my eork, and down town.

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    1. I biked several times along HWY 12, from Rhame to Bowman mostly but west and east of there, too. It is a nice ride. Nice paved shoulders. Very little traffic. I never did encounter wind, which was odd. Billings, MT has a nice bike trail.

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  4. Tease! talk about a tease! Showing me a bicycle!
    I have twice biked in Winona. Lovely biking town. Where would I LIKE to walk or bike? Most anywhere. I try not to even think about biking, and have succeeded until a couple weeks ago. The warm weather caused it, of course. But as my osteo-surgeon says, my body is at least a decade older than my brain. But as judging by the horror story Sandy’s friend is living through with her husband, better the body older than the brain.
    I never got to bike much of the bike corridor from St. Cloud to the NW along HWY 94 or the Munger Trail, except for Jay Cooke Park into west Duluth.
    People I know, people I barely know or do not know at all stop me and ask me why they do not see me biking. I think I looked distinctive on a bke. Used to be a travel series–wonderful, on PBS–called “Fat Man on a Bicycle.” But he got to bike in Patagonia and Finland and Cajun country and elsewhere.
    The squirrels are looking in at me begging. They don’t know me as the guy who used to bike. They know me as the guy who keeps them on easy street, thanks to free corn. I may be old, but i’m cheap.

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  5. I hope to bike when back in Minnesota….when weather supports the attempt of husband and I on out tandem. We’ve only been on the old free beauty once….I didn’t follow directions well so it was a short ride. I was used to a ten speed with my feet held in a stayed position while coasting…that doesn’t work on this bike as I was braking while husband was peddling. A second start and when I didn’t want to peddle I just let my feet fly-dangle. That didn’t go over well.

    My overall health is much better and with my new knee and my physical ‘training’ …( biking on a ‘noodle’ in an indoor heated pool here)…I think I’ll be ready to hit the Willard Munger Trail!

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      1. Don’t know the year…but it’s an old fat tire tandem that a neighbor was given & didn’t want so husband brought it home. It’s currently hanging in our garage awwaiting our return….and weather appropriate for riding.

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  6. During the shoulder seasons, spring and fall before and after golf season, I like to walk downtown or across town to my favorite coffee shops and write. Each is 2-3 miles away, and to get downtown I can choose to route myself through some lovely parks on our trail system (but that would add about a mile, so I compromise and add about a half-mile through the parks and along the muni golf course.

    Other than that, a walk through River Bend Nature Center in Faribault when the trails are dry (they are mostly gravels or crushed limestone, not sure which). It’s a little-known gem of a place with a pleasant visitors center, well-marked trail intersections, and a choice between wide open prairie, wooded forests, or riverside trails.

    This year I plan to do two serious walking trips (translation: canoe trips with portages) in the Boundary Waters.) The walking itself is painful, but the payoff is priceless.

    Chris in Owatonna

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        1. Don’t you just love those honor system deals? I’ve come across a couple of roadside farm stands with fresh vegetables that uses that system, and I love them. Years ago, Warren McKenzie, the Minnesota potter of some renown, had an honor system basket at his pottery showroom. It was always open, and you could peruse his pots and those of his students whenever the spirit moved you, pick whichever ones suited your fancy, and leave the money in a wicker basket. That system worked for years, but he closed the showroom about ten years ago due to theft and greed. He even quit signing his pots because he didn’t want people buying them as an investment or to resell at outrageous markups. To him they are items of beauty, intended to be used and enjoyed in everyday life.

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        2. It’s so frustrating when great ideas get spoiled by jerks. 😦 An old coffee shop here in town had an honor system for refills– 25 cents per cup but the owner ended up calling the police to nail a woman who was stealing change from the honor system basket on a regular basis.

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  7. Last week we did a walk that pushed me past my limits. We met our daughter and family at the Arb for the light display/show/art. We chose one of the rare chilly evenings with a bit of snow. But we all liked it that way. They had two fires burning to stand around. We did not go to one of the installations, down the slippery sloping trail by the maple sugar shed. One was pretty lame. The others were good. Walking among thousands of lights scattered along the trail behind the cafeteria was the best.

    Liked by 5 people

  8. Walking and biking are both in the past for me, so I look back fondly on memories of them. Between 2002 and 2012 my dog Katie and I walked about six miles a day in the bluffs, hills and floodwater plains of the Mississippi south of Minnehaha Falls. What a lovely walk that was for us both. Katie got to point turkeys and squirrels, run with dog friends and get loved up by her many human admirers. I got exercise that was improved by beautiful views, historical reminders and the company of several quirky human friends.

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  9. Well. My local library and an Aldi are 5 blocks away, so that’s a year round walk for me, often combining returning or picking up library items with picking up a few items from Aldi. It’s kind of ugly this time of year with the trash showing up with the snow melting (the little bit of snow that we had) and everything brown and gray, but autumn is the best time, when the oak trees along the streets turn shades of orange, russet, and red.

    The first place I should take my bike this year is the bike shop on the Greenway a few blocks from here to get it tuned up since, for various reasons, I haven’t used my bike for several years.

    Once the bike is in good shape, I can get on the Geenway (entrance is 4 blocks away) and go, limited only by my not so good physical condition. There’s a spot I want to go to on the Kenilworth Trail, in particular, a sort of marshy, meadowy spot (which it is depends on the amount of rainfall for the year) that is quite peaceful.

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  10. I sold my bicycle two years ago. So no more biking for me. I never felt safe and confident riding it on city streets, and it seemed like a lot of trouble to have to transport the bike to a safe place to ride it.

    Now my “good” knee is going bad, as is my left hip, so walking is painful. By “good” knee, I mean the one that hasn’t been replaced with a titanium joint. Bernie and I enjoy a leisurely stroll on Raspberry Island where there are lots of benches so I can sit down every so often. Weekdays during the day, we have it pretty much to ourselves.

    When I could still walk without pain, a meander through Eloise Butler wildflower garden was a favorite, especially in early spring. Or a good hike through Afton State Park or Lebanon Hills. Excellent bird watching in both places.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have sweet memories (from not many years ago) when I was relatively young and fit. A friend and I hiked all over the hills of Afton Park and then treated ourselves to ice cream at Selma’s Ice Cream Parlour in downtown Afton. For those who haven’t been there, “downtown Afton” is a sort of inside joke.

      Liked by 3 people

  11. I’ll walk to the farmers’ market in downtown St. Paul. There is a winter market on Saturdays, so maybe I’ll go this weekend. When the weather gets warmer it will be open on Sunday too, which is my preferred day to go. With a stop at Dunn Brothers on the way home.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a pretty good hike, Linda, but I don’t know where the Dunn Brothers is. Must be on the downtown side of the river?

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      1. The Dunn Brothers is on 5th and Wabasha. There are a lot of coffee shops downtown, but most are closed Sundays. My purchase is part treat for myself, and part contribution to keeping the lone Sunday coffee shop open.

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  12. Hi Kids! Still in St Louis and having a good time. Seeing famous theater people. (I had a lovely chat with Richard Pilbrow today! He acts like he’s known you forever).
    It was 70 degree’s here today and I skipped a session and walked down to the arch. Lots of construction around it and the elevator inside was closed. Kelly says when she was here with her Aunt and Uncle 30+ years ago it was closed then too. We’re wondering if it’s ever been open.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Actually it HAS been open quite a bit.. I’ve been up in the Arch probably 20+ times. When I was a kid, every time somebody came to town, it was part of the sightseeing tour. But there has been construction around the Arch for as long as the Arch has been there. Kind of like the St. Paul/Minneapolis Airport!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Believe me, I am the last person who would try to be convincing ANYONE to spend time in St. Louis.

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        2. I guess I had never noticed that you were not a St. Louis fans I knew that you left but I didn’t know that you left with an attitude

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  13. And I had clients all day yesterday, so I’m still in “what’s close” mode. I live just a bit farther away from Anna’s mecca than she does, but there is also the vet, the drugstore and now a pet food/toy store (spendy but cute). If we had a bagel shop and the hardware store were a few blocks closer, it would be an absolute paradise.

    There is a coffee shop on the corner but I prefer another chain, if I’m getting coffee on the run. I admit that it’s hard for me to part with that kind of money when I can just make it at home for much much less. YA thinks we should get one of those pod machines; I told her under no circumstance is one of those coming into the house. The idea of the cost and the little plastic pods piling up in the world is too much for me.

    Wait, what was the question?????

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I make it at home. Rarely buy it out. Every so often at a local downtown house while waiting for Sandy. I have an individual cup maker which can use pods or loose grounds. Been grinding my own coffees for a few months. Trader Joe has a very nice Costa Rican coffee. I do not drink stuff in the car very often. I figure at my age my attention should not be divided.

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  14. Coffee…I get my beans from Alakef in Duluth. Of course I have to get Scandinavian blend….reg & decaf. My luxury here has been to have them shipped. They are roasted when you order and shipped the next day. Love the smell of coffee beans. They have several organic to choose from../that is what I get…having mine now.
    I’m not a coffee ‘out’ gal….I blend half decaf with the real…need minimal caffeine.
    When we came here I ordered a machine which will brew just my thermal mug full…perfect! I can leisurely sip while doing my morning routine of listening to MPR news, then switch to classical music, hit the crossword and check for a ‘Trail Baboon’.

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  15. i am in bike and hiking trail heaven but as far as anything eles i am in the burbs a mike from a gas station and there is no civilization other than strip malls for as far as the bike can ride.

    i love winona and would lve to be in a situation where it is all accessible from one location. when i was thinking about the end of the trail retirement center i was thinking of a place near a town center maybe hutchenson or maybe winona would be perfect. winona has some culture with the college hutch would be lacking,,,, maybe winona is perfect.
    st paul might work too, they have some culture there too

    rochester may be ideal with the new spurt of activity coming up to excite the plains

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      1. I have a large building envisioned kind of a grand mansion short of a thing with the big dining area family room area kitchen area and then the staircase going up to the five or six bedrooms upstairs with the master bath and the big clawfoot tub and a large yard for gardening both flowers and vegetables and room for a gazebo and a horseshoe pitif I were allowed to drive up in my brain and have a pop out I would have an area where you could put in rows and rows of Lillys and bulbs and has to for propagating I’m not much on corn and beans and peas but I do love my flowers

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      2. i’ve never thought about trying to give Trader Joe’s a run for his money but in reality I don’t think there’s anybody else competing with that store niche might be interested

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  16. It’s a little cold today, but soon I will be thinking about making a stop at St. Paul Corner Drug for an ice cream cone. Or a malt at Snuffy’s. Nothing like a warm day to put you in the mood for ice cream!

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  17. .
    st paul might work too, they have some culture there too
    rochester may be ideal with the new spurt of activity coming up to excite the plains

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