Category Archives: sports

February Adventure

Today’s post comes from cynthiainmahtowa.

The First of February 2018 was a beautiful, sunny, crispy -10 F day. There was enough snow to snowshoe and I hadn’t been in the woods since I couldn’t remember when…years before my hip surgery. It was a Thursday, and Sunday afternoon our book club was meeting at my house to discuss “A River Runs Through It” by Norman McLean. As our group often does off- book things like skiing, hiking, canoeing, I thought it would be fun for people to ski or snowshoe down the Moose Horn River that meanders through my land.

But first to check it out.  Friend Daina and her Corgi, Jack, were willing to go through the woods, to the marsh and over the river with me. When we got to the marsh, however, Daina was afraid Jack would go through the ice and not be able to get out so she decided to take him home. I decided to travel on.

When I got to the river, I ventured on to the ice for about half a dozen steps when the ice gave out under me.  Suddenly, I was up to my armpits in ice-cold water. I don’t know how deep it was, my metal and rubber snowshoes wouldn’t let me get my feet under me.  Alas, I thought, “This is how I die.”

Though somehow I must not have believed that because I was hanging on to my Icelandic wool hat that I love and was NOT going to let it go! After a brief struggle, I floated myself over to the side of the river where there appeared to be a solid snow covered something. When I got to the embankment I saw a block of ice below me that I managed to get my snowshoes on.  With my one pole (I had hiking poles with me) I managed to pull myself back onto the ice, get standing up, pick up my other pole that I had left on top of the ice and headed back home.

Fortunately, I had on my polyester down parka and nylon ski pants. So I was not weighted down with water-soaked clothing. The worst was the water in my boots. I figured if I kept moving as fast as I could, I wouldn’t succumb to hypothermia. I was about 15 minutes through the woods and up the pasture from the house. At the power easement I considered going back on the road so someone would see me, but it was farther and open and the wind was bitter.

With some difficulty I got myself over the wire fencing and into the pasture. Halfway to the house, I saw Daina coming down to meet me. She, being brilliant in emergencies – and having experienced her husband’s hypothermia a few years ago – took over. She helped me into the house, out of my Sorel-like boots of man-made materials with frozen laces, my wet clothes and into the shower…then into bed with three or four layers of blankets, mugs of hot tea, chicken soup and liquid jello.

I never shivered, though in bed it felt like my deep core wanted to shake. But the adrenalin was coursing through my body the rest of the day and I was fully warmed up in time to feed my animals that evening…and before the day was over I cleaned and re-organized my cupboard of mugs.

I don’t know what the experience has done to my psyche, but looking back there seems to be a sense of appreciation and direction and confidence and generosity that I didn’t have before.

And when I got kicked in the thigh by Derby Horse the following Friday, the resulting hematoma didn’t seem like much of a big deal.

What was your scariest “adventure”?

Gophermunk

Today’s post comes from Crystal Bay.

In the late 50s, the U of M commissioned Dad to create their mascot, Goldie Gopher. He had no idea what a gopher looked like, so on his way from our hometown, Ames, he saw some critters scurrying around the border of Minnesota and Iowa. He got out of his car and madly scribbled drawings on a sketch pad.

He was in his 80s when my 20-year old son asked him, “Did you really design Goldie Gopher?” Then, for the first time, the story came out. Yes, Dad created him – but – not knowing the difference between a gopher and a chipmunk, he made a hybrid of the two. He drew a chipmunk body and slapped some big front teeth on the model.

To this day, Goldie Gopher remains a gophermunk. His original sketch is pictured below this post . My son wrote up the story and it headlined in the Minnesota Daily. Just think – he got away with this for more than half of a century. You’ll never look at him the same way again now.

How do you think sports mascots make a difference to a team?  What teams do you follow, and why? Know any good gopher, squirrel, or chipmunk stories?

Happy Thanksgiving!

This is a straight up-homage to the day. Not the turkey and football filled day, not the sweet potatoes and pilgrim hat day.  For those of us who don’t practice thankfulness as often as we should (including me), today is a day to help us do just that – practice thankfulness.

You’ve heard it before – what are you grateful for?

 

Gold, Silver, Bronze

I didn’t grow up watching sports. We didn’t follow any teams and even though my parents were avid tennis players, we never watched tennis either. None of my sisters nor I did any sports except what little we were required to do in phy ed.

So it was a surprise to me when I first watched some Olympic coverage in college that I enjoyed it. Not enough to follow sports throughout the years, but more than enough to spend the two weeks of the Olympics in front of the television.  Sports that I would NEVER watch any other time seem interesting during the Olympics (think bob sled, pole vaulting, skiing, swimming).

As a young married in Milwaukee, in a teeny apartment, wasband and I were excited to watch the 1980 Winter Olympics but we had a teen little black & white television. To celebrate the Olympics we splurged with a Rent-a-Center color console for two weeks.  It took up most of the living room, but we really enjoyed it and watched the Olympic coverage constantly.  After the Olympics, back the tv went.

These days I actually watch a couple of channels at a time. Men’s team ice skating on one channel and downhill skiing and luge on another; I switch back and forth at the commercials or whenever the commentators get verbose. I don’t really have a big preference for either summer or winter Olympics.  I have favorite sports in each, but nothing that tips the balance for me one way or the other.

What gets a gold medal in your world this week?

Trail of Ice

I’ve written here before about my fond memory of ice skating on the Iowa River north of town, early in the winter before it became completely snow-covered. My dad would tell of following “their” creek for miles as a kid. Once you’ve skated a distance like that, a rink no longer seems very romantic.

Enter Minnesota’s first Ice Skating Trail, in the Northwest Minneapolis suburb of Maple Grove. From the December 2017 AAA Living magazine: “Lampposts offer a warm glow, and the surrounding trees’ white twinkle-lights brighten both trail and mood.” I imagine skating there at dusk, as the sun goes down.

One of only a few in North America (see also Chicago and Toronto), it’s an 810-foot loop that feels “more like a stroll in the park” than the laps you skate at a traditional ice rink, according to Minneapolis Northwest, a regional newsletter(For reference, a regular hockey rink has a 570’ lap.)

You can skate earlier in the season (and later) than most outdoor rinks, as the trail is refrigerated and maintained by a Zamboni. There is skate rental (and concessions like hot chocolate and popcorn) during Central Park’s warming pavilion open hours, but park benches are available anytime for putting on your own skates.

I would have loved to have this nearby when I was still skating.

What will get you out of doors this winter? 

Would you like to try driving a Zamboni, or some other heavy machinery?

 

 

Ostrich or Monkey?

today’s post comes to us from tim.

you know i am finally there.

i don’t want to listen to the news anymore…

houston had a flood. did you hear?

donald trump had a thought… did you hear?

not only did I hear it i can’t shut it off.

my tv station in the morning plays the same story every 15 minutes from 4 am until 7 when they hand it off to the new york team who tells the national story of the day 2 or 3 times before i can get away and listen to it on the radio.

then I see all the pop ups from internet news, yahoo, google, whoever I have on my email news blasts

from huffington post or email blasts from my senators or local political folks, or people I like to hear from.

i have begun to do podcasts and downloaded music to stay away from the antimotivational news

but the twins are doing good, the lynx are wonderful again cmon lindsey whalen… and the vikings don’t suck yet. the timberwolves should be really wonderful this year. the soccer stadium is going to be fun and

the joy through sports seems shallow but it is kind of like taking pride in the guthrie theater and the minnesota orchestra or the st paul chamber orchestra the voyageurs national park, minnehaha falls or the fact that we have winter.

lots to pay attention to out there in the world. the news knows what people say they want to know about but i wonder if there would be a place for the good news station on the dial. i know i’d tune in.

what do you love most about the trail?

 

1-2-3 Strikes You’re out

There was:

  • a human bowling game – someone in a huge plastic bubble running toward 6-foot high nerf “pins”
  • an obstacle course for two teams each with a stretcher and a patient. I’m glad both the patients were mannequins
  • a back to front race in which two strangers were tied side-by-side, but one facing forward and one facing backward. The winning team went pretty fast considering
  • a tire race. Let’s face it, the gentlemen took this one by a landslide
  • an eye ball race – two kids, each wearing a huge eyeball costume. The brown eye won.
  • t-shirt launching into the crown
  • tiny tykes racing teeny motorcars – this makes it clear why five-year olds don’t have licenses
  • a drone contest that made it abundant clear that flying these things isn’t as easy as it looks
  • an adorable big wearing a large pin bow

Oh – and then there was a baseball game. Great seats, perfect weather, no one truly obnoxious sitting anywhere near us, a pedi-cab ride all the way back to where the car was parked.  We lost but it was still a wonderful evening!

Do you root for a home team?