Hike 22 - Steamboat Point

After a long day and a half drive we finally made it to the Big Horn mountains in Wyoming. Our first stop was a hike, one that Jesse did the year before, and he prepared me that it was short but steep. I could do that - steep would be a challenge, but it was short. How hard could it be? Lolz. In reality, I huffed and puffed my way up this mountain. Headache slowly creeping up , heart trying to beat out my chest, but I made it with a number of breaks in shaded spots and sips of water or Gatorade.

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But I made it.

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My 9 year old led the three of us. She and Jesse seemed fine even though she would later express how hard it was. Neither of them seemed to be breathing as hard as me which leads me to believe that I’m not made for these inclines. I suspected this when we were in Utah and I dragged behind the pack, also huffing and puffing away. I don’t do well in high altitudes, in heat, in pushing myself too hard, but I know that I can do this at my own pace.

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Hike #: 22

Trail: Steamboat Point

Location: Bighorn National Forest, Wyoming

Trail surface: dirt, rock - very steep

Date: 8/25/19

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In retrospect I can recommend this hike. Just make sure that you take it at your own pace as the view will be worth it when you (eventually) get to the top.

*Also my rating is probably more reflective of how I handle these hikes than an average person.

Jo: ★★

Jesse: ★★★★

Riley: ★★★

Hike 21 - Silverwood Park

Twenty years ago or so, I hung out at Silverwood park, a former Salvation Army camp, a couple times and I have to say, it’s like a completely different place now. In fact, I keep second guessing myself that I was really there so long ago. During my first visit, I only remember that there was a parking lot and a beach and nothing else really to see. Not long after I went back and explored a bit more by walking around the trails, but it was being worked on so trails and trees and fields were all torn up.

Last year I attended a wedding here and was blown away at the transformation. It’s hard to imagine that it was once so disheveled as it looks as if it’s been this lush for hundreds of years. Even though it was cold at that time, I knew I had to bring my family back to explore the trail at some point in time.

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Hike #: 21

Trail: Silverwood Park

Location: St Anthony, MN

Trail surface: paved, with a few offshoots of dirt and wood chips.

Date: 7/21/19

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The trail here is mostly paved, which usually results in a less favorable review (or authentic feeling hike), but there were a few trails of wood chips and a bridge that took you onto an island. The park was very well maintained which is mostly the case in the Minneapolis area, but this one seemed especially well taken care of. Plus, there were butterflies everywhere and that just added to the overall ambience.

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An additional plus was that there were random sculptures along the trail (there is a walking tour online where you can learn more about each artist and their work). Riley can sometimes get bored on these walks so she seemed very appreciative of these points of interest… but so did Jesse and I. It felt very thoughtful to add these artistic touches in a way that wasn’t too disturbing to the nature around it.

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As I mentioned above, this one was a winner for us. There was a lot of established trees, clean trails, interesting things to see, and it was a pleasant day.

Jo: ★★★★★

Jesse: ★★★★

Riley: ★★★★★

Hike 20 - Purgatory Creek Park

With Riley at her grandparents, Jesse and I decided to go on a hike of our own. We were still dealing with wet trails and hot days so we wanted to get out early to beat the heat and find a trail that was dry. A few rose to the top of my list, but I decided that I wanted Riley to go on those so I suggested this trail in Eden Prairie. I’d actually walked it a couple years ago while Riley was at a birthday party nearby and had always wanted to bring Jesse back.

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Hike #: 20

Trail: Purgatory Creek Park

Location: Eden Prairie, MN

Trail surface: paved, although there is a crushed rock trail that you can cut across part of the creek, but it was flooded when we were there so we had to turn around.

Date: 7/7/19

I’ve had a hard time searching for Purgatory Creek to find this trail. In fact, there is a Purgatory trail in nearby Minnetonka that we checked out last year. If you Google ‘Purgatory Creek Pavilion’ you will find a good start for this trail as there is a parking lot, and pavilion there. There are also some statues honoring our Military that is worth stopping to pay your respects at.

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This trail is a mix of shade and open sky, but is mostly open. It started out as a nice breezy hike, but we quickly heated up walking on the asphalt trail with the sun beating down on us at 9:30 in the morning. I need to start my hikes at 6 am to avoid this summer heat, I think. The trail is surrounded by houses and businesses and shops, and even connects to another nearby lake if you want to make it a longer hike. We might have if it weren’t for the heat.

This is the joy of living in Minnesota - there is lake after lake after lake and often a trail is built to walk around them. It’s something I often take for granted, but appreciate that our state makes sure that some of these lakes are preserved enough that anyone can enjoy them.

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Jo: ★★★★

Jesse: ★★★★