Saturday Morning Lookback : 10 Miler

Photo is taken from the shade of a tree overlooking a flat dirt trail which heads off to the right. The trail is surrounded by low vegetation and trees in the distance. The sky is blue with just a few clouds.

#14 of my 52 Hike Challenge

Trail/Park: Minneapolis City Streets, Coldwater Spring trails, Minnehaha Trail and Pike Island Trail at Fort Snelling State Park

I want to acknowledge this service took place on the traditional territory of the Wahpekute and Očhéthi Šakówiŋ. To learn more about the tribes and these lands, please follow the links provided.

If you asked me the last time I’d been on a 10-mile hike, I’d be hard pressed to tell you the date. Somewhere in 2019 is the likeliest, though my brain hasn’t fully returned from the fog that engulfed it for most of 2020. Hiking 10 miles is a commitment of time. I know I hike at about a 2.5 mile per hour pace on a good day so that means just over four hours. Adding my loaded backpack into the mix can slow me down a bit depending on the terrain. Hiking with others can change the pace too either stepping up the pace or slowing it down.

I had the pleasure of taking on a 10-mile hike with members of Troop One a few weeks ago. We started from the Troop’s home church not far from Minnehaha Falls. Our hike started in the early morning on a route picked by one of the Scouts. We crossed a busy intersection, hiking into Minnehaha Falls Park. From there we took a trail into Coldwater Spring, opting for a dirt trail over the paved Minnehaha Trail. Wandering on the path, we passed by the area of the controlled burn which had occurred in late April, noting the rapidly recovering vegetation.

We crisscrossed the park continuing on the Minnehaha Trail heading toward Fort Snelling State Park. Conversation included the rich history of the parks we traversed. All the while I was wondering if I’d be able to complete the hike with as little as I’ve been on trail the past year.

The images shows an adult hiker and four youth hikers, who are wearing masks and standing on a partially shaded trail running parallel to a river. One of the youth is wearing a large, red backpack.

An hour later our group had made its way down the large hill toward Pike Island where we would hike the loop of the island. The day was getting warmer. I wondered if I’d overdressed with my long sleeved sun shirt. Water stops were more frequent and our pace slowed a bit. I’d suggested we hike the south side of the island first since most of it is in full sun. Rounding the eastern end of the island we kept moving instead of taking a break, knowing the north side of the island would be cooler.

Before we knew it, we were climbing the steep hill to the Historic Fort indicating we were getting closer to our 10 mile goal. The last stretch of the hike was on the paved trail which runs from the Fort and along the west side of Coldwater Spring. One of our crew who’d dressed much too warm was needing more frequent breaks so we took them whenever we could find a bit of shade.

Nearly five hours after we started we ended our hike where we’d started. I was surprised I’d hiked the 10 miles and felt I could have kept going. I felt invigorated in the knowledge I hadn’t slipped as far as I’d thought from my ability to take on a longer hike. Having company in setting and achieving the goal made a difference. It was a reminder to me the importance of community, of shared experience. The hike and the company a solid reminder of the group hikes where my hiking adventures started.

I’d love to hear what you do when you feel like you’ve been slacking off on your training for your outdoor adventures. What helps motivate you to keep moving? Leave a comment below and let me know.

Next Post Preview: I found a journal entry to stave off the heat of the past week. Watch for it soon!

GEAR: Granite Gear Crown 38, SPOT GEN3 Satellite GPS Messenger, Dueter Dirtbag, Kula Cloth, Leki Women’s Micro Vario Cor-Tec TA trekking poles, (In the pack: ENO DoubleNest Hammock with Atlas Straps, Guardian Bug Net and Pro Rainfly, Paria Thermodown 30 down quilt, REI Flash 3-Season Sleeping Pad, Thermarest Z Seat™, Z Lite™ Sleeping Pad, MSR Pocket Rocket Stove, GSI Pinnacle Dualist Cookset, MSR® IsoPro™ Fuel). Want to know more about my gear selections? Head on over to Gear & Gadgets or check out my posts titled “Gear in Review”.


Photo of a group of hikers on a sunny day in a field heading towards a wooded area. The photographer has taken the photo from behind the group.

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