Saturday, January 20, 2007

Day Tripper

I was looking for something to do today, so I took a little road trip. It was a gorgeous, sunny (but chilly) day, so I drove across the border into Wisconsin to the town of Hudson. Hudson is an old river town along the St. Croix. It has some similarities to Stillwater, MN, in that it is very scenic and has a nicely preserved old downtown area.

My first stop was at an old fashioned meat shop called RJ’s Meats. There, I purchased a number of different sausage products to sample, as well as some fresh ground chuck to cook with tomorrow. I am drawn to stores like this, and it smelled wonderful inside. They were even busy firing up a grill outside in front of the store to do some cooking for the customers (did I mention it was 11 degrees outside at the time?). Anyhow, I am munching on a cajun beef stick as I type, and it is fantastic. :)

After that, I sought our a place for lunch in the old part of downtown, and I found a great one. I went to Barker’s Bar & Grill and had one of the best burgers of my life. They called it the “Tyson Burger,’ a clear boxing reference for the “black and blue” nature of the sandwich; blackened seasoning and Amish blue cheese (which is tucked under a slice of Monterey Jack), to be specific. It was absolutely awesome. And don’t get me started on the fries. These were real, hand-cut, homemade fries, not the frozen variety that a food service would provide. What an excellent lunch. I will go to Hudson again just to eat here.

The “Tyson Burger” at Barker’s Bar & Grill



Following lunch, I took a trek up and down the St. Croix River Valley. I drove up to Osceola, WI, and crossed back into Minnesota. There are may beautiful sights and towns along the way.

The village of Marine on St. Croix



I stopped for a photo in the town of Marine on St. Croix, MN. This little village was founded in 1839 on the site of the first commercial sawmill on the St. Croix River. The General Store, pictured on the left, was built in 1870 and is still in operation. And the Village Hall, pictured on the right, was built in 1888 and is reportedly the oldest village hall still serving a local government in the state of Minnesota. How cool! Anyhow, there is your Minnesota history lesson for the day!

It was so much fun going for a drive in the country. I grew up in the country, and I’m currently stuck in the cities. Oh, how I long to live in the country again. Someday!

So, that was my trip! Oh, I almost forgot to mention; this morning before all of this happened, I did a 9 mile run. It was a wee bit cold outside. 8 degrees, but with the wind chill, it felt like -4. Brrr! My face mask, eyelashes, and hat were completely frosted over when I returned home. However, it was a great run at a steady, easy pace.

It may sound strange, but I think I enjoy my weekend long runs better than my weekday short runs. During the week, I always feel rushed. Rush home from work, and rush out to run in order to beat the limited daylight in the winter. On the weekend, I can take my time and just run. I can go at a pace that feels comfortable. Of course, running a longer distance is satisfying as well, but in general I find the longer runs more relaxing.

Plus, a long run gave me a good excuse to throw down a “Tyson Burger” later in the day. ;-)

Until next time,

Jean
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