A day of adventure

Some days it’s fun to have a day of doing things you’ve ever done before. I began the morning with a bike ride, and instead of hitting familiar trails, I headed towards an area to the east to check out part of Rice Creek Trails that I had never been on. The entrance is hidden away by a freeway entrance, and once I found the trail I had to make a choice which direction of a circle to take first.

IMG_3654I elected to head to the right, with the intent to find the spur that continues the trail at the top of the circle. I ended up missing the turn completely, and found myself back at the start of the circle. I decided to turn around and head up the circle to the left, and this time I found the correct path. I managed to continue the trail for a few miles, enjoying a beautiful overcast morning. After 14 miles I rolled back into my garage and got ready for the rest of the day.

After breakfast my wife and I talked about what we wanted to do for the day and we landed on visiting a place we had never been to before, the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Then, because we would be close to Waconia, MN we decided that we would visit Waconia Brewing Company for the first time. We headed out a bit before lunch time and arrived to the arboretum with our stomachs ready for some food. Thankfully, there is a restaurant at the arboretum and we sat down for some simple institutional-style brunch food, that although not memorable, was filling enough.

After eating we started wandering the grounds, and I pulled out my nice camera to take some shots. I took a bunch of pictures that I will post later this week, some of which I think came out very nice. As we wandered the grounds we enjoyed a lot of lovely nature, a beautiful boardwalk through a bog, and some very nice floral gardens. The arboretum is huge, and after all the running and biking that my wife and I did this weekend, we decided not to walk the large outer loop. Instead we took the option to drive around it and see some of the other gardens that we should come back and visit someday. Because of an art crawl that was going on today, the loop route was a bit crowded, and trying to park and wander over to various exhibits wasn’t much of an option.

IMG_3656After leaving the arboretum we headed into Waconia (with a wonderful detour around a closed road), and made our way to Waconia Brewing Company. I bellied up the bar and ordered a flight of 6 of their beers. Since they had eight beers on tap, I was only missing out on two of them. For the most part their beer was adequate, but mostly lackluster. After I finished the flight I asked for a sample of a brown ale that I hadn’t gotten on my flight, and found that to be the best of the entire round. I think if we found our selves there again, the brown ale would be the beer I’d order straight out.

IMG_3658After enjoying some beer, my wife took the wheel to drive us home (she doesn’t drink). Because of the detour around Waconia we ended up on a different highway to get home, but it was one that I knew would intersect with Highway 100, so I told her to just go straight, instead of backtracking over our original detour. As we approached Highway 100, we discovered that the entrances were completely closed for road construction. I quickly grabbed my phone and started plotting a different course. I found a route that would bring us up through the south western part of Minneapolis and onto Interstate 394. However, when we got to 394 we found that the entrance was closed for… you guessed it… road construction.

After working our way around to a spot where we could actually get on the Interstate we headed back up to our area of town. After all of the detours and noodling around, we opted for one more stop at a DQ for some ice cream. Thus ended our adventure day. Now it’s time for a relaxing evening of watching mindless TV, writing blogs, and starting to do some post-processing on all the photos I took today.