~update at bottom of post~
Long story short, I finished the 5K! Woot woot! And even better, no search & rescue! BUT, before the running there was camping. I know, you’re thinking either I really hit my noggin or had some bad mushrooms on my salad. I’m not a camper; I pretty much have a no-camping rule, but I can be talked into just about anything once. So off I went to Door County to camp with my nephew and his family. In Wisconsin. In October.
Although I don’t see myself doing the camp-out thing again, I had a great time and it was good to see the fam. It was simply too cool for my comfort. The verbiage was different when I stepped out of the shower on day 2, but for the purposes of this blog, it was “too cool for my comfort.” Cell signals don’t exist out there, so I wasn’t able to check the temp, but I took a peek at the forecast before I arrived which said 50 daytime and 30s at night. I’m pretty sure we didn’t hit 50.
The campfire was stoked, food grilled, and beer sipped. We even had live music with my niece playing guitar and singing. I brought my ukulele and she had that sounding sweet in no time too. Two more nieces arrived the next day and more catching up, singing, and a sitting-around-the-camp-fire-game I readily put out of my mind. I was already in Auntie heaven when things got really crazy and the holy grail of Auntie-ness was bestowed upon me: I was told I am hip. I’m HIP! That’s like having your selfie get a 100 likes. A HUNDRED!
Door County was either on the upside or downside of peak Fall colors, but I still got a pretty show on a morning run–which was cut short because I was
startled terrified by a deer (another reason I’m not a camper).
On the spur of the moment my niece and I ran through the woods to catch the back side of a sunset. We got there maybe 5 minutes late, but it was worth the sprint!
We checked out a couple of towns in the area. Fish Creek is adorable with lots of little shops and places to eat. We had some tasty burgers and of course, cheese curds, at the Bayside Tavern. On my way out of town we stopped at the Wood Orchard Market in Egg Harbor where they put out samples of just about every food item they sell. Apples, jellies, pumpkin butter, salsa, and stuff I didn’t even look at. They got me on the apples, pumpkin butter and cheese curds. Could not resist. Then we hit Egg Harbor’s quaint downtown for their annual Pumpkin Patch fall festival. It was pretty darn cool.
But this was a three-pronged trip, and I had to say my farewells and be off. It was so nice to see my nephew and his family and sad to say goodbye. I don’t get to see them near enough.
Stopped in Green Bay to lunch with a friend I haven’t seen in 10 years. We talked about old times, caught up on the present (a whole lot of medical talk at this point in our lives). Lots of laughing and not much eating. We picked up right where we left off when we last saw each other. A sure sign of a true friend.
Then I made my way further south to the Madison area where I have more family (another nephew and his family), and it’s also where I booked the 5K. The Trample the Trails run at Donald Park in Mt. Horeb slapped me in the face with a starting race temp of 36 degrees. Geez! About half of the run was through grass, so the feet got right dewey wet and then the toes went a little frosty. It was a beautiful run through the park though.
The scenery was gorgeous and I couldn’t help but take some pics. Probably not what the typical runner does, but then again, I lean toward atypical most days. Ha! My two little nieces ran out about 50 yards from the finish line and crossed with me–my all-time favorite running moment! I’d like to bottle that and keep it with me forever. They were too cute for words and later gave me a mani/pedi, and special up-do, and made me bracelets. There is nothing like being pampered by the littles. I finally get Tina Fey’s toddler yogurt facial commercial.
Madison is a great little capitol city/college town, but the surrounding area is really interesting. Mt. Horeb is a Norwegian settlement, and the Chamber of Commerce has kept true to its heritage with the giant “Velkommen” sign out front. It’s also the troll capital of the world. Who knew? I had no idea the Duluth Trading Company was there. I’ve been all over their site and assumed the store was in Duluth. Makes sense, right? It’s like a Great Outdoor Provision Company, but more focused on clothing than gear. I’m glad my backpack was full when I arrived as I’m still trying to get to that minimalist state of being.
We checked out New Glarus, which is “America’s Little Switzerland.” Authentic Swiss bakery, shops, restaurants, and painted cows. Even on the bank.
My favorite part of New Glarus was the New Glarus Brewing Co. I’m not a craft beer kind of girl, but these I liked. Maybe it was the post-run high talking, but the Spotted Cow hit the spot. Beautiful place to taste some brews, and they even provided live alpenhorn music. It doesn’t get much better than sitting in the sun, catching up with family, and sipping a beer with the alpenhorns in the background.
So my first out-of-state run is on the books and only 48 more to go! Was a great trip, especially spending time with family I don’t often get to see. The littles are adorable, and the older nieces are growing up. It’s cool to see them becoming young adults; to hear them talk about their ideals and the decisions they’re making now that will shape the rest of their lives. I kept it together while I was there, but now I get a little teary when I talk about them or replay the videos. I’m so sentimental over these moments now. All part of my much better perspective.
I initially thought my time for the 5K was over an hour, but thank goodness I was wrong! The official time for my first trail run was 53:29. Considering my times have been hanging around the 45 minute mark (and that I stopped to take photos), I am down with the digits, diggin’ the duration, copacetic with the clock…ok I’ll stop!