Entries tagged with “Lake Calhoun”.

Ski group

We spent many hours this past weekend enjoying the beautiful weather (record-tying warmth) on the last day of January.  We almost made it the entire month without a day above freezing!  On Saturday it was in the 40’s and excellent conditions to stand outside on frozen lakes enjoying the winter festivities.  What are the festivities – City of Lakes Loppet

What is a Loppet? According to Cross-Country Canada:

It is a great gathering of skiers who ski on a specifically groomed trail either classic (diagonal stride) or free (skating technique) of various distances.

Basically a big party with skiing at the center! This was our first time enjoying it.  We saw skijoring, kids cross-country skiing, sprint skiing, 33k freestyle skiing, and an ice bike race.

Skijoring is when you have a dog pulling you along.  The best teams looked really cool and some of the later ones looked like a lot of work (when the dog didn’t want to help!).  I obviously took a lot of pictures, some events were easier/ more enjoyable to watch.

Ice Bike Spiral

The Ice Bike Race was pretty sweet.  They plowed about a 3 foot wide trail on the lagoon between Lake Calhoun and Lake of the Isles.  The race was criterium style – riding for 30 minutes with one last lap thrown in at the end.  It was not an easy course, with plenty of tight turns including a hair-pin and a “spiral of death.” Basically you spiral in and then have to spiral back out.  It was intense to watch them manuevar and their amazing handling skills all on ice.  They rode mountain bikes and I didn’t really see anyone fall down.  One guy pretty much led the entire 30 minutes but during the last lap – right before the spiral of death about 50 meters to the finish, his rear tire got a flat and he ended up finished third.

All of this is so new to us, which made it pretty fun to experience.  Got to make the most out of what you are given!

You can see more pictures here.

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It was a very busy first week of our new adventure in Minneapolis.

I posted earlier on the first part of the week.  The rest of the week was just as busy and fun-filled.

Wednesday was another training day.  The morning was spent learning basics of volunteer management and then the afternoon was spent with the state Americorps people learning about poverty.  We watched a video, People Like Us, which had some interesting information and perspectives.  I’ve learned a lot about the poverty perspective, but this video also included interviews with the “elite rich.” We then did a poverty simulation, during which my “family” ran out of money a couple of times.  In the discussion period we talked about the safety supports we the “middle class” have and how the poor often don’t.

Thursday was the the first day at my new school.  Sanford is a small middle school in the system but has a high percentage of immigrants and free lunch kids. I got to meet the principal who will be my site supervisor and some of the other support staff.  Most of the teachers were teaching! I got to meet a few of the kids during a Lunch with the Principal.

Friday was a regular VISTA meeting day to check-in and debrief about the past few weeks and what is coming up.  This was the first time I got to meet the rest of the VISTA’s serving in the Minneapolis Public Schools. It seems like a pretty good group of 20 something’s.

It wasn’t all work! We did manage to have some fun. Thursday night I went to Lake Calhoun to run, after stopping by our house and picking up mail. We spent those nights at the hotel, just relaxing.  Friday night we went with Kristofer and Amy to IKEA.  We had planned on going to the Mall of America, but spent too much time at IKEA.  But we got a really good deal on a wardrobe segment.  Originally $70 we got it from the As Is section for $15.  The box was a little torn up, but were told that everything should still be inside.  That was very exciting!

Saturday we went to explore Minneapolis and went to Minnehaha Falls Park.  It was very beautiful, and frozen over!  We were able to walk around on the ice covered creek.  I’ll post some pictures later, but here is the album (if you can’t wait).  We saw American Gangster at a very cool looking 1940’s style Riverview Theater.

To top the weekend off we got to hear John Piper speak, live at Bethlehem Baptist Church.  He rotates between the 3 sites, his sermons are played live via video links, so it was quite cool to actually attend the right site to hear him speak.

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