an urban hike in st. paul



Lately I've been feeling kind of lazy. I partially blame the book I've been reading.


Writing a memoir about hiking 1100 miles is just cruel. I'm talking to you, Cheryl Strayed. You start telling me about your journey, about your boots! the stars! how amazing it feels to bathe after walking for miles and miles! and I'm ready to buy out REI and embark on my own physically challenging expedition to find myself. But you've sucked me in to your tale, and now I'm stuck on my couch for the next 4 days, not moving, shoving snacks into my face, desperate to see how it ends. 


Also, a guy jumped from space. 

I managed to make three crockpot meals in the past week. Only one of them didn't burn. That's been my contribution to society lately. 

Inspired, I dragged Y and Ike on our own version of a journey to find ourselves: a three hour hike that was mostly on a paved trail. Baby steps.


Note: I actually wrote the above paragraphs in my head before we actually hiked. I just knew something noteworthy would happen, most likely:
  • I'd get mistaken for a weird celebrity (celebrities I've been told I look like: Cameron Diaz, Suri Cruise, Blair Underwood. Let's recap: Cameron Diaz looks nothing like me, Suri Cruise is four, Blair Underwood is a black man.)
  • I would trip in some hilariously slapstick manner
  • One of us would say or do something ridiculous.
Spoiler alert: It ended up being the latter.

Because while we were walking through the parking lot to our trail, this pulled up.


Out walked the best dressed hiker you've ever seen, and his impossibly adorable little boy. The dad spouted off the history of the trail as he pushed his hair back with his Ray-Bans. The little boy gazed adoringly at his dad.

I don't know what you do when you come across a Cool Dad. Maybe you smile. You probably don't think twice about it.

Y and me? Well, we invent a sitcom about their adventures and spend the next few hours writing the theme song and singing it while hiking. In case you're interested, the song starts "I've got my son for the weeeeeeeeeeeekend", Bradley Cooper plays Cool Dad, and the show is called Custody. As in joint custody. Because, you see, Bradley Cooper and his ex-wife got a divorce after it became clear that she was a lesbian. 


Sidenote: the last time I went hiking was in Central Arkansas during Carol Convention. We made a Justin Bieber music video in the woods. Is it possible that I'm too ADD to hike?


FYI: We "hiked" from Harriet Island to Lilydale Regional Park, through Lilydale, and back. The Lilydale trail winds uphill on what used to be a brick factory, so there are old bricks scattered throughout and a brick oven hiding in the woods. The uphill switchbacks are a pretty good workout and end in a nice view that was probably amazing two weeks ago, before the leaves fell.