Rice County Byways and Trails

The girls were busy all Saturday with a friend – a.k.a. our third daughter – so I hopped on the Buffalo and headed out to get a few miles in my legs. The Inspiration 100 is in exactly two weeks, and while it’s too late to really train, any riding now will help minimize the pain of being in poor shape.

I wound up getting a solid 40 miles, mostly on gravel roads but also on the two trails our local MTB club has created. The newer, more challenging trail at Caron Park midway between Northfield and Faribault was damp but rideable and fun. I rode two laps on my way south to Faribault in the morning and two more on my way back to Northfield in the afternoon. As a neophyte mountain biker, I’m still amazed at how exhausting pedaling at 5mph for an hour can b, especially when you’re constantly confronted by hub-high log obstacles. Oof!

The trail riding was even slower than it might’ve been because after a few pedal strokes, I had who knows how many ounces of mud and leaves packed into the treads of my Maxxis Mammoth tires. They’re great on gravel, but terrible on dirt.

Shedding the mud was a messy affair, as this short video suggests.

As usual with gravel rides, the scenery was great. The clammy gray clouds in the morning accented the verdant fields and woods, and then the afternoon sun made the summery greenness into a visual roar. Riding the gravel shoulder of a long stretch of paved road early on my route, I collected quite a bit of pollen, which I then carried all over Rice County.

Just doing my bit to help the bees.

Since I was trying to ride continuously, I only stopped to take a few pictures, which meant I have just mental snapshots of the three surly wild turkeys who didn’t want to clear the road, of the dozens of lean horses and fat cows in the pastures, or of the many tiny wood frogs that hopped away from me. But I had to stop to take a shot of this gigantic hawk, looking down on me with a predator’s cold gaze,

and of this free-range vacuum, standing enigmatically along the highway just outside the city limits.

Categories: Citizens

"Livin' is Easy" Summer Happy Hour is Monday, August 31

League of Women Voters Northfield - 3 hours 29 min ago

Hi there. It’s us again. Your local League of Women Voters - Northfield & Cannon Falls.

It’s summer time and the livin’ is easy. That means time to socialize. With us. Your local League. Did we say local?

We want you, members and non-members.

No worries. No cares. Just a nice night on a deck. Near water.

Please come to our happy hour at the Tavern Lounge Deck on August 31, anytime between 5 and 7 pm. The upstairs place. Not the downstairs place.

This will be fun. We promise. No work. No speeches. No duties. No buttons. No signs. Not this time. That is for fall. It is still summer. And the livin’ is easy.

Who are we? We are the League of Women Voters of Northfield & Cannon Falls. We are your local League. We do good things. Like educate voters. Organize candidate forums. Get great grants. Give out cool buttons. Take a stand on issues. Invite smart speakers to town. All good stuff.

Want to read our full mission statement? Summarized in short form – educate yourself; play nice; advocate; be informed when you vote.

We are you, your neighbors, your friends, your mom, your dad, your son, your daughter. We come in all ages and all shapes and sizes. We are men, too. We have a dude on our board. This is not your grandmother’s league. This is your local league. Fighting for truth, justice and the American way.

Come on out. Deck. View. Smart people. Happy hour. August 31.

We think you might be interested in us. We are interested in you. Also, we want to hang out.

Here are the details:

  • What: A no pressure happy hour
  • Date: Monday, August 31, 5 pm to 7 pm.
  • Location: The Tavern Lounge – deck (upstairs)
  • RSVP: Nope. Just come.
  • Guests: Yup. Bring someone, or two or three someones.

Questions? Please ask them.

Sincerely, fondly and ever yours,

Bonnie Jean Flom,
Membership Committee Chair

Mary Carlsen
Membership Committee Member

Mary Hahn, Board President

Janet Petri,Membership Committee Member

Categories: Organizations

Sat, Aug 29 - Dundas 4, Cold Spring 3

Dundas Dukes Amateur Baseball Club - Sat, 08/29/2015 - 9:13pm

Minnesota Class B State Tournament - 2nd Round

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9   R H E Dundas 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 2 0   4 4 2 Cold Spring 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0   3 8 2

W - Mathison (4-2)  L -  Femrite S - Ruud (3) HR - None
Full Box Score

Categories: Organizations

Bikepacking Trip Wrap up

Myrna CG Mibus - Idyllwild - Sat, 08/29/2015 - 5:16pm
Our bike packing trip is complete and now, three weeks later, I'm finally getting around to writing up what is probably my last blog post about the trip.

The first thing to address is the big question - do we want to go bike packing again? 

The answer? Yes! We definitely want to do more bike packing and include camping into future adventures. Bucket list routes include (but are not limited to) the Katy Trail in Missouri and the Elroy Sparta Trail in Wisconsin.

Secondly, a big Thank you is in order to the good people of Milltown Cycles, aka Milltown Premium Adventure Goods for equipping us with our bikes, our seat bags and for fielding lots and lots of questions about bike packing.

Now here's our bike packing wrap-up report with info on equipment, weather, coffee and other stats! Not interested in bike packing? Well, this might be kinda dry stuff so you might want to skip down to the bottom to the Coffee section of this post and call it a day.

Bikes: Owen rode his 2013 Salsa Mukluk 2 fatbike. I rode my 2013 Salsa Vaya 2. Both bikes worked well and were well-suited for the task. Since the Mukluk is a bit slow compared to the Vaya, Owen will likely switch over to a bike other than his fatbike for future trips.

Bikes fully loaded along the Gandy Dancer TrailDates: Departed Shell Lake, Wisconsin on Sunday evening, August 2nd. Arrived back in Shell Lake on Wednesday, August 5th

Milage: 169.2 miles.

Our Route:

  • Day 1 - County Road B from Shell Lake to Siren, Wisconsin.
  • Day 2 - The Gandy Dancer Trail from Siren to Danbury then all the way south to Luck, WI
  • Day 3 - Luck, WI south to St. Croix Falls then back north to Siren via The Gandy Dancer Trail
  • Day 4 - Siren back to Shell Lake, WI via County Road B
Gandy Dancer Trail Conditions: Trail conditions were excellent overall while we were on the bike-specific portion of the Gandy Dancer. As mentioned before, once we hit the ATV portion of the trail in Danbury, all bets were off for biking. Trail conditions were much better in Burnett County than in Polk County. In fact, we could see a distinct difference in trail conditions at the county line on the trail. The trail in Polk County was mossy in parts and there were also some deep sandy stretches where I had to get off my bike and walk for about a dozen feet. Not ideal.The Gandy Dancer Trail in Burnett CountyThe Gandy Dancer Trail in Polk County
Mossy trail in Polk CountyWeather: We had the great fortune of having great weather each day of our trip. Temps were in the mid 70s to low 80s at midday. The humidity was low. We could have biked another day but decided to reward ourselves with a day of sightseeing and relaxing before we needed to be at our son, Ryan's, Trumpet Workshop concert on Thursday evening (While we were biking, Ryan was attending a Trumpet Workshop camp at Shell Lake Center for the Arts in Shell Lake, Wisconsin. Rose was at a Korean language camp near Bemidji). Good thing we decided not to bike on Thursday because the day turned out to be overcast and it ended up raining like crazy.

Bug report: We were prepared to deal with mosquitos and packed plenty of bug spray but found bugs to be almost a non-issue on the trip. Owen did get stung on the first day but a wasp or something and I had a small bug fly into my face and sting me. Neither sting turned out to be an issue, though.

Weight (of the bikes and stuff, not of the people):
Since we did not carry sleeping bags, a tent or cook food along the way, our luggage and equipment didn't weigh much. Fully loaded, both of our bikes were easy to ride. We could tell we had some extra weight behind us in our seat bags but never felt that the full bags made for more difficult going.

We probably should have weighed our equipment before we left but kinda forgot to. So we pulled our bike bags off our bikes when we got home and weighed them to see how much weight we carried. We factored in weight for the water (two bottles each) and snacks we carried and were pleasantly surprised at how light our bikes were when fully loaded.

Owen's packed bags weighed in at 16 pounds
My bags weighed in at 11 pounds

I'm not sure what "normal" is as far as weight goes but I do know that when people go on long bike packing trips they'll carry considerably more than we did.


Owen carried a Bontrager handlebar bag, a Banjo Brothers medium frame bag, a Revelate Mountain Feed Bag and a Revelate Viscacha seat bag.

I carried a small handlebar bag (not sure of the brand), a Revelate Pika seat bag and a Bontrager "Pro Speed Box" bag on my top tube near my handlebars.

Overpacking? Yep. A bit. Both Owen and I felt we could have left some stuff behind and would have been just fine.
Here are some overpacking examples:
  • We had two 4 oz. tubes of sunscreen but could have managed with one.
  • Owen also packed his swimsuit (not sure why, I guess I mentioned swimming at some point) and had three shirts when he just needed one.
  • We both packed a second jersey and could have managed with one.
  • We had jackets and used them but didn't end up needing the tiny rain ponchos we packed.
  • I packed a tiny bit of makeup (BB cream and eyeliner) but by the end of the really didn't care if my skin looked all even toned or not. Normally, I'm a bit self conscious about going out without makeup but at the end of the day I was just like, "hey, I rode my bike all day and I feel great so therefore I look great and if you don't like how I look I really don't care."
What we wished we had packed: 
  • I thought I would be able to get shampoo at hotels along the way. That wasn't always the case. So I wish I had packed a small container of shampoo.
  • I also wish I would have packed a small tube of lotion.
  • Duct Tape. I almost bought some to patch up the cleat attachment holes on the bottom of my shoes because lots of sand snuck in the holes. I also just like duct tape.

I think bike rides are always better when you stop for coffee. I prefer a whole-milk latte and Owen likes a basic black coffee. We found two super excellent coffee shops along the Gandy Dancer Trail that are worth mentioning (there are likely other good coffee shops, too, but these are two we found). Both of these shops are within a block of the bike trail.

Fresh Start Coffee Roasters in Webster, Wisconsin: Great coffee. Yummy treats. Nice decor. Art for sale including great photography.
Cafe Wren in Luck, Wisconsin: Great coffee. Yummy treats. Excellent lunch food. Super nice deck/patio. Art for sale. Cool biking glasses for sale.

Well, that's it for our Gandy Dancer bikepacking trip wrap up report.

I'll report in with more bike adventure related news soon!

Categories: Citizens

CROCT leads an overnight youth group mountain bike trip at Cuyuna Lakes

Mountain Bike Geezer - Sat, 08/29/2015 - 9:22am

Back in June I blogged about the weekly youth mountain biking group rides I was co-leading all summer, one of my activities as a CROCT board member.

As part of that collaboration with the Northfield Public Schools Community Services Division, we recently took the kids and some parents on an overnight youth group trip to the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Trail System.

I’ve published a long blog post with dozens of photos about the trip here: CROCT leads an overnight youth group mountain bike trip at Cuyuna Lakes.

The post CROCT leads an overnight youth group mountain bike trip at Cuyuna Lakes appeared first on Mountain Bike Geezer.

Categories: Citizens

Northfield's DJJD Horseshoe Hunt kicks off Monday morning with largest purse

Northfield News - Sat, 08/29/2015 - 12:00am
It’s all about instincts.
Categories: Local News

City Council Meeting

City of Northfield Calendar - Fri, 08/28/2015 - 4:53pm
Event date: September 1, 2015
Event Time: 07:00 PM - 10:00 PM
801 Washington Street
Northfield, MN 55057

Community News: Stray cats available at Countryside Animal Hospital 8/28/15

KYMN Radio - Fri, 08/28/2015 - 4:32pm

These strays have overstayed their legal reclaim period and the good folks at Countryside couldn’t stand to put them down so they are available for adoption for the cost of a rabies shot – $22.00.  Interested parties should contact Countryside Animal Hospital at 645-4522.

These 3 are all neutered males. The black with white star on his chest is about 12 weeks old, the Gray is about 10 weeks old and the adults striped tabby is between 1-2 years old.

The post Community News: Stray cats available at Countryside Animal Hospital 8/28/15 appeared first on KYMN Radio - Northfield, MN.

Instagram’s BIG Update

Brand Yourself Consulting - Tami Enfield - Fri, 08/28/2015 - 3:27pm
There’s some pretty big news in the world of social today. Instagram...
Categories: Businesses

A Brief Rant Concerning Invisible Brass Bands

My Musical Family - Joy Riggs - Fri, 08/28/2015 - 3:18pm
During our family road trip out to Glacier National Park last week, we listened to the new book by David McCullough about brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright, the legendary inventors and aviation pioneers from Dayton, Ohio. It is titled simply, The Wright Brothers. The audiobook was narrated by McCullough himself, and I loved everything about it except this: at least twice in the book (since we were listening to it, I can’t cite page numbers), he made reference to “a band” playing at an event honoring the Wrights.

Which bands were they? He did not say. Arrgh! I was so annoyed and dismayed. His book, which is filled with fascinating details, lengthy descriptions and a plethora of names, failed to acknowledge the names of these mysterious bands, the towns they were connected to, how big they were, who directed them, or any other descriptors.

Maybe McCullough didn’t know the band names or didn’t think it was important to his story to include them. It’s no excuse, in my opinion. I hate to pick on him, since I really did enjoy the book and highly recommend it. But he committed the all-too-common sin of omission that is a pet peeve of mine in historical accounts. Bands are almost always an afterthought or are ignored altogether.

I hope to help right this wrong through the book I am writing about my great-grandfather, G. Oliver Riggs, who was a contemporary of the Wright brothers (Wilbur was born in 1867; G. Oliver was born in 1870; Orville was born in 1871).

The town bands that provided celebratory music at civic events of the late 1800s and early 1900s were not just faceless blobs of humanity attached to instruments; they were made up of men (usually, although some novelty bands of the time were composed of women or children) who had names, jobs, personalities and families. Because of their interest in and love of performing music, they often were witnesses to important moments in history, playing a role (pun intended) in the larger events of their lifetimes. They deserve more than a second thought. They deserve a least a second, descriptor adjective.

Believe me, the great-grandchildren who are researching their lives will appreciate the effort.

In October 1900, when the Wright brothers began their glider experiments at Kitty Hawk, N.C., G. Oliver Riggs (center, with cornet) was directing a town band in Crookston, Minn.OK, rant over. Back to work on my book. You can be assured it is chock-full of specific brass band names and numerous other details about the musicians who contributed to the soundtrack of American history.

You could say it’s simply the right thing to do.
Categories: Citizens

Freeland's collection snapshot of previous DJJD festivals

Northfield News - Fri, 08/28/2015 - 2:21pm
For area man Tim Freeland, the annual Defeat of Jesse James Days buttons are more than mere buttons.
Categories: Local News

Community News: New Minute with the Mayor 8/28/15

KYMN Radio - Fri, 08/28/2015 - 2:18pm

Northfield Mayor Dana Graham has released a new “Minute with the Mayor” on the preliminary tax levy.  View it by clicking on the link below:

The post Community News: New Minute with the Mayor 8/28/15 appeared first on KYMN Radio - Northfield, MN.

Rice county gears up for back-to-school

Northfield News - Fri, 08/28/2015 - 1:55pm
With a little more than a week left until school starts again, Rice County community members are getting back into the swing of things.
Categories: Local News

First TAB meeting of the new school year will be MONDAY, Sept. 14th.

TABleau (Northfield Public Library) - Fri, 08/28/2015 - 12:08pm
We will meet at HOGAN BROTHERS in lovely downtown Northfield.  We will be discussing this summer's teen summer reading program and the library renovation progress. Everyone WELCOME!
7 pm!
Categories: Organizations

Today’s news update – Nfld. Council discusses levy at work session; School Board approves deferred maintenance plan and more public meetings set for Master Facilities Plan; Nfld Police get 2 PBT’s

KYMN Radio - Fri, 08/28/2015 - 12:02pm

Nfld. Council discusses levy at work session

The City’s preliminary tax levy must be set September 1st.  As always the levy can go DOWN from that point but not up.  Mayor Graham said they talked about a 1% or 3% levy.  Staff recommends 3%.  Citing $100,000 less LGA projected for next year, Councilor Pownell wanted to go higher.  Her concern with 3% is that “we are handstrapping ourselves unless we’re going to look for ways that we can cut and I don’t know those are”.  Over  the course of the next few months, they will go line by line through the departments with the final levy being set in December.  Graham would like to see it at 0%.  Next Tuesday they’ll set the preliminary levy along with the HRA and EDA levies.

School Board approves deferred maintenance plan and more public meetings set for Master Facilities Plan

The Northfield School Board approved the final 10 year deferred maintenance plan for the school facilities.  The plan is then sent to the State.  The money won’t be accessible until the 2016/17 school year.  Superintendent Dr. Chris Richardson said they’re expecting about 3 to 400,000 dollars but it will grow to $500,000.  That won’t happen until the 19/20 school year.  Deferred maintenance is strictly for repair work. The Capital projects levy is different in that it includes remodeling, upgrading, buying technical equipment and more.   Speaking of facilities, there are 4 more public meetings coming up in September on how the community wants to proceed with the Master Facilities Plan.  The district had meetings last year too but these are much more specific about what the options are, what those options are going to cost and what the impact is on tax payers.  Richardson said “when we get into some of these options, we’re looking at the potential of a bond referendum”.  They want feedback on the plans and if the community thinks they should pursue or not.  The meetings are listed on our website and also on the School website.  The same information will be at each meeting.   They all take place from 7pm to 8:30pm


  • September 1: Sibley Elementary • Media Center
  • September 3: Bridgewater Elementary • Media Center
  • September 15: Greenvale Park Elementary • Media Center
  • September 22: Northfield Middle School • Auditorium
  • September 29: Northfield High School • Auditorium


Nfld Police get 2 PBT’s

The Northfield Police department received quite a donation from “Minnesotans for Safe Driving”.  On Tuesday the Legislative Liaison and Past President for the Safe Driving group, Nancy Johnson, presented the department with 2 PBT’s, preliminary breath tests.  Police Chief Monte Nelson said Kathy Cooper of the Rice County Safe Roads was instrumental in arranging the donation.  He added that not all squad cars have them so officers have to transfer equipment all the time.  A lot of the current equipment is getting old and has needed repair.  Nelson said he’s “so happy” to get these two which brings them closer to their goal of one in every squad.  Nelson added that Cooper and Johnson have worked for years to help make Minnesota roads safer for everyone.  Enhanced dui enforcement is going on now thru Labor Day.

Click below to listen to FULL newscast:

8-28-15 news

Listen for news updates on-air at 6, 7, 8, Noon, 3 and 5

The post Today’s news update – Nfld. Council discusses levy at work session; School Board approves deferred maintenance plan and more public meetings set for Master Facilities Plan; Nfld Police get 2 PBT’s appeared first on KYMN Radio - Northfield, MN.

'Members Only' — Northfield Arts Guild art exhibit shows off what community has to offer

Northfield News - Fri, 08/28/2015 - 11:53am
For Heather Lawrenz, visual arts coordinator at the Northfield Arts Guild, the upcoming Guild members’ gallery show is all about pleasant discoveries.
Categories: Local News

Latino (And Friends!) Play Festival is Making a Difference in Northfield

Northfield Healthy Community Initiative - Fri, 08/28/2015 - 10:03am

The Latino (And Friends!) Play Festival has received the Northfield Healthy Community Initiative’s “Making a Difference” Award for June.

The award celebrates groups and individuals in the community who have a positive influence on Northfield youth.

The Latino Play Festival, now in its fifth year, is the culmination of a year-long Performing Arts class at the Northfield High School. The class was created as an opportunity for Latino students to tell their stories through theater, and has, in turn, become a very powerful way for the Northfield community to learn about some of the struggles the students and their families face.

This year, the 17 students performed 25 acts about various topics, including racism, health care, deportation and rape.

The first half of the class focuses on developing the story, writing and speaking.

Beginning in February, the script is finalized; students are in the auditorium doing rehearsals in March. The performances are held at the Northfield Arts Guild theater on two weekends in May.

Northfield High School English Learner teacher Jennifer Lompart, who has taught the class since its inception, never tires of seeing the new students go through this process.

“These are students who have seen or experienced things that many of us cannot imagine,” Lompart said. “One of the most rewarding things for the student is that, instead of the story possibly ruining their lives, the story actually becomes somewhat valuable and as a result, it loses its power over the student. Oftentimes, these are stories that the student would not be able to share with anyone at all. And instead, they are now sharing them with the whole community.”

Teddy Gelderman, co-coordinator of the Northfield High School TORCH program, agrees that the Latino Play Festival is impactful for both the students and the audience.

“What makes the Latino Play Festival special is how genuine and honest the students are,” he said. “This authenticity is only possible because of the safe space Jennifer Lompart creates − not just in the drama class, but in all of her classes and with all of her students.”

Gelderman also said that anyone who has seen the performances witnesses how brave and confident the students are when they tell their stories.

“But what most people don’t see,” he said, “is that this bravery and confidence is visible long after the production. For any student to be successful, they must advocate for themselves; the Latino Play Festival gives students the tools and experiences they need to do just that.”

The Northfield Healthy Community Initiative and the Northfield News present the Making a Difference Award cooperatively. If you know an individual or group that you would like to nominate for this award, for nomination guidelines and the easy-to-complete application, or find HCI on Facebook. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis and are selected by a review team of HCI board members and local youth.

Categories: Organizations

Patsy Dew, Myrna Johnson honored for their parts in YPTW

Northfield Healthy Community Initiative - Fri, 08/28/2015 - 8:34am

At the final performance of the most recent Young People’s Theater Workshop summer session and celebration of the program’s 25-year anniversary, Patsy Dew and Myrna Johnson were awarded the Making a Difference Award by Penny Hillemann, co-chairperson of the Northfield Healthy Community Initiative.

The Healthy Community Initiative provides various methods of support for a multitude of healthful behavior programs throughout our local communities.

Young Peoples’ Theater is a program for children ages 8-18 that was started by Dew and Johnson in the summer of 1991. Its focus is to encourage creativity, confidence and community through the development and production of theatrical productions over the summer months.

Each summer, two sessions (of three weeks each) begin with a theme and end with a play. Every kid is on stage, needs to memorize lines, learns to dance, etc.

Along the way, kids are taught about the history of theater, choreography, singing and other musical skills, cooperation, and the importance of committing to work together to get the job done (“If you don’t know your lines, you’re letting more than yourself down.”).

With as many as 70 participants in each session, the students are organized into age-specific groups. Morning sessions are devoted to teaching theater skills (kids learn the tools); afternoon sessions focus on the planned production (kids practice using the tools they’ve just learned).

The older students (often repeat students from prior summers) serve as mentors for the younger groups. This winning structure has stood the test of time and has allowed for one-on-one attention and generates cooperation around the common goal of a well-done performance at session’s end.

The teachers clearly state their high expectations: Show up on time; pay attention; work together; and have fun. The days are full and fly by in a hurry.

Lifelong friends are made. Many of today’s teachers were students just a few years ago.

Dew and Johnson realized their vision of a successful program by their tight organization, high expectations and enthusiasm for learning and for theater, a legacy that has been carried on by current YPTW Director Bob Gregory-Bjorklund.

Over the years, some 1,200 children have participated in Young People’s Theater Workshop. Many have done so year after year and have returned over their college summers to serve as teachers.

Indeed, Dew and Johnson have positively affected many lives. They have truly made a difference.

-By Tim Hogan
Tim Hogan is a retired MD who serves on the board of Healthy Community Initiative.

Categories: Organizations

Thu, Aug 27 - Dundas 10, St. Michael 6

Dundas Dukes Amateur Baseball Club - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 11:49pm

Minnesota Class B State Tournament - 1st Round

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9   R H E Dundas 0 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 7   10 15 4 St. Michael 0 0 5 0 1 0 0 0 0   6 11 4

W - Ruud (7-2)  L -  T. Enger HR - Mathison (1)
Full Box Score

Categories: Organizations

Northfield Public Schools hosts master facilities plan meetings for community members

Northfield News - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 8:38pm
Talk of a new high school, remodeling Greenvale Park Elementary school and expanding the driveway at the middle school were all thrown around during Thursday’s master facility plan meeting.
Categories: Local News

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