The following is a true story, only the names have been changed to protect the guilty.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Zebulon Pike

The confluence, AKA the center of the earth by Native Americans in the area 
 Zebulon Pike sounds like a strange name from a Star Trek episode, when in fact it's the namesake for a small island at the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers.  Although Christoper Pike was the first captain of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701, he has nothing to do with the island. Pike Island is located within Ft Snelling State Park and is accessible by ski or foot, but not bikes.    :) he he

HWY 55, I know it's man-made, but it's impressive !
 I've made several X-C ski trips to the island this year solo, and with my boys. It's completely flat, so it's not super exciting for them, but it's close to home and I like it down there. The first trip was with Super "Y" and Big "D" almost a month ago when we had snow the first time. That all melted and it wasn't until this  past week that I was able to get back down there with "G" Man.
There is a large beaver (w/ four legs and a flat tail) under the bridge .

There are deer running across the river behind "G" Man. We thought it would be sad if they fell in but funny none the less. We even made sound effects as we imagined what they would say crashing through the ice.   :)
 While Super"Y" and Big"D" 's trip seemed to be more about snacks on the trail, "G" Man and I saw a lot of wildlife. To start, we saw a couple dozen turkeys, then a beaver, later a coyote, randomly mix in 26 deer and it was like a zoo down there.

That's a real fall, not one of the hundred or so they did on purpose  in the first kilometer 
 I was impressed to see how well the ski lessons last year stuck with them. "G" Man is quite fast, as I actually had to try to get ahead of him. The other two were pretty good but were having a competition to see who could fall the most. They paid the price for this on our way back when they were so tired of falling on purpose that when they actually fell, it was becoming difficult to get up.
Big "D"  looking good 

Can we have snacks now?    It's been like a mile :)
 None of them have made it all the way to the end of the island to see the confluence first hand. It's a goal of mine to get them all the way down and back, about 6-7 k. For now we'll just go as far as we can and keep it fun.
Super "Y"   no problem
 

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