One last walk

“So I’ve been forwarding … geez, you’ve got to be kidding me!” says Laurie as she struggles to stay vertical.

Today, we took what may end up being our last Trail Mix walk through town, but we spent the first half less walking and more sliding and tip-toeing to avoid falling on our rear ends, due to all the ice.

In fact, Laurie even advised me against going into her house to leave my purse and camera bag. The ice outside of her doorstep was so bad she, herself, had to hug the exterior wall to make it safety to the driveway.

Fun times.

I gave Laurie the option today as to where to walk. It was too icy and snowy to hit our favorite trail (the dirt trail that runs along Lake Bemidji) so we were limited, mostly, to downtown Bemidji. We walked along the sidewalks and streets downtown until she got a little bored.

Then we cut across to Bemidji State’s campus and walked home along Lake Avenue, taking in views of the lake (ice).

And the trail.

All the while, we were talking about Laurie’s imminent leave and her future plans. (I’ll let Laurie, herself, tell you about her future plans, but let’s just say her resignation from the Pioneer was a personal/family decision and it means she’ll be moving from Bemidji in the near future. Which makes me sad. Very sad.)

(The sign reads: “Standing on the side of LOVE.” Which I, well, love. I don’t know, does anyone else feel like the world’s been awful negative lately? More so than usual? Maybe it’s just the February blahs, but I’ve been really disheartened lately. So here’s to hoping that March perks me up some now…)

We saw a lot of interesting things today. Most of which we didn’t take photos of. Don’t ask me why, I think I was just out of practice. We passed a rather obnoxious guy riding his snowmobile down the (clear and dry) Birchmont Drive. Then we passed two nice gals skateboarding through Library Park. Signs of spring. Love it.

But we did see lots of other things that we did grab photos of:

(a horseshoe-shaped something-or-other…)

(A dried-up vine-y thing?)

(This is my personal favorite. A wristband for the Shoreview Community Center in Shoreview, Minn., which was a frequent hangout of mine as a middle-schooler. I also worked for Shoreview for a summer or two as a tennis instructor several years ago, through Parks and Rec. So this made me think of “home” – and of warmer days.)

(This T-shirt reminded me that St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner. Eeek!)

I’m supposed to run the Bemidji Parks and Rec’s Shamrock Shuffle the day before, on Saturday, March 16. The 5K. Thanks to Parks and Rec’s Couch to 5K plan, I’ve been training for my first-ever 5K. I can do it. I think. I’m up to running (more like jogging very slowly) 30 minutes at a time so I think I can finish it. But I’ve yet to commit. I’ve got the registration form on my desk. Just haven’t had the guts to actually fill it out…

Despite playing tennis throughout high school and college, I’ve never been a runner. I like sprinting, but jogging and I never really clicked. But I am finding myself enjoying it more lately. Probably because it’s helping me in my latest quest to stay healthy, more fit.

I’ve come a long ways since this:

That was at my heaviest.

This is me today.

 About 67 pounds lighter. Woohoo!

But enough on that. Today’s walk wasn’t about all of that.

It was for us, Trail Mix. And saying goodbye to a walking buddy, a friend.

Laurie has been more than just a walking partner. She’s been my “I need a ride to urgent care” driver, my “I need to take my baby to the ER” come-over-in-a-flash babysitter, my work colleague, my friend.

I’m going to miss her.


– Bethany

(almost) goodbye

I’m not confident that a whole ton of people still check on us here, since we haven’t posted in more than a year. Between work and family demands, our daily walks became sporadic walks, which, sadly, eventually became non-existent walks. (I’m to blame. It just got too difficult for me to juggle everything.)

Laurie and I never officially closed this Trail Mix blog, thinking that maybe, someday, we would find our rhythm again.

But that’s not going to happen.

This week, our Trail Mix duo officially splits. After more than eight years with the Bemidji Pioneer, Laurie is moving on.

So why blog again now? Well, on Friday, for old time’s sake, Laurie and I will meet at noon and take one more traditional Trail Mix walk throughout town. And we figure we owe our loyal readers at proper goodbye post or two. So I’ll probably write something Friday, and Laurie will probably follow up this weekend with her own goodbye thoughts.

I don’t think we’ll ever delete the blog. I mean, Laurie will still be coming into Bemidji from time to time (she promised!). So you never know. Maybe not seeing each other every day will make us more eager to meet up and walk when she does swing through town.

Either way, tomorrow, we’ll walk. And for those of you who did check on us from time to time, I encourage you to drop her a line and wish Laurie well with her future plans. (And me, too, if you want. But definitely for Laurie.)

– Bethany

Dashing through the snow…

(OK, not really. We’re pokey walkers. It was more like meandering through the snow.)

Well, our goal was to get the trail once this fall. We did that last week. But I think we both were hoping to get there once more.

I don’t foresee that happening now.

I know it’s mid-November and that we were due for the snow (I mean, my birthday was Monday and I remember having sledding parties with friends when I was younger). Nevertheless, I’m still adjusting to the idea of bringing the winter wear back to work.

Laurie: “I think no matter when the snow came, we were still going to complain.”

True. It is also true that no matter when the snow came, I was going to be unprepared. I still don’t have an ice scraper in the car and I do not have my winter boots at work. My toes were cold today.

But it was still nice to get out and walk. We keep pledging to do it more frequently but work and life keeps getting in the way.

In fact, it had been so long since Laurie and I were side-by-side for more than 3 minutes at a time, that she didn’t get a chance until today to show me her new hairdo.

The snow offered some new visuals on our downtown walk.

Laurie thought, at first glance, that these were pennies. They are actually the spokes/grips on the sidewalks right where they intersect with a street.

We also are seeing some Christmas/holiday decorations.

Love them.

While I was taking the picture, Laurie noticed other “ornaments” on the tree that were a reflective silver.

Hey, we could get a photo with our reflection in the ornament, she suggested.

She has a lot of faith in my photography skills…

First try: Not bad, but I had the camera in front of my face.

Second try: I chopped off the top… (and I still had the camera right in front of my face)

Third try: Stupid branch got in the way.

Fourth try: Good enough.

We just might have to visit that house one more time this season…

Have a good night.

– Bethany

Walking in the rain

The good news is that we got out to walk today. The bad news was the rain/mist.

But, really, it was not terrible – and we know we will really look back on days like this come February and wish for rain. Instead of -20 temperatures.

Really, I can’t even describe where we went walking because we kind of walked around aimlessly. I forgot to put my tennis shoes on before leaving work so I was wearing clogs. Which are super comfortable for day wear. Not so much for walking. But I really didn’t want to walk over the downtown streets that are under construction because I was afraid I would lose my shoe in some mud or something. So we made a lot of last-minute and unplanned turns and such.

Long story short: Don’t ask me what roads we walked today. I’m not sure.

Most everything that aught my/our eye was rain or water-related.

Like this puddle. Doesn’t it look like Pac-Man?!

And this photo:

Bad day to hang-dry laundry.

But we’ve all been there before. Or at least I have. Repeatedly.

Anyhow, it was a nice walk. Although perhaps a little wet and cold out there.

But, still, it’s always nicer to get out and walk for a bit rather than stay inside sitting in front of a computer screen all day.

And babies make four…

Well, hello there! I bet you thought we had given up on this blog. We hadn’t. But we, admittedly, took a longer-than-expected break for a while this spring and summer. You haven’t heard from us since May 26. Ouch.

And even now, as we are attempting to again try to get a somewhat regular walking program back underway, it is going to be spotty at best for a while.

Because of this one:

As regular blog readers know, I was pregnant, which was a convenient (yet weak) excuse for not wanting to walk this past winter and spring. Well, Amelia finally joined the family exactly one month ago today. And since then, I have been on maternity leave, which has made – and will continue to make – my availability for walking less dependable.

But, today, we walked. All four of us. Laurie and I (Trail Mix) and my two daughters, the aforementioned Amelia and her older sister, 3-year-old Lola.

I had the double stroller, so we kept to paved surfaces. Usually, that means we head toward Central Elementary and beyond, but I really didn’t want to take the older daughter past the schoolyard playground. So we went the other direction.

We started out, basically, at the new Harmony Foods.

Then, we walked along downtown…

We passed a field downtown filled with wildflowers (weeds? I’m never sure…). Laurie showed Lola what seemed to be a giant dandelion.

Lola loved it.

Then, I made Lola get into the stroller so Laurie and I could pick up the pace a bit. I mean, 3-year-olds aren’t exactly speed demons.

We walked along the train outside of the Wastewater Treatment Plant. We took a longer-than-usual walk (thanks to my current work-free schedule) and went to Lueken’s South before looping back to downtown.

It was an absolutely gorgeous day today. Sure, it was a little on the warm side, but the nice thing about having the stroller is the cup holders: We had water with us – a Trail Mix rarity. The sun was shining and the wind was refreshing. Well, to us anyway. Lola was mad at the wind because it kept blowing to pieces her giant dandelion things.

But then Laurie found some wild baby’s breath.

She shared that with Lola, who was thankful for flowers that don’t blow away.





 “Well, that’s interesting,” I said the Laurie as we walked by.

She thought I meant the hanging wood structure from the roof overhang. Had it held a sign at some point? OK, it was a fair question, one that got me wondering. But that wasn’t what I meant. I was intrigued by the wooden bench that had partitions to mark off individual seats.

Laurie went and tried it out.

(I have to say what makes this picture great, in my opinion, is that she brought the baby’s breath with her!)

It was a great afternoon walk. I enjoyed having a conversation that isn’t about Dora the Explorer. Or Disney princesses.

So that is all for today. I would like to say check back next week, that we plan to walk again. But I don’t want you to count on it. With us, you just never know. But, if you want, check our our Facebook page, which lets you know when we do get out and about again.

Have a great weekend!

Walking for Wellness

Laurie doesn’t know this yet, but we’re taking today off from walking. I have a story that I need to get done yet today and my parents are coming into town tonight so I should really try to sneak out of work a wee bit early so I can run the vacuum a few times.

Still, there are two things we/I wanted to share with readers.

First is an announcement about a summer-long walking program.

Sanford Bemidji is introducing a Walking for Wellness community program.  One-hour-long walks will begin at 5:30 p.m. every Tuesdays from June 7 to July 26
at different locations throughout town.

Trail Mix is seriously thinking about joining. The problem, of course, is that I’m not really sure I can commit due to pregnancy/baby/etc. So we’re thinking about it – it would be a great way, though, to meet some other walkers and try walking in different areas in town, an idea Laurie and I always talk about but never do.

Here is the schedule for the Sanford program:

– June 7 Kick-Off: Sanford Bemidji Clinic, 1233 34th St. N.W.

– June 14 Diamond Point Park

– June 21 Beltrami Humane Society

– June 28 Trail entrance by Lincoln Elementary

– July 5 Waterfront by Paul Bunyan & Babe

– July 12 Trail entrance by Industrial Park

– July 19 Sanford Peak Performance north parking lot

– July 26 5K Walk/Run and Final Party at the Sanford Center

There also will be guest speakers each week. Registration costs $10, which includes a T-shirt, but that would need to be done by May 31. If interested, call 333-5047 or visit


Also, if you are a walker, check out this link. It talks about ways to get the most of your walking routine. Interesting read anyway.

Happy (almost) weekend!

Sunshine and lakeviews – a nice combination

I don’t think we could ask for better walking weather than what we have had this week. We have had two ideal walking days (three, even, if you count Monday, when we didn’t actually walk).

I must say, though, after yesterday‘s long-ish venture around town, I was really wiped. So we followed that up with a shorter, 30-minute walk through the southern part of town.

And, still, I was exhausted by the time we returned to Laurie’s.

Of course, it did not help, probably that we started our walk off here:

About halfway up the bridge, I could not think of any reason as to why I would have thought starting our walk there would have been a good idea. I was winded just three minutes in…

But we did get to see some great views of Lake Irvine.

Views like that have me anxiously awaiting Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial beginning of summer, and, typically, my family’s first “cabin” weekend of the season at my dad’s lake home in Nevis.

We also passed by a creek…

And walked along a dirt road…

And, eventually, we made it back downtown.

All in all, a pleasant – albeit exhausting (for me, probably not so for Laurie) – trek around town.

A beautiful day to be outside!

It was a gorgeous springtime day for a walk. Pretty much perfect. Nice sunshine, nice breeze, nice 63-degree day.

Too bad we had to spend it running “errands” around town — but at least we got outside to enjoy the weather.

So, come along with us for our rather mundane walk on a pretty afternoon.

It started, as always at Laurie’s place, where we spent about 5-7 minutes digging around in her car trying to find her cell phone. Once I found that, we took off for some returns.

First off, we went here:

Laurie had to return a Netflix movie (“Memento” – Laurie’s review: “It was interesting but I thought the end was stupid.”).

Our second stop was here:

Where I got the daily fire reports, as usual.

Then, we crossed the street:

I had to return my library book (“Two Kisses for Maddy” – a memoir “about loss and love.” Good book, especially if you like tearjerkers and are OK with frequent swearing.)

Our last formal errand stop was here:

I just had to pick up the police reports.

Then, with the errands complete, we were free to wander the streets of downtown.

It was nice to see all of the people out walking, cycling and, really, just enjoying the day.

Even the not-human creatures were out and about.

(That’s a real bird at the top, in case you can’t tell.)

I tried getting a better bird shot…

… but it turned out a little darker than I’d hoped.

I also tried to take some pictures of bright-hued flowers:

It is just so nice to see spring finally arriving.

We’re still a pair of downtown walkers

I keep telling myself that “next time” Laurie and I get out for one of our walks, we’re going to hit the dirt lakeside trail again. Of course, then it snows. Or rains. (But when it comes to this spring, usually, it has been snow.)

So we stuck to downtown, again, today, just to be sure the trail wasn’t too wet.

I don’t know why this view struck me, but it did. It just reminded me of a typical small town-ish scene. Bright blue sky, green grass, cute house, etc.

The American flag, too, helped make the scene a little picturesque.

OK, I’m going on a tangent now, be forewarned. I have a “thing” about American flags. (I credit/blame this on too many years of Girl Scouts, personally.) My husband has wanted a flag outside our house, off an on, for a number of years. I resisted it – not because I don’t want one but because I tend to think that if you do display the flag, you have to do it “right” (i.e. lighting it at nighttime and not letting the thing get all tattered and torn up).

Thus, when Laurie and I saw this today …

… I really, really, really wanted to go pick it up.

And in fact, we almost did. But just as we crossed the street and got near to it, I remembered a few phone calls I got last year (I think) about people who were removing their American flags or displaying them upside down in protest or something.

So, in short, we did not address the downed flag. But I did want to.

Anyhow, back to more traditional Trail Mix topics…

It was cold today. OK, about 42 degrees I think. But the wind was pretty brutal.

It looked nice out.

We even saw lots of buds on trees.

But we were never really all that comfortable. Except when we made our pit stops into a few buildings for work-related visits.

Two other notable sights we saw…

A squirrel:

(OK, so that one was probably not too “notable,” but s/he was kinda’ cute.)

And car that really seems to have gotten some stitches:

That’s about it from today.

Happy Monday.

We’ll take raindrops over snowflakes any day…

For the first time in many months, Laurie and I went walking through downtown this afternoon – and did so on sidewalks. In the winter, we rarely find enough sidewalks snow and ice free, so we tend to stick to the roadways. But now that the snow is (all but) gone, we stayed (mostly) out of traffic.

In what has become typical Trail Mix fashion, we walked today – the one day of the week thus far that is not sunny and really, well, gorgeous. I mean, yesterday was perfect outside.

So when we finally made it out walking today, it made sense that it would be raining.

(OK, really, it was only drizzling. And it only did that off and on for a few moments at a time.)

But there was still plenty of evidence from the just-passed winter.

It almost seemed as if people are still poised for another snowstorm, expecting to have to do some more shoveling.

I hope not…


We saw plenty of fun sites today.

(Pretty white fence.)

(Cool, funky stump.)

(Just a scenic shot, without snow on the ground.)

(I’m still a bit Superman-obsessed.)


We also saw some, er, not so nice sights.

(Anyone remember “Where’s Waldo?” – I loved those books. Well, the above is kind of like a “Where’s Waldo?” with a decrepit pumpkin.)

(At first glance, I really could not figure out why this one yard had itty bitty piles of snow sprinkled throughout when no one else seemed to have such snow. Then, it became clear…)

(It was not snow at all. It was stuffing. Laurie thought the “victim” was the teddy pictured above. But I have to believe that amount of stuffing came from something else, like, perhaps, a couch.)


Anyhow, that was our walk for the day.

Happy spring to all!