Monday, November 30, 2009

Can't NOT Smile at This

Kris: So we came upon this ADORABLE video when we were looking at a Philip DeFranco YouTube channel and I've been insisting on sharing it everywhere with everyone.  I've watched it probably 10x in a row now and each time I feel a little better and smile and laugh a little harder.

Enjoy :)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Patience is a virtue! (and $10 extra bucks)

Kris: Were trying to trade our tickets for different seats but ended up blindly selling our tickets for a small profit. Searching until after kickoff, we managed to find a nice guy just trying to sell his tickets. As we could tell he was tired of getting yelled at by the scalper that would give him $100 for his $138 worth of tickets, we quietly offered him $110 cash and he GLADLY let us have them!

Mark: I also out bid another guy who also offered $100. Who knew $10 could be so useful.

Kris: Granted we got in a few min late but 1) we got in and 2) we got better seats :D

Here's our view:

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Friday, November 27, 2009

Door Buster Madness and the Return of Christmas

Kris: So we had a great first Thanksgiving together yesterday and stuffed ourselves silly at both my parent's house and Mark's Mom's

Today we slept in and did some shopping. Some gifts and some for ourselves. Like this shiny new coffeemaker for $13 :)

This evening was Xmas decorating at my house. Neither of us have brought out our decorations in a few years so we had a lot of fun together setting up the tree and the villages. It's so exciting to have someone in my life that enjoys Xmas as much as I do!

Notice my Mav under the tree already. :)

Mark: Excited to setup the village this year without fearing that it becomes chew toys.

Tomorrow morning we go to a Mpls Breakfast Buddies. Will be my first.

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Blogging at the backyard fire

Kris: Relaxing and eating dinner fireside after a fun Sunday. Took our friend Steve and our other friend Steve ( in a Speedo) to the Vikings game. On our way home we saw a cache get published in the area and tried to get the FTF. Unfortunately since we had the less accurate GPS, we ended up second but it was really nice getting to meet other area cachers.

So we end our evening by the fire and I'm thinking a final marshmallow of the non-winter season is in order.

Mark: Notice the wine glasses in the right side of the picture! :)

Kris: what better way than to end a relaxing fireside dinner than with my love and a glass of red wine :)

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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Obsess much?

Kris: So a quick report. We picked up the Myre Big Island park and our first 25 mile Hiking patch.

Mark: Lets give a little more credit to this park, drove around like a madman to all the different stages of the Safari cache and then about a mile trail run to the final. And we got lucky again with the Hiking club word on the trail to the cache. Saved us about half of the total distance.

Kris: We were hoping to get two other parks but thanks to the stupid sun going down at 5pm these days we made only one... Barely...

We reached Rice Park as the sun was going down but was determined to get the cache and the Hike. Mark was irritated by this truck who blocked the road not knowing how a 4-way intersection works, Didnt they know we were in a hurry? :-P We were running around through the cache stages and made the grab. It was now too dark to see my feet. So we grabbed the flashlights and took off down the trail. I thunk I stubbed my toe about 5 or so times bur luckily no face-plants.

Found the word pretty quickly, with another educated guess on where the post the word on the trail, after finding the word we walked through a boy scout troop camping and left the park to head for home. Made it back into Owatonna on fumes. 2miles to empty

But now I am typing as we are waiting for our buffalo chicken strips at Perkins. Mark is updating his Facebook

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Morning mud bath

Kris: Here is how our day looked when we started our day in Iowa. Foggy and cool

But we had a blast doing our first trail run together down in Des Moines Iowa for Living History Farms. Thanks to cousin Eric for putting us up for the night. What a blast! Trees, water, hills, ropes, holes and MUD!!!

To read more of our personal accounts of the race, check out our individual blogs on the right.

Had some awesome beef stew for the post race food and now we are off to get cleaned up and cache our way home.

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Friday, November 20, 2009

"What's in the fridge" dinner and heading for the border

Kris: In an attempt to get down to Ames Iowa before too late tonight, my sister is feeding my cats for me and I can straight to Mark's after work to throw together a dinner (premade buffalo strips, corn soup and hawaiian bread)

and get out the door. Staying at his cousin's place tonight to start our busy weekend.

Mark: For just a thrown together dinner, it is very good! Just ask Rugar.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

DAM cache at Wild River and Interstate Hike

Kris: We decided to go straight to Wild River and come back to Interstate since we needed to get there while the office was still open to borrow another GPS. Here's a rundown of our quick jaunt at Wild River -

2:20 Get to Trail Center and spend 15 minutes in line just to borrow out the GPS
2:45 Park down at the Trail Center and jog over to Stage 1 of the Safari cache
2:50 Get the Safari cache and think we have plenty of time to go get the DAM cache
3:05 Get to DAM cache site and can't grab the DAM cache because there are bikers on the overlook
3:10 I get somewhat impatient and casually walk a small trail to sneak a peek under the overlook and spy the DAM cache.
3:15 More people come to hangout on the overlook and so we sit on the bench, trying to be casual until they leave
3:17 Four scruffy looking hikers decide to put down their packs and grab a snack right outside the overlook area. No way I can get the DAM cache with them standing in view.
3:18 Mark and I try to figure out why the hell this park is so much busier than every other park we've been at...
3:20 People on the overlook finally leave. I start giving the hikers the evil eye hoping they will leave

3:23 I get impatient for the hikers to leave. I casually pretend to check out another foot trail along the other side of the overlook and crawl hands and knees up and under the overlook to grab the DAM cache. As I'm signing the DAM cache, Mark informs me more (friggin') people are walking our way.
3:25 I get the DAM cache put back in it's damn spot and we start our run back to the trail center.
Mark: DAM she is good!!

3:50 Get back to Trail Center and grab the history cache. Most expensive container I've seen!

3:58 Just make it back in time to return the GPS as the park lady was turning out the lights.
Mark: Unfortunately we still have to come back to Wild River State Park to complete their BIG Multistage History I Puzzle Cache. The cache in the picture gave us coordimnates to the 6 differant stage areas where we have to figure out clues. In the end it should be worth it, they are handing out a Pathtag to everyone who solves the puzzle. Bling Bling!!

Phew! Now all we had to go was get over to Interstate park in time to run the hiking trail and find the Club word. It was a very rocky trail but very pretty scenery going along the river.

Luckily the word was only about 1/2 mile down the 1 1/2 mile trail so we got that in time to hike/run back and take a few pictures on the overlooks and in the pothole area.

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Saturday, November 14, 2009

2 down 2 to go

Kris: Picked up the Boom site cache with a little extra searching. Mark: A lot of extra searching.... spent way to much time searching for this one. We didn't have our GPS (loaned out for the day) and were trying to find it with just our iPhones. Ok that kind of sucked...note to others, use via Safari and not the Maps Application (Maps tries to find the closest address from GPS coords, in Safari show you the actual location) to pinpoint coordinates. Stepped out the depth of the earth cache at Boom Island and then headed out to William O'Brien.

Mark: What Kris failed to mention is that figuring out how deep the cave was was not one of the requirements, I need to read more carefully.

Long trail run here to a tradational cache and the Hiking Club word. Luckily we did the hike trail in reverse and found it a much shorter distance from the car. It was a very hilly run/walk up to where there was a cache placed (this park office had GPS units you could borrow) but we made the grab and headed back, in total about a 3.6 mile trail run.

Along the way I found a nice place to rest.

We needed to hurry out of here to make it to Wild River State Park before their office closed, need to borrow another GPS, and then then back to Interstate State Park before dark so we can get the Hiking club word and be done for the day and with the State Park along the St. Croix river.

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Heading to Boom Island

Kris: Heading out to "clean up" a few state parks we didn't have time to finish last trip out to the Stillwater area. Geared up to run the trails today. Maybe find new members for our dashboard family

And we were all excited to get 20% off some fun new holiday merchandise at Caribou Coffee this morning. Which included some cool new reusable cup wraps.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Kris: So we had a scrumptious and filling dinner of meatloaf from Lets Dish a side of corn and half a baked potato each ( cuz one exploded in the oven )

But unfortunately even when full, we often crave something sweet for dessert. Tonight the best we could do at 8:30pm is make sugar cookies. And I found sprinkles!!

Hm, oven still smells of burnt potato.

A pic of my favorite baker ;). And a hungry dog

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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Mille Lacs Kathio - Check!

Kris: well I think we just did everything Mille Lacs Kathio State Park has to offer except camp

Picked up the park caches...


Mark: This one was very nicely hidden. And during our jog to the final cache we ran through a planted row pine forest, you know the type, with all of the trees in a line and the ground soft with their needles, and if you are really lucky like we were, you get to listen to the wind through the pine trees. One of my favorite sounds! I took this picture which really gave a great feel for what I am talking about.

Redeemed our 10 critter coin and card and wild card patch...

Got our Passport stamp...

Ran the Hiking Club trail to get the park password. ( which might I add gave me a new appreciation for trail runners)....


And climbed up 145 steep steps of the observation tower


Mark: Kris highlighted it in the photo but from the tower you could see the bright lights of Grand Casino Mille Lacs and the huge expanse of Lake Mille Lacs in the background.

Headed home by way of Embers for dinner. Another fun day, wishing tomorrow wasn't Monday

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Another great day for caching - Mille Lacs

We just made it up to our caching destination for today. One of what might be the last super nice days of the season. We just picked up a few caches in Isle, MN

Now off into Father Henn State Park for the Safari hide and some trail running to pick up the Hiking Club word.

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Few Notes to Start this Blog. Plus our Halloween Weekend

A few notes to start this new blog
So to start this blog, I wanted to note that, with as much as I want to go back and recap every fun adventure we've had so far together, we decided it makes more sense to just start with the now and go forward. I put my name at the front of this entry since I'm the one doing the writing today. And we are both have a very active life in running and triathlons but have decided all of those blog entries will remain separate from this blog. To keep up on those entries, check out our individual blogs listed on the right.
This Halloween weekend, Mark was feeling the blah's about the holiday. It was a combination of the fact that we had nothing planned and we were supposed to be in NYC for the marathon. He was going to run it this year but it's delayed until next year. So to brighten his spirits, I bought us tickets to Trail of Terror in Shakopee. Nothing better than a little Halloween fun. It included the usual silly hayride and a walk through a haunted maze. They had this crazy spinning tunnel you had to walk through that seriously made it feel like the bridge you were on was tilting to one side. I'm not the bravest cat and spent most of my time BEHIND Mark :)
Here's a pic of him by the creature at the Entrance:
Mark: It is hard to see in this picure but they were handing out Vampire teeth to everyone at the entrance. What was funny was that all around there was disguarded vampire teeth on the ground and in the dirt. I was hoping that they didn't just pick up the discards from one night and clean them up for the next night.

Sunday we set off to grab another State Park cache. We are working to complete the Wildlife Safari Challenge. After a yummy brunch at Santorini's, we headed down to the MN Valley Recreational Area. A very small, quiet park. We stumbled upon the MINI VALLEY virtual cache and then realized that we missed the first coordinates for the Safari cache (they were .25mi back at the building where we parked!) Upon reaching the actual cache, we were so happy to have found a Wild Card! You get a special coin for finding one. Only 300 distributed amongst the 72 parks each year of the challenge (2009-2012). So we put on our nerd caps, did a little dance and happily claimed our River Otter card :)

After finding the park caches, we set out to get the word for the State Parks Hiking Club. The sun came out and it was nice enough that we ditched our jackets in the car and set out on the trail. How cool we came upon his hawk out searching for his lunch. He let us get close enough that (with a little help from 'zoom' on the camera) Mark got a few great photos of him.

Mark: It is worth noting that one week ago, when we were on Pike Island at Fort Snelling State Park, we saw an Eagle.

A little farther down the trail, we came upon the grave stone of one of the original owners of the land. Mark was excited to pose by the dead guy ;)
As we were caching our way back home we picked up a few in Jordan, MN. I laughed pretty hard at the next set of pictures. Mark was trying to take ONE photo and didn't think it was working. I told him that sometimes you have to physically back up the camera and zoom in. What we found out later is that it actually was taking the pictures. Each one a little farther away. I found the succession amuzing :)

We picked up a few more before heading home. Even got to flag down a police officer and rat out a few skater kids turning over picnic tables in the park. To quote Mark: "Finally, a cop right when you need one"

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