Southward on the Paul Bunyan State Trail

At 120 miles, the Paul Bunyan State Trail is the longest recreational trail in Minnesota. The Minnesota Department of Natural Recourses Parks and Trails Division recently (three years ago) added over six miles to the southern tip of the trail. For just $1.2 million, this connected the Lake Bemidji State Park in Bemidji to the Crow Wing State Park just south of Baxter.

I wanted to show that this little jaunt is a worthwhile use of your time. So, last Sunday I took my Gary Fisher road bike and hit the trail. I live just off of the Buffalo Hills City Trail on Graydon Ave. I was able to connect to the trail by riding west past Central Lakes College on College Dr (which is part of the PB Trail at that point) until it hits the Hwy 371 bypass.


The intersection of Hwy 371 and College Drive in Baxter Minnesota

You can see how the PB Trail hits Baxter right in the commercial section.


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Top Brainerd Area Parks

This month, we’re focusing on helping you get outside more. I took this as a chance to see what my town had to offer in terms of outdoor activities. I also wanted to make this as inexpensive as possible, so I limited my exposure to the long list of parks in the Brainerd area.
We started in Baxter and moved east. After 14 different parks, we decided what we liked best about them and what most people would get a kick out of. Brained/Baxter has a pretty robust parks system, so every park we went to was enjoyable, well maintained, and clean. But, we narrowed them down to the top 10, plus a bonus park (in no order of preference).

Three children climb on a tree

1) Gregory Park –

Gregory Park is probably the most well-known park in the area. It is nestled in a nice neighborhood to the north of downtown Brainerd. It has historically been a staple in the town, hosting seasonal events such as “Arts in the Park,” car shows, and get-togethers. Consisting of four square blocks, Brainerd organizations and residents make us of its large green space. With fundraising already happening for a splash pad to be installed in the park, Gregory will continue to be a favorite.


Best Reason to Visit – Historical Connection

Gregory Park is steeped in history. It has been the focal point of north Brainerd for over a hundred years. The things that stand out for Gregory Park are the little remnants from the past. The Parker Bandstand is a mainstay. The arches at the north and south entrances to the park are entrenched in locals memories. If you want to connect with Brained on a historical level, Gregory Park is the place for you.

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Summer’s More Fun With Friends Spots

Here’s a few promotional shots we did.

Some production notes:

1) I wanted to make these have a little more somber feel to them. Last year, we did something like it and I wanted to recreate the slight ennui that our counselors would have without our Eco Campers. However, Michelle H. (counselor in the kayak) convinced me that we should do a few “happier” takes to see how it looked. I agreed and we got a shot of a take I wanted and a few that she wanted. In the “Kayak” spot, I thought it worked so well to have the before and after to show how the tagline (“Summer’s More Fun With Friends”) is true.

Nora Waving on Sand Lake from a kayak Pine River Minnesota

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It’s About Time (or What to do in Minnesota in the Summer)

For anyone who lives in Minnesota, you know that summer is when everyone is eager to enjoy what our great state has to offer. Home of thousands of lakes, hundreds of miles of trails, and thousands of acres of forest, there is no shortage of “stuff” to do this summer.

Do you have your plan on how will you get to it all? Is it even possible?

Yes. It is. All it takes is one simple trick. But first, let’s look at the concept of “time.”

In the “Nick of Time”

What is “time”? Can we actually perceive “time” as something tangible? Philosophical giant, George Carlin said, “There’s no present. There’s only the immediate future and the recent past.” To be sure, we rely greatly on our memories to perceive “time.” What did we eat for breakfast? Who won the horseshoe tournament last summer? Did I just take a sip of water? These events can be recollected, so they must be part of what we perceived.

But, what about the concept of the recent past. When does the recent past transition from “now“? The concept of “now” lays on a razor edge. Some pocketwatchsay that “now” is actually in the past. Carlin sure thinks so! Indeed, your brain perceives “now” at an 80 millisecond delay. But, some think that we have a little more leeway, more like three seconds in which “now” is “right now“.

So, we’ve got about three seconds to experience something before it becomes memories. But, how do we maximize these experiences before they become relegated to “the past.” After doing some research, I found that each separate group of “three seconds” are not collected equally. In order to maximize our “time”, we need to actually be engaged in our activities. These “three seconds” intervals feel longer if we actually have memories stored in them.

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