Tag: Maureen Christopher

I spent a few days with some buddies at a cabin near Lutsen over the weekend. We hiked the state park trails at Temperance and Cascade but I brought my 29’er in case any of the COGGS mountain bike trails around Duluth opened up/dried out in time for my drive back home to Northfield. Alas, no such luck. The trails were all too soft yet because of the late-season heavy snowfall and cold temps.

Northfielders Todd Orjala, Ken Drivdahl, Steve Schmidt at CuyunaI was going to head back home to ride the metro-area MORC trails but torrential rains there closed all the trails that had just opened up a week ago.  So I sent a text to CLMTB Crew president Aaron Hautala in hopes that Cuyuna Lakes would be open. YES!  They had heavy rain overnight but the trails dried out quickly and were tacky fast.

I got there by 3:30 on Saturday and promptly ran into fellow Northfielders Todd Orjala, Ken Drivdahl, and Steve Schmidt.  After riding all the trails in the Mahnomen Unit (see inset B on the DNR map), I pooped out by dark and was planning to make the drive home but got rescued by CLMTB Crew member John Schaubach who offered me dinner at his cabin and a place to pitch my sleeping bag for the night. YES!

John Schaubach with a section of Cuyuna Gold Cuyuna Gold placed on top of clay clay trail
John and I went for an early Sunday morning ride in the Yawkey Unit. He showed me how the CLMTB Crew had painstakingly spread a layer of Cuyuna’s red dirt/gravel mix on top of many sections of the trails that were primarily clay.  John said that they refer to this mixture as ‘Cuyuna Gold’ because of its ability to harden the surface of a trail while still providing good traction. It’s amazing the amount of work that’s gone into doing this and what a difference it makes, especially after it’s rained. Props to Cuyuna Dirt Boss Nick Statz, Yawkey Unit  Dirt  Boss Dave Taylor, and their team of CLMTB Crew volunteers for working with the DNR to make this happen.

Heartland Kitchen and Cafe, Crosby MN Jim and Maureen Christopher, Heartland Kitchen & Cafe, Crosby, MN Sunday buffet, Heartland Kitchen & Cafe, Crosby, MNg Sunday buffet, Heartland Kitchen & Cafe, Crosby, MNg

Sunday buffet, Heartland Kitchen & Cafe, Crosby, MNg Sunday buffet, Heartland Kitchen & Cafe, Crosby, MNg Sunday buffet, Heartland Kitchen & Cafe, Crosby, MNg Maureen Christopher and John Schaubach, Crosby, MN
The rain ended our ride at 9 am so we promptly headed to the Heartland Kitchen & Café in Crosby for their stunning Sunday buffet.  I’d blogged photos of proprietor Maureen Christopher before but this was the first time I’d met her sweetie, Jim Christopher, who was the beauty on duty for the buffet. After two hours of gorging ourselves, John and I staggered out and I departed for home, sated and grateful for yet another Cuyuna weekend.

Businesses Trails

bridge on the Switchback trail, CuyunaI pitched my tent in the Portsmouth Campground in the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area at about 8 pm last night. I’m here for the 2nd Annual Cuyuna Lakes MTB Fest on Saturday but came up early for IMBA’s Great Lakes Summit, too.

There was just enough daylight left to get a ride in on some of the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Trails, so I took Switchback from the campground over to the Mahnomen Unit and rode Crusher, Miner’s Mountain, Chute, Ferrous Wheel, Trammer, and Rocky Flats.

Early this morning, I took Drag Line from Portsmouth over to the Yawkey Unit, riding Man High Hill and Haul Road on the way and then Bobsled a couple of times.

Cool discovery #1: I had assumed both Switchback and Drag Line were just plain old connecting trails. Wrong. They’re both hugely fun intermediate level trails. Lots of rollers and a surprising number of berms for  two-way trails.  Non-stop pleasure riding, both directions.

Cool discovery #2: I took it a little easy on all the trails, as I was by myself, but it was so much more fun riding these trails than last year, I couldn’t stop grinning. Why? I’m in better shape, of course. But my skills are better, due mainly to A) what I learned about braking, turning, and ‘the attack’ position at the Leaders’ Summit skills class; and B) spending about an hour at Eagan’s Lexington Pump & Jump Park where I learned (thanks to Chance Glasford), how to pump, ie, accelerate without pedaling.

Andy Williamson, Aaron Rogers, Hansi Johnson, Maureen Heartland Kitchen Café Heartland Kitchen Café
By 8 am this morning I was starving so I headed over to the Heartland Kitchen & Café, my favorite breakfast spot in Crosby. I lucked out, as some of the IMBA guys were there: Hansi Johnson, Midwest Regional Director;  Andy Williamson, Great Lakes Region Director; and Aaron Rogers, Trail Specialist.

I coaxed the café’s proprietor, Maureen Christopher, into posing with them for a photo, since Maureen is such a fan of the mountain bikers who’ve helped her business thrive since the park opened last summer.

Learning to ride Trails