Wednesday, May 15, 2019

International Falls Every Street Project: Day 10

Slowly but surely, the streets of the Falls are being gobbled up by my running shoes. Rickey Gates could probably run all the streets of International Falls in a day or two, but for someone out of shape like me, this endeavor will take about a month of running days at 3 to 4 miles per day. Still, days like today make the running easy. Today's run featured warm morning temperatures and sunny skies. In addition, I would be running some of the most pleasant neighborhoods in International Falls, the ones along the Rainy River.

I started from home and ran past Smoky Bear Park and back to Riverside Drive. After a quick side trip to take a look at the Rainy River,
I ran west on Riverside to an apartment complex, made a left onto 12th Avenue, and another quick left onto 2nd Street. I ran the block north and south on 10th Avenue and then headed out on MN 11 past the WPA era Sports Stadium
and back into the nearby trailer park to finish the roads in there I had missed last time. Then it was past the condemned former Knight's Inn
and on to Riverside Boulevard. I ran Riverside west to Park Avenue. I ran Park Avenue east, made a quick detour on Center Street and then returned to Hiway Lane.

I would run Hiway lane to MN-11 and then finished my run with a trip down the dead-end Terrace Lane.

Monday, May 13, 2019

International Falls Every Street Project: Day 9

A day off with warming temperatures and the scenery starting to look like spring,
and I set off to take advantage of it with a short run. Today's route would take me out Minnesota Highway 11. I passed the line of trailers used by the paper mill,
then the Border Patrol building.
Soon enough I passed over the creek at what's locally known as "Second Bridge"
and turned left onto County Road 21. According to maps I've looked at, the town border is a short ways up the road. I ran to its approximate location and then turned around.

At the Voyageurs National Park building
I turned right onto a strange divided section of gravel road.
This road is definitely an official road, but it doesn't show up in Google Maps. Still I figured I would give it a run. Supposedly it was built to attract a quality motel to town. I turned right once the gravel road intersected Highway 11 and started to make my way back to town. I saw a fox run through the field between the mill trailer parking area and the Border Patrol building.
It is difficult to see in the photo. A bald eagle was perched in a tree nearby.  

Thursday, May 9, 2019

International Falls Every Street Project: Day 8

This evening I decided to go for a run as the sun set. I headed out to run a section of town that I hadn't run before, in fact, I have maybe only driven the roads I ran today once or twice. I headed out to 4th Street, and made a right and ran past the chip pile
and into the heart of the log yard on 3rd Avenue East.
It is a heavily industrial area, frequented by heavy machinery used in the process of moving and chipping logs.
I followed 3rd Avenue East to 13th Street and made a left, headed out of town. I followed the lonely 13th Street to Highway 332 and made a left to run the short section of highway to 15th Street E, before turning around and running Highway 155, past another section of the log yard.
The sunset made for some beautiful scenery as I ended my run at MN Highway 11 East.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Tilson Creek Bogwalk

Conservation Corps of Minnesota and Iowa recently finished up their work on the new Tilson Creek Bogwalk. This was a project sponsored by the local cross-country ski club, the Polar Polers. I decided to take advantage of a beautiful spring day by going for a walk!

I pulled into the Tilson Bay boat ramp parking area around 11 am and set off on the boardwalk. The beginning portion traverses a section of wet woods.
Then, the boardwalk heads into an open peat bog with scattered spruce and tamarack.

At an outdoor classroom with a small seating area, I decided to have a closer look.
I looked for signs of carnivorous plants like pitcher plants and sundew, but did not find anything. It will be interesting to return in the summer to see if any orchids grow close to the boardwalk. I continued on,
eventually heading back into a wooded area
and then onto the grassy ski trails.

I hiked the swampy ski trail to the shelter
(it was a bit strange to see it without snow on the ground) and then continued on the beginner loop. It was more water than I cared to hike in though, so after I was finished with the short loop, I made my way back to the boardwalk for the hike back to the car. 
I decided to end my hike with a trip across Highway 11 and along the Tilson Bay Trail to the high overlook. As I had expected, I was able to get a great view of the distant boardwalk from the overlook.
I then retraced my steps back down to the car. 

International Falls Every Street Project: Day 7

What a beautiful morning! I just had to take advantage of it by going for a run. I started out heading south on 6th Avenue into Kerry Park and Kerry Park Arena.
At 13th Street I made a right and followed it until the road ended at Falls High School and Bronco Arena.
I made a right onto 15th Avenue, another right onto 12th Street and then a left onto 14th Avenue to 11th Street. I then returned to 15th Avenue where I headed south. I made a left onto the pleasant 14th Street,
turned around at 14th Avenue and then followed 15th Avenue, past Falls Elementary (it was nice to see how many students are riding their bicycles to school)
until it makes a left onto 15th Street. I followed 15th Street until it ends at 7th Avenue and made a left. I finished my run at the intersection of 7th Avenue and 13th Street.

Monday, May 6, 2019

International Falls Every Street Project: Day 6

Today was the longest run of my All Streets project so far, about 3.5 miles. I started with a run down 6th Avenue headed south to 11th Street. I made a left onto 11th Street to cover a section of that street I had missed on the previous run. I crossed over Highway 53 just as the setting sun broke through the clouds. It made for some interesting lighting for the rest of the run.

I followed 11th Street to where I could go no further east and turned right onto 1st Avenue West. Then it was another right onto 12th Street West and back across Highway 53 to Industrial Avenue. I followed Industrial Avenue to near the town water tower
and then made a left onto 15th Street. I followed 15th to Highway 53 and turned around. I spent most of the next few minutes zigging and zagging through the neighborhood back there trying to run every road. Some of the roads I ran I wasn't even sure if they were official roads. They almost seemed like driveways, but I ran them anyway. it was quite interesting to run in the pleasant light of the sunset,
even if I did have to run past two of the roughest looking individuals I've encountered yet in International Falls. I have to admit their appearance I found a bit scary.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

International Falls Every Street Project: Day 5

I started today's 2.5 mile run from home again. Just like last time I ran to Highway 53 and turned south. This time I would run 9th Street back to Home Lane. There are some pretty run down homes on 9th Street that I ran past, including at least one that has been condemned.
It's pretty sad to see the state of some parts of town. It makes me wonder what the Falls looked like in its heyday. From Home Lane, I turned left onto 11th Street and ran that back to 6th Avenue. I turned left onto 6th and then made a quick right onto 10st Street to run the section of that road I had missed during my last run.