On Saturday a group of us - Chris, Dad, Mike, and I - ran the Paul Bunyan Trail. It was what one may call a “long run.” Crystal dropped us off up in Hackensack at 7:15 am and then we started running home. In a way it was sort of like the old movie, Homeward Bound (in a non-animal kind of way). We faced rain, wind, hunger, sore legs, and plenty of whining.
Because of the distance we all packed camelback style backpacks. We carried water, goo packets, granola bars, beef jerky, and other essentials. We probably could have carried less water and just ran with our mouthes open since it rained for a few hours.
In Pine River we stopped at a gas station and raided their pizza and hotdog stand. I think the attendant thought we were joking, or crazy, or both, when we told her we were running to Brainerd.
At Nisswa, Chris’ brother-in-law donated a pizza from his Raffertys Pizza and we ate it along the trail. We would have eaten inside, but one of the members of the group smelled so badly we thought it would scare away business.
Mike picked up his bike in Nisswa and kept us going the last 13 miles. Running the Paul Bunyan Trail was a lot different than any other long runs we have done. It was easier than the Voyageur in Duluth because there were no real hills. It was harder, however, because it was on pavement the whole way. It also was a little disheartening when you could look down the path for miles and feel as though you were moving nowhere.
We finished at Dad and Mom’s place right about 4:40 pm. Crystal was out front with the traditional TP finish line. We all made it, sore and tired, but alive.