Lest you think all the fun and beauty I care about right now happened near Fargo, here is this morning's sunrise. These colors are true. I don't think I've ever seen a sunrise like this.
But now we're going back to the conference. Friday the long hike (13 miles) was through the Tamarack Wildlife Refuge in western Minnesota. The trail is completely different from what it was when I hiked through there. That was a temporary route and mostly on refuge roads. This is a permanent trail route, off road and protected.
We started in the rain. Real rain. For the first hour, and we were all soaked. But by 9:30 or so people were stripping off rain gear.
A lot of Tamarack is forested, so we alternated between open grassy areas and wooded trail.
The weather for the rest of the hike was beautiful. Partly sunny and temperatures that were great for hiking. This is South Chippewa Lake.
One of the most interesting details was this mass of fungus. I think it's "Ruffles," Sparassis crispa.
There are always lots of aspects of the evening programs that might not be of much interest to you, but they are very important to those of us who love this trail. This is the outgoing board president, Tom Moberg. He and his wife, Mary, are from Fargo and also headed up the committee that planned the conference (read BIG job).
Friday night was the night for awards. There are awards from the National Park Service for hours spent volunteering for the trail. This is Mark Weaver, the NPS Superintendent for the North Country Trail, getting ready to start the presentations.
He was followed by the awards that are given to outstanding volunteers by the North Country Trail Association. All recipients are highly deserving!
There were a couple other things crammed in the day somewhere, as well. If you want down time, you have to skip something. I like keeping things hopping. We only get to see all these friends once a year, so I say "make the most of it!"
|See Thursday in Fargo|
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