Sunday, July 12, 2009

Arboretum Bicycle Trip

Yesterday, in order to have some semblance of preparation for RAGBRAI, I biked up to the Minnesota Arboretum in Chaska to meet Pooteewheet and Cookie Queen and the kids. The nice part about the ride is that except for the last few miles, which are on a very scary Highway 5, it's pretty much trails all the way. There was a problem with having to cross a triathalon route numerous times, but it was only an issue in part because I stopped to have coffee at the Nokomis Coffee Shop, putting me in the thick of the race.

I'm glad we took She Says and husband on their long, hot trip across too much of Minnehaha Park to see our signature falls when we did, because there's not much flowing at the moment. I don't remember ever seeing it dry.

I don't know how far the trip was because I LOST MY SECOND ODOMETER! Damn it. I'm going to start super gluing them on, because the batteries last about three years, and at the moment I'm getting about one year per odometer. I think I went about 40-some miles. 18 to the north end of Calhoun. 17 on the Northern LRT. 5 miles in between? Couple miles to double back from Victoria to the Arboretum. I bumped into my sister near The Depot coffee hut in Minnetonka. She was out doing a 72 mile ride.

When I made it to the Arboretum, the gate guy just waved me through. The $9 charge is waived if you're on a bicycle. I didn't mention I was going to load it onto a car within the confines of the park. It should count anyway. Not having my weight in the car must have saved at least a little gas.

The Arboretum theme for the weekend was water conversation. We saw a strange play about California strawberries by the Heart of the Beast puppet theater, and a bunch of art centered around conversation. This one tries to show water use by country. The U.S. is off to the right and is represented by about as many cylinders as all these countries put together. Not surprising. We bathe. We manufacture. And we export food.

But I was a bit disturbed about the message around the Democratic Republic of Congo. It seems that if you really want to conserve water, you should have multiple civil wars, millions of deaths, a complete collapse of the public health system and lots of HIV, AIDS and malaria. Sounds fab.

Bike art! It represents microscopic water animals.

Eryn and Conner played trash golf. That's not Conner. All I had was a picture of his butt. Cookie Queen will have to wait for Pooteewheet to put her pictures on Facebook. Trash golf is extremely difficult given the 4x8 plywood all sits on slopes and the holes are never in the corner. It's more of a push game than a putting game.

According to the giant leaf in the learning center, Democrats Suck. Meaning those of you who aren't Democrats are vandals. Congratulations.

The real reason we went to the Arboretum. To pay honor to Michael Jackson's passing by hanging out in front of the Thriller plant.

"It's close to midnight and something evil's lurking in the dark
Under the moonlight, you see a sight that almost stops your heart
You try to scream but terror takes the sound before you make it
You start to freeze as horror looks you right between the eyes
You're paralyzed

'Cause this is thriller, the thriller plant..."

She Says and Cookie Queen lost in the maze.

Eryn and Conner in the maze. They didn't know I was there. It was hot in the maze, which didn't seem to stop them from asking me to go into it over and over again.

What's this? A spreading yew? Shame on yew! Yew're very cheeky.

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