Our anniversary celebrations are anything but boring and I have to attribute that to the guy with whom I share them, Natureman.

From the very first time we walked (Okay, it was a hike) the perimeter of the End of the Rainbow Valley I should have known what was in store for me as we got lost on the land he had lived for 40 years. The logging road we were following just disappeared. I’ve written about the story before and since it was late afternoon with darkness encroaching, I finally said, ” Do you have any idea where the house is?” He pointed straight below us. My response ” Forget the logging road, we’re heading straight down!”

For 17 years the adventures have continued. Traditionally for our anniversary celebration we head to Lanesboro, a charming Minnesota town known for well kept bike trails and activities along the Root River. People fish, innertube, kayak /canoe its Root River. We’ve picnicked on sand bars, gone to its radio program/ theater, eaten nice restaurant dinners in the evening after a combined biking and canoeing day, spending the night in a wonderful Bed & Breakfast place. On our first visit somehow we missed a turn making a pleasant 10 mile ride into a 17 mile up hill adventure. A couple of years ago we should have never gone canoeing as we capsized and had to still bike soaking wet 5 miles back to the car. You get the picture, adventures.

This year since we changed things up a bit and had gone to Lanesboro for their Art Fair last week and also biked. Canoeing was out due to the river’s condition with all the rainfall. Yea. Little did I know, Natureman still wanted to celebrate our anniversary this week in between predicted rainfalls to go somewhere different, Decorah, Iowa (I swear we have been plagued with 40 days and nights of rain)

It was a gorgeous day yesterday and we headed with our picnic lunch and bikes to Decorah, Iowa. First stop, Seed Savers.(To be discussed another day)

Bubbly and crackers in hand

Followed by our traditional anniversary picnic lunch of crackers, cheeses, smoked trout, sardines, olives and a toast of bubbly served in our champagne flutes ( Natureman’s a romantic) on the Trout Fish Hatchery’s scenic grounds surrounded by fresh spring waters, fishermen and the Trout Run bike trail.

Clear spring fed waters to the hatchery

After lunch we enjoyed a little walk on the grounds to also see the hatchery before the bike ride. What could go amiss, right? That orange fencing should have been an indication of things to come.

Natureman had never been to a hatchery and couldn’t believe all the trout being raised in their tanks. 25 to 30 thousand fingerling trout filled 17 tanks which would eventually be released when larger into nearby streams.

Fingerling trout

So far this adventure was pretty good. It was time to do the Trout Run bike trail, a 10.5 mile loop. You know what’s coming, right?

Well kept trails, time for the bike ride.

Due to the flooding little did we know that the last 3 miles miles would at least triple due to trail repair. Signs said to take alternate routes but no instructions were given as to where those were. Awfully fishy if you ask me… We trespassed one barrier and were able to forge ahead ( ssh, it was passable ) and then the 2nd looked more serious so we didn’t traverse that barrier but continued on the path up and up to the bluffs and ridge through cut outs accompanied by the lush countryside . How could all this be Trout Run? There were signs labelled as Trout Run with no stream in sight and were obviously getting more than 10 miles worth…

Three and a half hours later we made it back to the hatchery. Awaiting us in the ice chest were 2 cold root beers. We toasted once again chalking up the survival of another truly ‘fishy’ adventure.

5 thoughts on “TBT: FISHY ADVENTURES

  1. You are not going to be happy when I tell you that we took the same bike route several times..2 days, and we just lifted our bikes up over the fencing. I always make a habit and stop to ask local bike folks or camp folks how the trail is…they were very helpful. We also had to traverse a spot in Upper Iowa River where a very big tree blocked the waters. Our kayaks came out and we had to do a postage. The folks we asked before we did this…pointed out our options. You need……a guide. Hope you still had a wonderful time. Guy


    1. Oh we asked and asked and received a lot of options. Funny how you didn’t mention those in your post of how thankful you were to Jan for the excursion. I ended up walking my bike up a couple of inclines.


  2. A lovely post. Often adventures into the wilderness do not turn out the way you planned. I am married to a wilderness man – but we call him Daniel Boone and things seem to go pretty smoothly. He generally never gets lost – but he does get vehicles stuck in the mud or sand now and then.


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