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👋 from Minnesota

Hey all, name is Tom, I'm a stay-at-home dad right now to our 16 month old daughter, in the Twin Cities metro area. My wife Becky's and my main activity is mountain biking, but we're also no strangers to hiking/snowshoeing, downhill skiing on-piste, and car camping. My latest obsession has been getting into maintaining our bikes and doing the tune ups myself. Very much hoping to foster a love for the outdoors in our little bug, we've already taken her camping once and are getting started on the balance bike.

Before she was born, I had been an astronomer, so it's no surprise we also love the night sky. We used to geocache back in the day, and I expect that will make a comeback as she grows older. Our biggest achievement is probably having visited every state park in Minnesota, some of which happened in a marathon of 15 parks in 7 days. Looking to the future, I hope we're able to give her (and ourselves) the experience of traveling more out of the country, maybe even on some REI Adventure Travel trips, and definitely skiing out west in the actual mountains!

5 Replies

@TomV welcome to our online community - we're glad you here and thanks for introducing yourself! Don't be surprised to find yourself tagged in topics where we think you can help - sounds like mountain biking, parenting, and astronomy for starters!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

Awesome! What are some recommended state parks or are your favorite?


@HoughtonLikeTheLake It's no surprise that many of them are on the North Shore of Lake Superior, all of which are great with rocky, rooty terrain and many roaring waterfalls, can't go wrong with them. But some of the interior parks are great too, many with crystal clear water to their lakes. One particular short spur hike we've loved is at Scenic State Park, where you go along the ridge of a peninsula into the lake that's covered in red pines. The views (and smells) are lovely!

From what I can tell though, even the parks that we thought were maybe smaller and boring just cater more to other activities. They might be good fishing spots, or a hotspot for birding, or have historical significance.

@TomV Welcome! I have never been to Minnesota, but I am an amateur astronomer (I look at the sky every night) and I love to geocache, hike and visit State and National Parks here in California. I can't wait for our state to open up again.

Cheers, Tom! Welcome to the forum! My wife and I also love mountain biking.