This is one of my favorites in this area. (Vadnais Heights, Minnesota, USA) Part of the trail is on a narrow isthmus between two sections of Lake Vadnais. On maps the trail is labeled “St. Paul Water Utility”. I remember when this was a road for the Water Utility to access the facility at the south end of the lake. Probably the isthmus was built for that road. Now there are parking lots at each end and a paved trail in between. It is about a mile (1.6 km) between the parking lots, and about 5.6 miles (9 km) to go all the way around the east half of the lake. I usually start at the north lot and go through the woods a couple miles to the place where the trail joins the road. Instead of continuing around the lake I turn around. Once I get back to the parking lot I can decide if I want to keep going. I do not mind backtracking if it means I can avoid walking near traffic.
There are many great spots to stop and rest or paint. This spot has a rock just right for sitting. Looks like it has gone unused since the most recent snow. It struck me as significant that the rock, the young tree, and the old stump were lined up in a row. It is almost like the beginning of a joke: “A rock, a sapling, and a stump were watching a sunrise over a lake.” I do not know what comes next. Perhaps someone will read this and get inspired.
It has been a busy week of celebrating holidays with family and friends. I did not draw or paint the entire week so it felt good today to get back into it. I did keep up the hiking every day except Christmas Day. I think that is alright.