Tony Schmidt Park, Arden Hills, Minnesota

Tuesday afternoon: Once again, snow is in the forecast and I am trying to get all my errands done while the roads are still clear. My three errands are all in Roseville, MN. I chose locations as close together as possible to use less gas. Two errands are done. The third errand is to pick up a hiking hat I ordered online as a gift to myself. It is not ready to be picked up yet. Langton Lake Park is only two blocks away and would be a lovely walk. I could just keep walking loops around the small lake until the notification email comes in. This would be a great plan except for my bladder. The older I get, the more I need to take this into consideration. Correct me if I am wrong, but I do not think any Roseville parks have pit toilets or restrooms. Arden Hills, however, understands. The closest Arden Hills park with trails is Tony Schmidt park on the shores of Lake Johanna. Have I already written a post on this park? I must have…I know I have photos…checking….huh. Not yet… Well, here we go!

There are a lot of words in the English language for putting one foot in front of the other. At the beginning of this walk I’d say “trudge” is the most accurate. Snow deep enough to change my step and enough other boot prints to make it necessary to step carefully for balance. At the railroad underpass I rejoin the plowed path. smooth and wide and not slippery. What a relief!

Crossing County Road E2 I see the bench where I waited to pick up kids from summer band lessons in years gone by. The stream is ice and snow now but the contrast of white snow on dark tree bark is beautiful. I’m not interested in more trudging so I will probably turn around here. Wait. The couple ahead of me turned down the dirt trail, maybe I will too. Yes. It is hard packed snow from many footsteps. This is not trudging, this is strolling. The air is still and crisp and has the feel of weather changing. Probably time to start back. I can walk along the road past the school to rejoin the plowed path.

Crossing County Road E2 again at the other end of the packed snow path I see a trail map sign. Yes, I have noticed a trail entrance here before but always assumed that it was just a short connection to the neighborhood on the other side of the small pond. Maybe I can get back to Lake Johanna this way? Let’s try it! At the first intersection go right, then straight, then left…

If it wasn’t for that sign, I would be worried that I’ve wandered onto private property. I do appreciate when property owners post their boundaries. I’ve no desire to make anyone nervous.

OK. That is the school just past those trees so I am going in the right direction. Oh. The path curves into the school playground. So I walk around the school and meet up with the paved path after all. No problem. Flexible planning is good to practice.

Kids are sledding. That makes me happy. Walking past the wetland I see people cross country skiing out on the snow covered ice. Back at Lake Johanna I see people going out to the ice houses to fish. 2020 has been a bear of a year but one positive is that I see many more people out and about. When things return to normal will humans continue to spend more time outside? I really hope so!

At the outdoor supply store to pick up my hat. I’m surprised at how busy the parking lot is. This is good. People are making plans to spend time outside!

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