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New Meetup: Annual Pumpkin Ride

From: Lisa
Sent on: Friday, September 11, 2009 6:03 PM
Annual Pumpkin Ride

Announcing a new Meetup for The Minneapolis/St. Paul Backpackers Meetup Group!

What: Annual Pumpkin Ride

When: October 31,[masked]:00 AM

Where:
Servicemen's Club
220 St. Paul SW
Preston, MN 55965

This event occurs Saturday, Oct. 31, in 2009. It's been held for years on the Root River Trail, kind of an underground movement if you will. Not really publicized. But I do have permission from ride founder/coordinator Pat McArtor to post this...

So I can't really say this is *my* trip. It's a gathering, a party, a chance to wear costumes and a chance to drink!

*** YOU WILL BE ON YOUR OWN FOR THIS EVENT. SET UP YOUR OWN CARPOOLS BY CHECKING WITH OTHERS WHO WANT TO GO. SET UP YOUR OWN CAMPING (I will have more camping info to post later.) THIS EVENT IS REALLY LAID-BACK, NO SET SCHEDULE. (**I am posting as an FYI. I hope to be around, but also have a job that dictates I may not be around... just so you know**)

Currently, probably around 200 people visit Preston to do the ride, given good weather. Many are from Iowa (and especially love it if the Iowa vs. Minnesota football game is on that Saturday, with the Hawkeyes hopefully whipping the Golden Gophers' butts - umm, sorry, as I know most all of you are likely go-fers!)

You can choose to stay overnight in Preston - which you might say is my hometown - on Friday, Oct. 30 and/or Saturday, Oct. 31. Might I suggest the Fillmore County Fairground campground in Preston (and close to the bike trail). Camping Fees are $15 per day (no electric) and $20 per day (with electric)

The big day is Saturday, Oct. 31. At some time before or near sundown, you don your costume and get on your bike for a 5-mile ride on the Root River Trail to The Old Barn restaurant, right on the trail. There's a shelter along the way that's often used for a beverage break and thoroughly enjoying all the wonderfully creative costumes.

Make sure you have some kind of headlight on the bike (and/or head) for light in the darkness. A blinking red light for the rear fender or seat post of the bike is also certainly encouraged.

At The Old Barn, partying ensues. Costumes are very VERY creative! (Just make sure to keep them out of your bike chain! >8-O ) (I recall Pat's costume a couple years back featuring Larry Craig with his hand under the edge of the bathroom stall in the Msp Airport - CLASSIC!)

On the way back to Preston, maybe 9 p.m.-ish, give or take, you might even find a small band or singer at the shelter along the trail (with amp biked in on a BOB trailer - BOBs can also be used to cart your beverages.)

I've also seen fireworks shot off there. (But I'll deny it if asked!) The Halloween costumed fake DNR officer didn't really care!

Then you return to the Servicemen's Club in Preston for more partying with a live band.

IT'S SMALL TOWN LIVING AT ITS FINEST!! And, yes, you can choose to bike the trail at other times sans costume (but clothes are encouraged)... and I suppose you could even go to (and/or stay in) Lanesboro, tourism mecca of smalltown southeastern Minnesota.

There's also Halloween stew and at least one private party that you could take in, if desired. (Just remember to be especially nice to your crazy Hawkeye hosts who've welcomed you to this fine event!)

Am not sure. This might be the 14th or so Pumpkin Ride.

It combines parts of these two trails:

Mostly on this one--
Harmony-Preston Valley Trail
http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_trails/blufflands/harmony_preston.html
And also a bit on this one:
http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_trails/blufflands/root_river.html

MAP OF THE WHOLE TRAIL SYSTEM--
http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/maps/state_trails/tra00730.pdf

Learn more here:
http://www.meetup.com/Minneapolis-StPaul-Backpackers/calendar/11350645/

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