I took another day off on the Mississippi! 2012

August 12th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink


For the last three or four years, since it started, I have been involved with the Take a Day Off on the Mississippi event at Mississippi River County Park, Stearns County. This year with MsRubble we made the event go really well. Sadly, we have not been able to get help for the event and I have notified everyone that we are going to have to pull geocaching out of the event as a result. Geocaching has always gone over really well at these types of events. At this event we have the ability to send out GPS units with the people to go find a cache.

However due to the lack of help, I have notified the event saying that we are done. For the last few years it has been popular (and I think that this year we had more than last) but it will have to go away. It will be a relief to take a step back though I think and be able to relax. I might still assist the event but I think that geocaching will just go away.

Tour 2012!

July 12th, 2012 § Comments Off on Tour 2012! § permalink

So the Tour of Saints 2012 was a little bit more interesting this year than previous years. This time we had to fight a legal battle to get trucks, had some problems finding eligible drivers, etc. Oh well!

The Tour was a blast. I had a fun time in the process. I had worked in a support vehicle as I have done for years. This year I had some fun taking photos while also running around. I was not able to take as many photos in the process but it was still fun.

Something interesting happened. Wow! That is my cousin in line for the bathroom. Okay, everyone is here… his wife, sister in law…

After the event we had a large BBQ, as our debriefing, that I had planned with just over twenty people. A blast all in itself.

Check out the pics… more on the Facebook page itself.

Legends? 2012

June 9th, 2012 § Comments Off on Legends? 2012 § permalink

So today I was recruited to volunteer as a course marshal for the Legends 5 and 10k in Minnetonka / Deer Haven, Minnesota. Normally I am working in a public safety capacity, so course marshal is something different… What is a course marshal? I actually had to ask that question!

A course marshal is someone that directs runners, spectators and traffic. Interesting… I think that I can manage that! Arriving on day one, I have to say that everything appeared to be much more organized than a previous race I was at. I felt much more comfortable with this race; I had the race directors’ cellphone numbers just in case.

I have to say that this was my first time with this race and with a little confusion at the location that I was at, I needed assistance. And look, a race director driving the route to make sure everything was in check. I was able to get clear directions of this race and I was good to go. Everything seemed well organized, and I have to say in the defense of the other races I have worked on yes, I do know that this is a smaller race and less people.

I was working with Amy from the Deephaven Police Department. She was a lot of fun to work with. My afterthought about volunteering though is that with my limited time, I will stick to the few organizations that I enjoy volunteering in my field.

During the race I was able to take a few photos, as everyone knows that I love to do. You can find them posted on the Pix! page under Events. I really did enjoy the smiles from the runners on this race. With so many photos, I picked out my favorites.

Minneapolis Marathon 2012

June 3rd, 2012 § Comments Off on Minneapolis Marathon 2012 § permalink

Today Dylan and I decided to offer our assistance to the Minneapolis Marathon, working in MedComm. Dylan just getting his ticket wanted a taste of EmComm and I am known in this arena and thought that it might be fun to try working at a new race event.

Our Director seemed to have things under control with the few people that he had to work with. Being a “certified” public safety volunteer, they are hard to come by. We were told exactly what to do and it seemed pretty easy. This is the same thing that I have done over and over again for many different events and I am trained in from different nonprofits and government agencies. We can do this.

A few days before the event they had a meeting with everyone working on the event. We had our meeting just before the medical team and we were to stay for part of the medical meeting as we are working on the same team.

Arriving a little late with traffic was unbelievable. They should have never held the meeting at 5:30 in the evening in the cities. Getting off work at 4:45pm, I thought that it would have taken 15 to 20 minutes to go 7 miles… I was wrong when I was 15 minutes late.

After speaking to some of the people standing at the doorway, the room was packed and nobody really had a clue what was going on but everyone was listening to them talk about something that we could not really hear in the back of the room.

I was lucky enough to find a seat and proceeded to listen to a women tell us how we should be doing medical patient assessments. I am not a doctor… why? Our shirts for uniforms had not been printed yet; they will let us know how to get our shirts on the day of the event. Also we would have EMTs at our location and every tenth of a mile in our location as we are near the finish of the race. After the meeting I was even more confused as to what I would be doing. Oh well, I have done these before so I will just play along.

I did make it a point to ask my supervisor where to park, and I was told that they did not know and that I should check the day before. Not from the cities, I thought that I would ask the people that were in charge of the race and were also from the area. They should know! Upon checking, I was told that I would get an email the Friday before…. nope! I emailed her and was told that I would get one Saturday morning…. and again, nothing. Wow.

If I did not want to favor my name in the EmComm community, like Dylan said, “Why go?”

The day before we had a little time to search where to park and the area around where we would be. Pulling over a Minneapolis Park Police officer, he was a little shocked and confused as to the map they had given us. He also offered some additional tips. I felt ready and confident but still discouraged that I had not received my email that I was expecting.

So we were told originally to be there a half hour before first runner. That allowed me to show up at 6:40am. I knew that meant be there by 6:30 to get a spot to park. The evening before the event we received an email letting us know that we should be getting gear (our radio and shirts) at 5:30 in the morning so we should be on our location. Great! I am not a morning person.

At 5:30 in the morning we were there even though people should not be alive this early and we were waiting. We had forgotten to program our radios but I was proud that we did this before our schedule time for check-in.

Waiting, waiting, waiting… nobody ever showed up! Net Control (dispatch) did not know anything about delivering any gear. Finally someone had said that the sag wagon on route had everything. So I tried to flag them down twice and did everything but get run over. They would not stop for anything! Finally on the fourth pass and hours later they had told us that they did not have anything for us. So we were just sitting there with our radios looking cool. Okay?

Medical students? Where are they? Slight change of plans… no med students… again, on our own! What?!? Dylan it looks like you are taking rectal temps!

We did receive our shirts, after the race. Who wants a shirt that says I worked somewhere? I have a box of these since I never wear them again. I am glad that I am not the only one that said that they were frustrated and will not be working this event again.

I have some photos in the gallery! Feel free to check them out!

MnGCA Spring Event 2012!

May 19th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

The Minnesota Geocaching Association held their annual spring event and meeting today at Kensington Runestone County Park in Kensington, Minnesota.

About an hour from my house, I ventured off heading towards the wrong park. Upon arrival at the Lake Carlos State Park, I drove around realizing that nobody was here. I pulled up to a discolored little moving rock, a really small snapping turtle. I thought that this was going to be a lot of fun. It is not very often you are able to play with a small turtle, especially a snapping turtle.

Just getting a new lens for my camera, I was able to get a lot of really interesting photos that I will post in my photo gallery but I was just excited to play with it. No matter what though, I could not get him to “snap” on a branch to move him. I think that he was so small that he was just shaking in his shell. I used a stick and made a fork to lift him up to move him in the direction of his travel. I laid him gently in the grass and was off to my phone so that I could find where this event was really at.

No service! Leaving the park, since I had a funny feeling that I was in the wrong area, I made my way back to Alexandria. Once there, I started the phone search only to find that it was south of me by about 20 miles in Kensington Runestone County Park. Well, I am glad that I made it close!

At the park I poked my way around, seeing friends that I have not seen in forever! I did the nice pass out the pathtag thing for a bit and found Sue (another cacher) and we rummaged around the park. I was doing some thinking on the medallion at which I thought that I might as well give up as I will have more luck with the hangman.

Hangman… another fun game with a GPS. Sue and I rummaged around the park trying to find the area at which we would get the cache (and the prize). My GPS said that we were off by about 300 feet when Sue and I gave up because we did not think that it would be across the road and discounted it as an error. When they were about to announce the last number I made a dash for the woods asking Sue to send me a text with the final coord.

Arriving in the middle of where it could be I wanted to try something since I had a small head start. With a little time to play, I ventured off to the furthest location and thought that I would work my way in. Starting with nine, I searched around… nope, eight, nope… new text in the midst of no service here as well. FOUR!

Plugging it in to my GPS, I was only about 250 feet off. Making a dash for the location I see about a dozen people digging around. Looking at my GPS they are all scattered just guessing. With about five people digging at a stump, I actually looked at the GPS. We are close! Everyone ventured off to look in other directions when I looked down and seen something shine. Moving a small piece of well placed log, BINGO!

The container was a small lock n lock with a piece of paper inside. Yes, I won. I won a coin thanks to Sue.

After staying back and chatting with a few more people I received a call from Sue, supper! We stopped at Charlie’s in Freeport and I had to pay since we won the coin! What a fun day!

For more photos, please click here!

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