Wednesday, June 09, 2010

A Weekend of Beautiful Weather and Difficult Disc Golf

This past Memorial weekend the Twin Cities had some of the most incredible weather.  Although humid at times, the abundance of sun shine and a cooling breeze made it great to spend time outdoors.
A number of weeks ago the Star Tribune ran an article in the North section of the paper describing the disc golf course @ Bunker Hill Regional Park in Andover, MN
layout of the course provided by Anoka County
Informational signs are now in place, however, there is still construction on hole 6.  For a 9-hole course, it was moderately difficult.  The signs were helpful in determining the shot needed to hit the hole and the number of strokes also made it easy to find ones way to the next hole.  We didn’t have to pay-to-play as it were, but there was a day pass fee for the park of $5.00.
The Disc Golf course is very close to Bunker Beach, the water park in Bunker Hill, and was closed while we were there as their season does not begin until June (now).  It was amazing to see the number of water parks that begin their seasons in June closed with the phenomenal Memorial Day weather.
With as dry as it has been, the course was mostly dirt and scrub grass that was trying to grow in.  The sections that were in the forest smelled of pine needles blistering in the heat.  Near the parking lot we found the usual amenities: a large pavilion that was being used by the local VFW for the Memorial Day holiday, a large play area with a mister for cooling off in the heat, kind of neat to see them here in Minnesota when they are often found in the South and Western states of the country, and then finally a large grassy field.
Kristen and I picked out a nice spot in the shade and unrolled my University of Minnesota blanket, to enjoy a break and some much needed lunch.  For entertainment, we watched a group of kids and parents run wild around the field flying kites.  The father in charge would direct a corresponding child to run like the dickens to keep their kites in the air, searching for that essential updraft that would make it sore.  However, what would ultimately happen was the kid would keep running and the kite would smash to the ground.
With our stomachs full, we packed up and made our way to my parent’s house in Brooklyn Park, our base of operations for the weekend.  Feeling energized from lunch, we stopped at Brooklyn Park’s 9-hole disc golf course located in Central Park.

Map view provided by:
The course is made up mostly of grass and wood chips near the scoring baskets (is that their official title?).  Distances and Par are listed on the base of the throwing platform for the hole, however, unlike other disc golf courses; BP has not installed signs that show this information or how to best set up ones throw.
 However, the course is pretty user friendly and is a great introduction to the past time/sport/activity, that is Disc Golf, and the fact that the course is free: icing on the cake.
Before starting out on the course, we took a couple of shots around the putting circle (lower left corner of photo posted above) which allows players to practice putting from a number of distances that diminish as one gets closer to the hole (as opposed to an ascending order).  Kristen and I’s favorite hole is #8 from the top of the hill; and is also the best hole to watch other disc golfers perfect their throws and plead with their discs to ‘Get Down, Get Down, Get Down”.  The trick is to pick up enough of an updraft to carry the disc to the hole, but not too much, thus having the disc hug the hill as it approaches the hole.
That evening we got a Facebook message from a good friend from College, Matthew Rhett, who told us that’d he would be in town for the weekend and would be up for playing some disc golf.  An avid and semi-pro disc golfer recommended the 18-hole course @ Bryant Lake Park: part of the Three Rivers Park District.  We all agreed on the location and planned for a tee-off time of 10:00 Am the next day.  Kristen and I then went to bed with the hopes that our throwing arms would have enough rest by morning.
Kristen and I awoke with the excitement of playing a new course in the Metro area and reconnect with friends.  Along with Matthew, his older brother and former floormate of Kristen’s @ Middlebrook: Brian Rhett joined us along with his wife Katrina who I often tease as the Hurricane (I hope she doesn’t hate me for this) and their baby daughter Bella.  The course has a daily fee of $3.00 per person of which Matthew was kind enough to cover for all of us, I’ll have to take him out for a beer the next time he is in town, or challenge him to another round at a different course.

Here’s a description of the course from the Three Rivers Park Website:
The 18-hole disc golf course at Bryant Lake Regional Park offers short and long tee boxes, scenic lake views and the infamous hole #17, where golfers throw their discs off a cliff to reach the basket.  
Descriptions of holes can also be found on the three rivers park website, under the tour button.  The course was one of the most difficult that Kristen and I had ever played through, and the wind was also a contributing factor on a number of holes.
We had some throws where we thought for sure and always aloud “Well, that one is gone forever!”; only to later find our discs in either the thick woods or tall grass.  It also got incredibly hot through the course of playing and I had made the mistake of wearing mostly cotton and not bringing anything synthetic.
We kept pace with Matthew and Brian, while Katrina and Bella walked the course behind us.  I can’t remember how we did stroke wise, but will say that we’ll have to go to Bryant Lake again and continue to work on our disc throwing abilities.

This turned out to be a pretty lengthy post, and it took me a while to finish due to grabbing photos and reading some descriptions, finding links to embed etc.  Overall this was a really fun Holiday weekend for Kristen and I and we are looking forward to spending time with the Rhett Family again in late June during Cottage Grove’s Strawberry festival and a tour of Brian’s garden in his backyard.

Today its June 9th already, and I am up North @ the Tulaby Cabin.  It’s been rainy, windy, cold and overcast and not a typical warm summer day as was promised.  But this has lead to some well needed napping and reading of books.
Kristen spent the last weekend and most of this week with her folks: Dave and Lola @ a campground near Collinwood Lake in Cokato, MN.  Lola recently bought a new camper and they spent the weekend breaking it in.  On Tuesday, Kristen and her Dad where out fishing and Dave was able to land a fairly large Carp weighing about 8 IB.  Hopefully Kristen will write a post about her weekend @ Collinwood in the next couple of days.
I need to write a post about new toy purchases, I recently upgraded my old phone to a new Palm Pre Plus through Verizon Wireless and the Pre Plus has been a handy device.  My father got one as well, and now we have 3G wireless through the Mobile Hotspot at the Cabin.  It has been nice for simple web browsing and checking email.
We’ll see if the weather makes it possible to launch the larger boat and maybe do some fishing if we feel adventurous.  Planning to be back in the cities Thursday and then down in Red Wing, MN Saturday for Fusion Dance’s annual Recital.  My older brother Frank’s students did really well this year as well as a number of his pieces were recognized for choreography awards.
Now, back to George Orwell’s 1984, of which I am reading through for the first time, and possibly a fresh pot of coffee.     

1 comment:

Kristen said...

Sunday I did some practice throws at the farm in the yard and I think the rest, and Matt's technique, has improved my throws! They aren't going as far as I'd like but they are lower and maintain their flatness.