carter coming home

As all of you know, Carter has been away from home for 96 days as he battled Leukemia at the University of Minnesota. During that time, he has been away from his friends and his hometown. He misses this place in a way that none of us can begin to realize.


Tomorrow, HE COMES HOME!!!!

We need your help. We want to line Tyler Street with people to welcome him back to Hutchinson. Let’s make the Beatles jealous.

This will be a coordinated effort. First, if you can make it, park on opposite streets away from Tyler Street and walk up. Traffic could get tough.

I am coordinating the arrival time with Brian and Dawn to be between 4pm – 5pm. We will know an exact time the closer they get.

We want this to be a huge surprise to him, so don’t let him know. this is a secret between you, me and the town of Hutchinson.

Let’s. Do. This.


**this could change if something occurs between now and then, so watch for updates here tomorrow. (it won’t, but you know, just in case)


Paved trails mean something

sunset trailThis is long, so I apologize in advance.

I don’t think I’m alone when I say that I love the addition of the paved portion of the Luce Line to our area.

However, I’d like to address recent comments in the Hutchinson Leader regarding putting a halt to trail paving and the motion that was made to disband the trails committee.

There are always going to be people who are for or against something. From our general politics to what to have for supper, there will always be a dissenting voice. Not everyone understands how great Mac and Cheese can be, but I digress.

I’ve lived in several cities throughout Minnesota in my life. Many of them had access to paved trail systems. While living in Austin, MN, I would take my bike to Mankato and ride the Sakatah Trail, or I’d take my bike to Rochester to ride the Douglas Trail, or even head down to the Lanesboro area and ride their trail system. Every time I rode those trails, they were full of bicyclists, rollerbladers, and walkers. In the winter time, those trails were also used by snowmobilers. For the area, especially in SE Minnesota, the paved trails brought many people to the area.

I doubt that I’m alone when I say that I love the addition of the paved portion of the Luce Line to our area. Unfortunately, a loud minority is trying to change the potential progress that has happened in regards to trails in our area.

Paved trails improve the economies of the surrounding areas. The economic effects of trails are sometimes more apparent, and sometimes not so much.  Such as when a business relocates due to the amenities available. There is no doubt that several communities benefit due to trail systems in their communities both locally and throughout the country.

IMG_5268There are a several economic impacts associated with trails. Tourism, events, redevelopment, community improvements, property values, health care savings, and general consumer spending, to name a few.

Locally, you can look to the Dakota for proof. From Lester Prairie to Wayzata, you will find all sorts of businesses that have sprouted up along the trail. I look at St. Bonifacious specifically and how they have grown along with the trail continuing over the bridge south to Waconia. Even in Mound, the businesses continue to sprout up, right along the trail.

A bit further out, you’ll see the Lanesboro area, and how that area has boomed with bike traffic along a paved trail. Trails in the northern part of the state, like the Paul Bunyan Trail, have increased tourism traffic to their area.

The Luce Line is in its infancy. As word of the trail grows and more and more people learn what we have out here, more will come. It is too early to discuss numbers since the trail realistically opened in late September/early October of last year. This year will be a better barometer, and the year after that will grow again and so forth.

While at the state Capitol last week, I encouraged our state reps to take a strong look at completing the Dakota Trail to Hutchinson. Not as a benefit to Hutch, but as a benefit to our area. A completed loop from Wayzata/Plymouth to Hutchinson and back to Wayzata will see an increase in traffic to the communities along the trail. Businesses will sprout up along the trail, and existing businesses such as dining establishments will continue to grow as well. Not only in the summer, but in the winter for snowmobile riders as well.

I am asking all trail supporters and friends of the trail to attend a meeting on May 3rd with the McLeod Co. Board. The meeting is at 9:30am at the Glencoe City Center, South Ballroom.

If you can’t make it, send a letter of support to Pat Melvin, County Administrator (pat.melvin@co.mcleod.mn.us). Tell him why the health and wellness, recreation, safety, quality of life, connectivity and the economic development opportunities exist with the trail systems. Your letters will be shared to the County Board.

This proposal by the townships to halt creation of more trails would be a detriment to our area. The possibility of a looped trail with the Dakota and the Luce Line would be a unique regional asset.

A post for a friend #carterrenner

Good morning all. This will be long. 
Today is going to be a very special day for a young friend of ours. Carter is the eleven year old son of Brian and Dawn Kapp Renner. Friends of ours, and friends to a whole lot of you as well. 
As many know, today he will be getting a bone marrow transplant from someone none of us know. 
What this man may not realize is the impact he is not only having on this young man and his family, but to a town that supports it’s kids.
Over the next 100 days, Carter will be away from his friends in Hutchinson. He won’t be able to go out of his hospital room for several weeks. 
As a way of showing our support to him, we have come up with a unique way that Carter can see how much support he has back home. 
Starting today, Day 0, we ask that when you make a post on social media showing your support, you use #carterrenner along with the corresponding day. He will see all of this through a website that was built just for him at http://www.carterrenner.com. You can find out what day he is on by going to the website. The counter starts today and will count up to 100. 
All you have to do is include the hashtag #carterrenner in your post. This will work via Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. 

As an additional way of showing support, you can change your profile pic to the corresponding day as well. The first one is below this post. 
To Carter: Today is the day bro. Kick some butt. We know you will dominate. The breakfast club will be here when you get back – ready to hear the stories of your days flirting with the nurses. ;). And make sure your dad uses that bike you have in your room. 


Beginning again

It seems like forever since I’ve posted anything about fitness. 

Am I still working out?  Yes. 

Am I where I want to be?  Unfortunately no. I’m no where near my highest, but it’s time to move before it gets too far out of hand. 

I’ve been asking myself why, but I know damn well why. When my mentor/ass kicker left, I lost my motivation to go as hard as I could. 

That hit harder than I thought it would. 

Yes, I still run – although not as much as I’d like. It’s a love/hate relationship at the moment. Running Ragnar: Great River, was a real kick in the ass. I think it almost broke me to be honest. 

 I spent the rest of the summer on my bike – in fact, I spent most of my summer on the bike. I crossed over the 1,200 mile mark late in the year. Even then, I knew I could go harder and farther. 

So here we are. 2016. Five years since I began this little fitness journey. To date, I’ve run in 6 half-marathons, countless 5ks, ridden the MS150 twice, and of course, ran Ragnar: Great River. 

I think it’s time to set some new goals. 

  • Compete in my first triathlon, 
  • Run Goldy’s 10 miler,
  • Ride 2016 miles on my bike,
  • Complete five – century rides via bike (5×100 miles)
  • And maybe, just maybe, hit one more half-marathon. 

I’m also contemplating a long bike ride. Something like RAGBRAI, or the MS TRAM. Still wrapping my head around the saddle sores on that one. 

So here we go. It’s written in stone, and ON THE INTERNET, so it must be true. 

Hang in there. We all have our struggles. 

Hammer down. Let’s go. 


Have you seen this video?

I came across this video this afternoon and wanted to share it with you all.  As you’ve seen a few times on this blog, I love a quote that provides me with inspiration.  This is one of those times.

The video is called, “The Future is Ours” by Michael Marantz.  You can watch the embedded version below or over on on Vimeo.

If you need a little inspiration, take a minute and watch the video.

It’s important to pay attention to the future – always looking ahead.

One of my favorite quotes is from Walt Disney.  He said, “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

3 Words Revealed – 2016

For the most part, I am an open person.

I probably over share on social media and through this blog.  Whatever, it’s life.  If you don’t document it, where can your family look back on your life and find out who you really were?  What you believed in?

Each year, a great group of friends get together and discuss our 3 guiding words for the year.  These words replace your run of the mill “resolutions”.  Over the past three years that I have been participating in this, I have found that my focus on my goals have become much clearer.

In 2015, I had one of my best years from a 3 words or even resolution stand point.  Over the past year, it was really easy to focus my life around “Create, Outdoors, and Memories”.

I spent an incredible amount of time outside – exactly what I wanted to do.  Riding bike, kayaking, hiking, hanging out in the hammock, camping, running around with my boys and Angie.  All of that focus created memories that will last forever.  I spent that past year creating in a way that I didn’t expect.  I set out to spend that focus on photography.  While I did spend a good deal of time learning more and growing on that end, I spent more time creating those memories with the boys and Angie.  While it wasn’t my intention of the word, it did hold true.

For 2016, I spent a lot of time pouring over words that would fit.  Because of my experience last year, I honestly contemplated keeping the same words.  I even had a friend as recently as tonight say “You could use ‘Same Three Words” as your words for this year.  And while I seriously contemplated it, I thought that may be cheating the process a bit.


IMG_5268My first word for 2016 is Ride.  I spent so much time on the bike last year, that I can’t imagine life without riding.  The last time I felt this way, I was running a lot.  From April to the last parts of December, I put on over 1,200 miles on the bike.  I want to double that this summer and shoot for 2000+ miles.

I find a calmness while on the bike pounding out the miles. I can think about things and problem solve.  For me, this is extremely important.

Ride also describes the journey.  The journey that we call life.  You only get one go around at it, so you may as well have fun while doing it.  Don’t get so wrapped up in the day to day that you can’t see what lies ahead.  Enjoy the ride.


IMG_6589Webster’s Dictionary describes anchor as a person or thing that provides strength and support.  For me the anchors in my life are my family.  My boys and Angie.  Both keep me in line, and keep me on my toes.  They make me laugh every day and make life interesting, and fun – despite the occasional drama that brothers can bring to the table.

What are your anchors in life?  Your main blocks for living?



This was probably the easiest word for me this year.  When I look back at my notes when coming up with this year’s words, Peace was one of the first ones I wrote down.


I think this is pretty explanatory, but it covers quite a bit.  Too much anger in the world right now.  Look around, it’s true.  Turn on TV, it seems to be everywhere.

We all just need peace.

2016 will be about on peace.  Getting out to ride.  And most importantly, I want my anchors to keep me grounded.

Have you ever considered coming up with 3 guiding words for the year instead of focusing on resolutions?  If so, what are your 3?

Have a great new year.




It was time for a change, even though I am sad to see it go.

10683662_10152461258406232_7336570002355991977_oAt last night’s board meeting for the Hutchinson Photography Club, I notified the board members that I would be stepping down from my position as club president. The following is the letter that I gave to them at last night’s board meeting.  It wasn’t an easy decision by any means, but one that I thought I needed to take.

I remain a committed member of the club and an avid photographer, I just believe it is time for someone to take over the reigns of the club.


Fellow Board Members, and Club Members,

When I joined the Hutchinson Photography Club, I did it because I wanted to be a better photographer.  I wanted to hang out with people who also liked to take photographs.  That club was a small club, located in the basement of the local library.  I still remember going to meetings and being “shushed” because we were being a bit too loud for their liking.

Soon after joining the club, the Vice President decided to resign.  I sheepishly raised my hand and said I would do it, not really knowing what I was getting myself in to.

Initially, we set out to make the club a better place to be for photographers.  A place where we had speakers come in; where we went on field trips with each other, and had a more open, and inviting club to be a part of.  Within a couple of months, we had a new President as well.  Under that initial leadership, we decided to move in to the Hutchinson Center for the Arts.

We considered that a great first step.

Soon after, the president stepped down, and I stepped in to his place.

During my time as the President, we have made significant strides, as a board, in making this the club that we wanted it to be.  We’ve been on many field trips, have received grants for funding for our equipment, have fund raised, we’ve have brought in many educational speakers, and have grown the club significantly.  But the thing I’m proud of the most was our re-imagining of the November Showcase.  It has been great to see how it took off in the new Hutchinson Center for the Arts building. From just a blip on the radar, to now being one of the “must-do’s” on people’s calendars. I have to say, that’s pretty neat.

We’ve now started a new chapter with the 48 in 48 photo contest.  A state-wide photo contest that I believe is set up to be something that catapults us in to a new chapter of club history.  As we sit right now, I believe we are one of the best clubs in the state and we are certainly the most active.

We are where we are because of the fantastic people that I have had the pleasure of serving with on our board of directors.  I have been on the board for about 5 years, and during that time, we have really done some cool stuff.  To all of those I have served with, Janet Meier, Andrea Markworth, Barb Rieger, Julie Thompson, Kristine Leuze, Justin Baysinger, and Karlie Mosher – I couldn’t have done this without you.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of the hard work you have put in to making this club what it is today.  All of you are true rock stars in my book.

After long, careful consideration, I believe it is time for the Hutchinson Photography Club to have a new President – someone who will take us to the next level and continue to build on this fantastic club.  I have decided to resign as President of the club as of the March elections, unless a candidate steps forward sooner.

I have enjoyed every minute of being the President of the Club and will be sad to see it go.  I plan on remaining a member of the club and will help wherever I can.  I am proud of what we have accomplished together and can’t wait to see what happens next.