We quickly discovered that Park Blast not only got people outdoors. It crafted the most exquisite stories of those moments we hold forever in our minds and hearts, and I was one of the lucky ones who heard some of these stories. One of my favorites comes from Erin Pluimer, who is no stranger to the outdoor adventures.
My name is Erin and my husband, Enik, and I are originally from Milaca. My love for hiking began when our family got a golden retriever while I was in high school. I loved taking our dog Haley to the Milaca Hiking Trails near the Rum River. Enik and I were good friends beginning in middle school and often hung out together. We did not start dating until after we graduated in 1997. Much of our dates included outdoor activities such as biking, hiking, rollerblading, cross country skiing, and camping.
Erin & Enik used their passion for the outdoors to create action with their family.
While our kids were young, we enjoyed GeoCaching. They would have a blast holding the GPS and being led to countless containers of swag. They loved opening the cache, dumping it out and trading while my husband would sign the log book and I kept a lookout for muggles. We discovered so many unique places in MN that we would have never known about before!
We participated in the Park Escape at Wildwood/Kraemer Lake over MEA weekend. The Escape was a lot more challenging than we had expected, and the park was a beautiful backdrop to a fun family adventure. When I saw the Park Blast advertised, I knew it would be another great opportunity to get outside, log several thousand steps and a chance to find clues to some great prizes from local businesses.
My favorite story from Erin...Date Night
I'll admit that I'm not a huge fan of winter so I sent my husband, Enik, off to Mississippi County Park on his fat bike with the first clue. He found a few codes that evening and sent me pictures. A few days later, he and our 13-year-old daughter, Allie, went cross country skiing and came back empty handed. The second set of clues were sent shortly before Valentine's Day and Enik and I decided to go out for an evening hike. We had headlamps and flashlights and hit the trail. It was a calm evening and it was so fun to try to search the trails. We were nearing the end of our date and had not found a clue yet. We were feeling a little bummed and sure enough, Enik spotted a clue stapled to the back of a tree. It was so exciting to find one, I didn't even care what the prize was!
Recruiting Extended Family to Hike
The following week we invited by brother-in-law, my 6-year-old niece and their yellow lab, Kobe, to join us. It was so fun to see the excitement of my niece when she found her first code. We won a lot of amazing prizes. Our favorites include a homemade Yard Jenga that we plan to bring to our cabin this Spring. We also won tickets to the Irish band "We Banjo 3" at the Paramount Theater. We had an amazing time at the concert and have been listening to their music ever since!
How Park Blast Ignited the Fire Within...
Park Blast provided us a chance to not only win some great things generously donated by local businesses, but a renewed love for the Great Outdoors. I think we're so fortunate to live in Central MN where there are so many wonderful gems waiting to be discovered! Thanks again HIKEhoppers! We look forward to registering our younger son for summer camps you'll be offering this summer. We also look forward to more adventures with you!