Landslide of Fun
Where is the line between an enthusiastic pastime and an obsession? I have been on both sides with my bicycling. I will never forget about the first extreme mountain biking experience I had. My bicycling adventure began in mid-summer when some friends and I loaded our bicycles into a truck and headed to Red Wing, Minnesota, for the town celebration honoring the city's steamboat heritage. The ceremony was short and to the point, giving listeners some history, but not boring them.
After the end of the celebratory ceremony, my friends and I unloaded our bikes and decided to check out the Cannon Valley Trail, a bicycle/cross country skiing trail which passes through Red Wing on a portion of its twenty mile span. Bored with this after only a short while, we said goodbye to the level paved trail in search of more excitement. There are two hills near the banks of the mighty Mississippi, just outside city limits; seeing this, we set sail bearing East and North.
When we were equidistant from both Barn Bluff and Sorin Bluff, it was decision time. Deliberation was made easy by someone pointing out that there was an RV atop of Sorin Bluff. To us, this meant that it would be a very easy trek and that we may not be able to escape the ambient tarmac. Barn Bluff was the consensus, and it would prove to be far more exciting than any of us could have expected.
The base of Barn Bluff is marked by a sign and a rather large flight of wooden stairs. We dismounted, shouldered our cycles, and began our journey to the summit. At the top of the stairway was a map of the three conjoined trails hikers have to choose from. The weathered...