For my birthday last fall, my best pal, Jeanne, invited me to Duluth to hike and attend a special concert at the University of Minnesota Duluth in honor of her parents, Ron and Maryanne Weber. The Webers gave money to build the Weber Music Hall on campus and also created an endowment that provides music scholarships to 20 UMD students each year. Sadly, both Ron and Maryanne passed away within six months of each other in 2013. It was a tough year for Jeanne and me!
I met Jeanne the first day of seventh grade. I saw her in the hallway wearing a cool dress. She was really pretty. Still is! My seventh-grade brain told me that this girl was going to be popular so I better become her friend. We soon organized a sleepover and
discovered we both loved art, reading, dancing to American Bandstand and boys! In high school, I slept over at her house almost every Friday night. Together we survived two Outward Bound adventures, canoe and camping trips, hitchhiking around Minnesota
and art school. We also started a business making fringed leather hippy bags and sold them to head shops around town. We ruined a couple sewing machines on that venture.
Lester River Park Trail
Before the concert (which was fantastic, by the way), we hiked Lester River Park Trail. With so many hiking trails in Duluth, it was hard to pick just one. But we settled on Lester River because of my good memories of skiing there while a student at UMD.
The trail was easy, soft and well-worn with some great spots to view the river. It was a little rainy and cold, but the thick tree canopy shielded us. I don’t remember much of the hike because when Jeanne and I get together, we never stop talking. All was right with the world because I was in Duluth with my best buddy — and I could breathe again.
After a couple of full days in Duluth, we drove to the Weber’s cabin on the Brule River. We hiked the beautiful Fisherman’s Trail right outside the cabin’s door. Much of the trail is on the Weber’s land as it follows the Brule River. Ron was a famous fisherman who brought Rappala lures to America.
After the hike, I had to get home to see what Barry was up to. I was sorry to leave, but I think Jeanne’s husband, David, had about enough of the two of us talking non-stop.
On the way home, I had a big decision to make concerning Barry’s and my upcoming birthday weekend with our kids up to Lutsen.
For more information to go: http://www.duluthmn.gov/parks/lesterparktrail.cfm