Day 80 – August 18, 2014
On Friday (Aug 15th) I ran with Jeanne, Julie and Michelle in Alexandria. This morning Michelle’s sister, Theresa, picked me up from my hotel at 9am in Minneapolis. Minneapolis was looking a bit shaky as far as hotel stays. Brent from Discover St. Louis Park was able to get me 3 complimentary stays in hotels, but all in different places. I stayed at the Double Tree last night, and was supposed to move to the Spring Hill Suites today, which is Monday, and then I don’t have another complimentary stay until Thursday. Apparently there is a lot going on in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and rooms are scarce and costly. We were very thankful for the rooms that were offered, but it is difficult for me, traveling alone and not being able to see, to move every single day. It gets to be a bit disorienting and frustrating. Then there is the problem of not having a place to stay Tuesday and Wednesday nights.
In my blog post on the 15th I posted that I really enjoyed the egg sandwich at Caribou Coffee in Alexandria, so Theresa suggested we go to a Caribou Coffee in Minneapolis. I tried two different egg sandwiches, I can’t remember which I preferred, both were winners. Guess I’ll have to go back again, to figure out which sandwich I liked better. I’m actually salivating right now thinking of those breakfast sandwiches. Good stuff. Oh, yeah, I guess I better get on with the rest of the blog.
Theresa said that because she does outside sales, her work hours are somewhat flexible. She had a few sales calls to make today, and she drove me to a track in a suburb of Minneapolis called St. Louis Park, because that is where my hotel stay is tonight.
What a gorgeous track it was. It was brand new with fresh white lines dividing the lanes. It was very easy for me to run on. As Theresa and I walked around the track, she said that several of the lanes were blocked off. “Three or four inside lanes?” I asked. “No, four of the outside lanes.” she replied. “Huh?” Generally if any lanes are blocked for use by the public at a running track they are the inside lanes, to protect them from over use and preserve their integrity for competition. I was curious to why the outside lanes were blocked off.
It turned out to be a thick cloth like material laying across those lanes, that had been folded over. If fully extended it would stretch across all the lanes to protect the surface of the track from football and soccer players cleats as they walked to the field in the center of the track.
There were a few women walking/running around the track, and Theresa went into full blown sales-pitch mode, telling them what I was doing as far as the run. Wow, did she sell them. All three women were immediately on board as far as being sighted running guides for me.
The plan for today was Theresa would pick me up from one hotel, get me fed and to a running track, then later pick me up, we would stop to get something to eat, and then she would bring me to the Spring Hill Suites in St. Louis Park. However, as Theresa and I continued walking around the track, she mentioned that she had a spare bedroom, and I was welcome to stay with her. Not wanting to be too much of a burden, I didn’t reply immediately to her offer. She mentioned that there was a high school with a running track right across the street from her home, and again she extended the offer. I hesitated, but she assured me it would not be a problem for her, so I accepted, and we drove to Champlin, where she lives. It took us about 45 minutes to get there, I didn’t know she drove so far, just to shuttle me to and from the track.
When we arrived she drove to the track by her house and said it looked like the gates were locked. We went into the High School and Theresa asked to see the principal. When he approached us, Theresa gave him her pitch about the run. That principal never had a chance. He was immediately on board, and said he would have the gates opened. He checked with the activity director to make sure there would be no conflict with any scheduled use of the track and my use. The activity director it would not be a problem, and said he would make sure I could access the track at 7:30 each morning during my stay. It would be locked at 4:30 each afternoon, however.
We went to Theresa’s house to fill my water bottles, then she brought me to the track and headed off to make her sales calls.
Theresa returned to the track before 4:30pm. She wanted to give me plenty of time to get settled into my new room and get acquainted with the lay out of her home. She made a very healthy and delicious dinner for us. She’s a great cook.
1433.68 total miles
$4983.00 total funds raised