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Pioneer reporters Bethany Wesley, left, and Laurie Swenson have spent the past 15 months sticking to a walking regimen. Their experiences have become Trail Mix, a daily blog that chronicles their walking adventures. Pioneer Photo/Monte Draper

Trail Mix: Reporters double as bloggers while walking around Bemidji

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News Bemidji,Minnesota 56619 http://www.bemidjipioneer.com/sites/default/files/styles/square_300/public/fieldimages/1/0806/201005090509-laurie-bethany-bloggers.jpg?itok=Lbksmv68
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Trail Mix: Reporters double as bloggers while walking around Bemidji
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

We decided, more than a year ago, that we should try to get out and exercise a bit.

So we began walking in February 2009. During those early, very cold days, we talked about possibly starting a blog about our adventures. That idea eventually became Trail Mix, a daily blog launched in June 2009 that chronicles our excursions.

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Laurie came up with the name - Trail Mix - as we try to alternate voices: Laurie will write one day, then Bethany the next.

On Feb. 11, 2010, we celebrated our first "walkiversary" - and on June 10, we will celebrate our first year of blogging.

Interested in coming along? Find us online at areavoices.com/trailmix.

Bethany's thoughts

Honestly, I can't believe we lasted more than a week or two.

We started walking in February - who does that?! It was a very cold February, too. But, we stuck it out. There was just one day that the cold was too much to bear. We walked about two blocks before we turned back.

As I write this, I'm going through old Trail Mix blog entries and photos and I'm kind of astonished. I haven't lost a ton of weight, but man, was I large last summer!

Trail Mix has always been about trying to become healthier; we've never set out with the intention of writing a weight-loss diary. Instead, Trail Mix is kind of an ode to Bemidji and what you can see and the people you can meet. Mainly, it's about getting our rear ends off our chairs and taking advantage of the area in which we are blessed to live and work.

Laurie and I have been working together since I joined the Pioneer in June 2007, and while we knew each other and talked at work and such, we didn't really know each other too well.

Boy, has that changed!

Between the temperatures (anywhere from 20 below zero to above 100), getting lost (yes, this has happened: go online and find our Nov. 17 entry), getting lost again (Feb. 18), we've gotten to be close buds. We often find ourselves speaking at the same time and finishing each other's sentences. We've taken very memorable road trips together (Feb. 7), hung out with each others' relatives, and Laurie has even helped me move (April 20).

So if you're interested, come check on us and see how we're doing. We just might be looking for someone's lost keys (Oct. 27) or crashing a wedding (Aug. 6).

One warning: We love nature! We think it's pretty and love to talk about what we see. Just don't expect us to actually know the correct name of this plant or that bird!

Laurie's thoughts

Bethany may be surprised we lasted more than a week or two, but I give her the credit that we even started.

My suggestion of "We should go walking sometime" in the cold of February 2009 led to her response of something like "Sure! How about tomorrow?"

And that was that.

We've kept each other on track at times without saying a word - just knowing that the other one is expecting to walk is enough motivation on those days when we don't really feel like it. And even on those days, the walk often turns out to be one of the most pleasant parts of the day. We've had a quote of the day almost from the start, and we put up our first mystery photo July 28. This is for fun as much as it is for health and fitness.

Taking photos is one of the best things about our walks. Sometimes we take photos of each other, but we're pretty good about not using unflattering shots. Mostly, though, we shoot what we encounter along the way - birds, dogs, cats, trees, flowers, the day winter became a wonderland (Dec. 29), construction of the bike trail that converged on "our" dirt trail along Lake Bemidji (July 15, etc.), our occasional walks over the railroad bridge to Lake Irving (Nov. 9).

Our main route has been the dirt trail in nice weather and sidewalks in and around downtown in winter and on rainy days, but we've hit a lot of different spots and woven activities like tennis, swimming and kickboxing in with walking.

Sometimes we've had company. We took a walk on the south side of the lake with former co-worker Michelle (Nov. 12), went swimming in Lake Bemidji with current co-worker Anne (Sept. 1), taken my friend Jean-Luc on the trail (Nov. 25) and even brought Flat Stanley out for a walk on the lake (Feb. 25). We've also had Bethany's daughter, Lola, and my granddaughter, Jada, with us several times.

But mostly, it's the two of us, keeping up with each other, talking about work, family, fun, life, whatever, sometimes huffing and puffing while we do it, and often laughing. We're not usually silent.

There's nothing quite like disappearing from the rest of town to go walking along that beautiful lake on a trail carved long ago by the feet of others who walked before us.

Y lswenson@bemidjipioneer.com

Y bwesley@bemidjipioneer.com

We decided, more than a year ago, that we should try to get out and exercise a bit.

So we began walking in February 2009. During those early, very cold days, we talked about possibly starting a blog about our adventures. That idea eventually became Trail Mix, a daily blog launched in June 2009 that chronicles our excursions.

Laurie came up with the name - Trail Mix - as we try to alternate voices: Laurie will write one day, then Bethany the next.

On Feb. 11, 2010, we celebrated our first "walkiversary" - and on June 10, we will celebrate our first year of blogging.

Interested in coming along? Find us online at areavoices.com/trailmix.

Bethany's thoughts

Honestly, I can't believe we lasted more than a week or two.

We started walking in February - who does that?! It was a very cold February, too. But, we stuck it out. There was just one day that the cold was too much to bear. We walked about two blocks before we turned back.

As I write this, I'm going through old Trail Mix blog entries and photos and I'm kind of astonished. I haven't lost a ton of weight, but man, was I large last summer!

Trail Mix has always been about trying to become healthier; we've never set out with the intention of writing a weight-loss diary. Instead, Trail Mix is kind of an ode to Bemidji and what you can see and the people you can meet. Mainly, it's about getting our rear ends off our chairs and taking advantage of the area in which we are blessed to live and work.

Laurie and I have been working together since I joined the Pioneer in June 2007, and while we knew each other and talked at work and such, we didn't really know each other too well.

Boy, has that changed!

Between the temperatures (anywhere from 20 below zero to above 100), getting lost (yes, this has happened: go online and find our Nov. 17 entry), getting lost again (Feb. 18), we've gotten to be close buds. We often find ourselves speaking at the same time and finishing each other's sentences. We've taken very memorable road trips together (Feb. 7), hung out with each others' relatives, and Laurie has even helped me move (April 20).

So if you're interested, come check on us and see how we're doing. We just might be looking for someone's lost keys (Oct. 27) or crashing a wedding (Aug. 6).

One warning: We love nature! We think it's pretty and love to talk about what we see. Just don't expect us to actually know the correct name of this plant or that bird!

Laurie's thoughts

Bethany may be surprised we lasted more than a week or two, but I give her the credit that we even started.

My suggestion of "We should go walking sometime" in the cold of February 2009 led to her response of something like "Sure! How about tomorrow?"

And that was that.

We've kept each other on track at times without saying a word - just knowing that the other one is expecting to walk is enough motivation on those days when we don't really feel like it. And even on those days, the walk often turns out to be one of the most pleasant parts of the day. We've had a quote of the day almost from the start, and we put up our first mystery photo July 28. This is for fun as much as it is for health and fitness.

Taking photos is one of the best things about our walks. Sometimes we take photos of each other, but we're pretty good about not using unflattering shots. Mostly, though, we shoot what we encounter along the way - birds, dogs, cats, trees, flowers, the day winter became a wonderland (Dec. 29), construction of the bike trail that converged on "our" dirt trail along Lake Bemidji (July 15, etc.), our occasional walks over the railroad bridge to Lake Irving (Nov. 9).

Our main route has been the dirt trail in nice weather and sidewalks in and around downtown in winter and on rainy days, but we've hit a lot of different spots and woven activities like tennis, swimming and kickboxing in with walking.

Sometimes we've had company. We took a walk on the south side of the lake with former co-worker Michelle (Nov. 12), went swimming in Lake Bemidji with current co-worker Anne (Sept. 1), taken my friend Jean-Luc on the trail (Nov. 25) and even brought Flat Stanley out for a walk on the lake (Feb. 25). We've also had Bethany's daughter, Lola, and my granddaughter, Jada, with us several times.

But mostly, it's the two of us, keeping up with each other, talking about work, family, fun, life, whatever, sometimes huffing and puffing while we do it, and often laughing. We're not usually silent.

There's nothing quite like disappearing from the rest of town to go walking along that beautiful lake on a trail carved long ago by the feet of others who walked before us.

lswenson@bemidjipioneer.com

bwesley@bemidjipioneer.com

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Pioneer staff reports
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