During most every Tuesday meeting, a program is featured immediately
following the discussion of upcoming events and other announcements. Programs range from multimedia
presentations and informative discussions on topics such as past trips, wilderness preservation,
equipment demonstrations — to tips & techniques such as bicycle maintenance, backpacking
for beginners, how to hang a bear bag, wild flower identification, and other outdoors-related
If you would like to schedule a program/presentation or have ideas/requests for a future Rovers
program, contact Carissa M.
If you have any other questions about Minnesota Rovers, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Upcoming Programs & Presentations
- December 23: Boating up the Danube — Budapest to Nuremburg and Prague. A river cruise up the Danube — visiting towns along the way. Through the countries of Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, and Slovakia. Presented by John Elliott.
- December 30: How Not to Trek to Choquequirao. Thinking you would like to see amazing Inca ruins while visiting Peru but have either missed the boat on permits for the Classic Inca trail or don’t want to deal with the crowds? Choquequirao is just what you are looking for! Come see the presentation done by one hearty Rover who trekked the 64km trail in four days. Learn from her mistakes and see the photos that prove it was all worth it. Presented by Kim Kangas.
- January 13: Bicycling in Switzerland, Austria, and Germany. Learn about bicycling on Europe's vast network of signed bicycle trails in this presentation that will take you from Switzerland's Engadine Valley to Austria's Tyrol on the Inn River bicycle trail and through southern Germany on the Danube River bicycle trail, part of EuroVelo 6 from the Atlantic to the Black Sea. Presenters will bring their collection of Esterbauer guides, which make planning a trip easy. Presented by Beth Gauper and Torsten Muller.
- January 20: Our Adopted Wood Lot. Part of the mission of the Minnesota Rovers is to keep the places we play in beautiful! As one of a number of conservation activities, we have adopted part of a woodlot in Elm Creek Park Reserve. Come and hear how it started, why we chose that location, and what we hope to accomplish there. (Die, buckthorn, die!) Presented by Tom Harris.
- January 27: Whitewater Paddling in the Midwest? You betcha! Probably the two biggest reasons Minnesotans don’t try whitewater kayaking or canoeing are that they A: don’t think there is access to decent whitewater from MN, or B: don’t know where to go to learn the necessary skills. This presentation will have a little something for paddlers of all skill levels from the absolute newbie who has never been in a boat, to those with advanced rodeo or creek skills who would love to find new rivers to paddle. Learn about the differences between river running, playboating, and creeking; and different gear and skills needed for each. Enjoy a photo tour of of rivers with whitewater within one, two, four, six, ten, or fourteen hours of the Twin Cities. Last but not least, find out where you can learn how to whitewater kayak or canoe. Presented by Melissa Hirokawa.
- February 3: Tour de Mont Blanc: Hiking the French and Italian Alps. Come share our hiking experience hiking hut to hut for 6 days and 5 nights in the French, Swiss, and Italian Alps. September weather was great, packed about 15 lbs each and stayed in huts with showers, food service and beer on tap! Presented by Mike Hogan.
- February 17: Adventure Travel in SE Asia. In 2012 Steve spent seven weeks traveling in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia by planes, trains, boats and on foot. See photos of the beautiful landscapes, people, ancient ruins and temples. Learn how independent travel in SE Asia is easy, safe and inexpensive. Presented by Rover Steve Mueller.
- February 24: Natural Wonders of Bolivia! New Rover Andrea Prichard just spent 2.5 years living in Bolivia and took the opportunity to visit some of the most extreme landscapes on Earth. From the largest Salt Flat in the world to circumnavigating the highest volcano in the country (base at 14,000 ft) to the Amazon rainforest to dinosaur tracks to Lake Titicaca. While focused on natural beauty and trekking, there will be some fascinating cultural slides as well from her time among the Andean Aymara people. Presented by Andrea Prichard.
- March 31: America’s Greatest Adventure — A Thru Hike of the Appalachian Trail. It is a common dream to hike the Appalachian Trail (AT), and people come from all over the globe to hike it. Wally Miars ( A.K.A, Silver Streak) will discuss his experience on the AT. You will hear funny stories and learn interesting facts about hiking the world’s greatest trail. Silver Streak found out that hiking the Appalachian Trail is not about a walk in the woods. Come and learn what he found out it was all about. The old and young alike will enjoy hearing this story. Presented by Wally Miars.
- April 7: New Zealand by Bike. See and hear about the spectacular scenery of New Zealand's South Island as seen from a bicycle seat. Some have described the country as one big movie set with glaciers, old-growth rain forests, snow-capped mountains, waterfalls and wild ocean beaches at every turn. Presented by Sue Wittkop.
- April 14: Pannier Bike Tour. Six Rovers biked 400 miles along the Mississippi River Trail from Lake Itasca to St Paul. This is the initial segment of Route 45 of the US Bicycle Route System that runs all the way to New Orleans. This summer we plan to go downriver from St. Paul to Galena or Quincy, IL. Presented by David Byrne.
- April 21: Las Vegas’ Big Secret. Not how to beat the slots or the blackjack dealer, but how to find a wilderness hiking experience nearby. Less than an hour from the Vegas strip are the Spring Mountains with a lot of hiking trails and the highest peak, Mount Charleston, rising to 11,900 feet. This is a picturesque but harsh environment with a giant mummy and gnarly zombie trees! Presented by Jen Oberg and Barry Shillingford.
Past Programs & Presentations
The list below shows programs and presentations from past meetings. Use it as a reference for
programs you might be interested in presenting or suggesting.
- December 16: The USDA Forest Service — 50 Years of the Wilderness Act and How You Can Get Involved in Urban Connections. The federal Wilderness Act just celebrated its 50th anniversary — come learn why wilderness is important and the impact of this Act in Minnesota. Teri Heyer is the Urban Connections coordinator for the US Forest Service in Minnesota and will also share highlights about the Forest Service and the Urban Connections program. Presented by T. Heyer.
- December 9: Exploring beautiful Norway. In May 2014, for over 11 days two Rovers visited farm country near Gjøvik and took a train north of the Arctic Circle and explored Bodø. Find out where the strongest tidal current in the world is and where the sun never sets. Presented by Jen Oberg and Barry Shillingford
- December 2: Canoeing the Kazan River in Canada's Nunavut. A three-week canoe trip in August 2004 on the Kazan River in Canada’s Nunavut, west of Hudson Bay in the largest wild place remaining in North America . Presented by Jim Peterson.
- November 25: Cycle for Change. A representative from local bike shop Cycles for Change explains their impact on the community through volunteering, bike maintenance and instruction programs. Learn about their vision for a bike friendly neighborhood as well as empowerment for individuals through safety and connection.
- November 18: The Sunniest Place in Minnesota. Dan and Len will explain a project that they completed with GIS Master’s Program students at the U of M. They will go over interesting tools and facts regarding solar potential and in Minnesota. They will share the Solar Dream Team’s accomplishments in 3-D aerial mapping, solar technology, and coding. As well as how this project has aided in climate research natural resource management in MN. Presented by Dan Thiede of the U’s Clean Energy Resource Team and Len Kne, associate director of U-spatial
- November 11: New Zealand in Two Weeks. View the stunning scenery from a 14-day sojourn to the Islands of New Zealand. From glaciers to fjords, and beaches to mountains, the scenery is as diverse as it is breathtaking. Join Dori for kayaking, hiking, paragliding, and exploring the land of the Kiwis. Presented by Dori Hietala. (Bunge jumping not included).
- November 4: Modern Day Foraging. Have you ever wondered how to forage for food in the wild and to properly identify edible plants? Come to learn about a local non profit that provides foraging workshops, community meals and foodshares in Mn. Presented by Maria Wesserle of the North Country Food Alliance
- October 28: Hiking & Exploring in Colorado's Front Range. In September of 2010, two Rovers traveled to Colorado to hike in the Mt Evans Wilderness and to the top of Grays Peak (14,270 feet). High winds from a gulf coast hurricane & closed roads from a land slide drove them to explore a different area of Colorado which included flint stone like rocks, the Florissant Fossil Beds and the Garden of the Gods near Colorado Springs. Presented by Christy James
- October 21: The Gunflint Mail Run Sled Dog Race. Come and learn about the history of sled dogs in Cook County and The Gunflint Mail Run Sled Dog Race. The Gunflint Mail Run is a continuous sled dog race with two legs of approximately 50 miles each and a mandatory layover. It will be held in Cook County, Minnesota on January 3rd and 4th, 2015. Presented by Ann Papenfuss.
- October 14: Birds and the Urban Environment. Learn about efforts to make our urban environment better and safer for birds (Think: Vikings Stadium). Joanna Eckles is Bird-friendly Communities Manager for Audubon Minnesota. A lifelong birder, she studied Wildlife Science at Cornell University and Conservation Biology at the University of Minnesota and she has worked with a variety of wild and captive birds. Presented by Joanna Eckles
- October 7: Peru Part I. In May 2014 Mike visited the ruins of the Inca Empire near Cuzco including a four-day hike to Machu Picchu. View photos and hear an overall review of the trip as well as comments on the uniqueness of the ancient culture and its demise as well as its continuing influence. Presented by Mike Sweet.
- September 30: Sierra Backpacking Trip. Sierra backpacking in Ansel Adams Wilderness Sep 2013. 11 Rovers spent a week in the Ritter Range last September. Bear sightings, wildfire smoke, and spectacular scenery near Mammoth and Yosemite Park. Beautiful mountains and lakes with Ediza Lake highlights - come see my favorite backpacking area in the Sierra Presented by Mike Hogan.
- September 23: Celebration of Founding Rovers Trips. Rudi Hargesheimer, known in his 1969–1980 Rovers years as "Randy" will share stories and photos from those days. The club created his active outdoor lifestyle which today finds him as a manager at Midwest Mountaineering and owner of www.northshorephotoart.com. Fun trips caving, backpacking, climbing, skiing, and trail clearing to great places with great people: Canada, Panama, Alaska, Mexico, Peru, all over the USA. Lots of smiling faces of trip participants included. In the early 70's Rudi was elected President of the University of Minnesota Rovers. He later became President of the Superior Hiking Trail Association and was for twelve years a key board member of the Parks and Trails Council of Minnesota. Friends and mentors featured by Rudi include: Ed Solstad, Cheryl Soshnik, Andy Knapp, Paul Scobie, Matt Kerr, Dave Thersleff, Bob Hanson, Paul Martin, Rich Swenson, Geoff Harrison, Terry Grier, Bill Thompson, DJ Jonas, Bruce Center, and a whole lot more … some of whom are still active Rovers today. This show will be about OUR stories. Presented by Rudi Hargesheimer
- September 16: 400 Years of Fire and Wind in the BWCAW. Explore the ecology of large-scale fires and windstorms, how they interact with tree species to determine the composition of forests, how the forest has changed over the last four centuries, and likely changes in the next century. Presented by Lee Frelich, professor of forest ecology at the U of M. Note: We've changed the time and are moving inside for the fall/winter months — meeting location is at 7:00 p.m. at Macalester starting 9/16.
- September 9: Fall Intro Show. Featuring a digital slide show set to music and club representatives available to answer questions about the club. This is a great way to find out more about Minnesota Rovers, all the activities, and the people. Held at the Bloomington REI. Check the Special Events page for more details.
- September 2: End of Summer Gear Swap. Gear geeks unite! Bring over some gear to Como Park for swap or sale. Feel free to simply show up to chat with our experts regarding outdoor gear!
- August 26: Como Park Hang Out. There will be no formal presentation after the meeting today so feel free to bring a frisbee or bocce set and we'll hang out for a bit in the park and then go to the Ol' Mexico for more socializing!
- August 19: Gear Share Show & Tell. Show off your favorite innovative piece of gear! Dont wait for the camping trip with an audience of three people, bring it to the Gear Share Show & Tell and show and tell us about that one thing you use at camp or in your active activities, that you found in your gandmother’s basement or at a garage sale (or where ever...). It could be home-made, a rare find, or something we use in everyday life. Come to just learn and come to share. Dont be shy, there is always something new to learn for everyone. Moderated by Kathy Litt.
- August 12: Discussion by Rod Johnson (Owner/Founder of Midwest Mountaineering). In Celebration of the Rover's Club 60th anniversary, come hear one of the club’s past members that has made a large impact on the outdoor adventure world. Rod Johnson will tell us a bit of his life story including how the Rovers Club influenced him. Before he opened a storefront, he would go to Rovers meetings with a backpack full of gear to sell. His mission is getting people active outdoors. This should be an interesting discussion with time for Q&A afterwards.
- August 5: Wildlife Encounters on Michigan's beautiful Isle Royale. Presented by Liz Dengate of Inner City Outings
- July 29: Backcountry Cook-off. Celebrate our summer with a cook-off in the park! Show off an old favorite, or try an interesting new recipe before you take it out on the trail. Recipes should be suitable for backpacking, take 20 minutes or fewer to prepare, and be able to be made using a single burner stove. We’ll need lots of nummy entries, so we hope you’ll consider entering! If you don't plan to enter the cook-off, we’ll also need tasters to bring their plates/bowls and utensils to sample the goodies, find some new meal ideas for their next Rovers trip, and to vote for their favorite entry! Contact Stacey by July 22 to participate in the cookoff.
- July 22: Dragonflies and Damselflies (known collectively as the Odonata). There are 105 known species of dragonfly and 41 known damselfly species that can be found throughout Minnesota. During this interactive program, participants will receive an introduction to the ecology, natural history and identification of dragonflies and damselflies. Participants will also observe, attempt to catch (with a net) and identify these fascinating and beautiful insects species. Presented by Angela Isackson.
- July 15: Urban Boatbuilders Building Youth, One Boat at a Time. Come and hear about the adventure thousands of Twin Cities youth have taken, building a wooden boat with Urban Boatbuilders! They start with a pile of boards, and at the end, wind up with a lot more than a functional boat — they are more confident, more capable people, transformed by a tangible success. See pictures and hear stories of: BWCA trips in apprentice-built ultralight canoes, floating classrooms on the St. Croix River, a 22-foot, 10-person Umiak built in 8 days, a solar electric cruiser that holds six...built by incarcerated youth. Presented by: Phil Winger, Urban Boatbuilders Program Manager.
- July 8: Share Your Favorite S'more. It seems that every time I am with a new group of people around a campfire, stories of different things people have used for "S'mores" comes up. I invite you to bring those stories and/or the makings of the storied S'mores to this meeting. (really it's just an excuse to eat sugar and talk with folks) Please feel free to bring enough to demonstrate and share with the group! Presented by Brian B.
- July 1: Learn Some Yoga to Help Enable your Outdoor Adventures. Have you ever wondered whether yoga might be of value to you? Come take a short beginners class on yoga by Dee James (Registered Yoga Teacher) and find out. Dee will explain the benefits of yoga and then teach you some of the simpler yoga poses that help with flexibility, balance, and strengthening. This should be a fun program but please do bring a mat (or blanket if you don't have a mat) that you can do your yoga poses on. Even those of you with Yoga experience should come to help out others or get a little stretch in. Presented by Dee James.
- June 24: Como Park Scavenger Hunt. Welcome players, you are about to embark on an epic adventure through Como park. For this hunt, you'll need your most powerful weapon, the one between your ears. Help your team follow the clues to be the winner of the challenge. Presented by Megan C.
- June 17: Camping Foods Demonstration & Lecture. "Your house not Mountain House" — an introduction on using readily available products from the grocery store and a food dehydrator to create your own lightweight camping and backpacking foods. Packaging, storing and reconstituting the foods will be covered with samples available for tasting. Presented by Rich Hunt.
- June 10: Backpacking 101. Some seeking solitude like to get off the beaten path and into the backcountry. Others prefer the camaraderie of group trips. Either way, backpacking gives you access to some of the best remote viewpoints Mother Nature has to offer. Whether you are a first time backpacker or interested in refreshing your skills, come and join us for Backpacking 101. Paul Jensen, Camping & Backpacking Specialist from Midwest Mountaineering, will be sharing techniques about trip planning, safety, selecting gear, and how to leave the backcountry just the way you found it.
- June 3: Comparing Water Treatment Products for the Backcountry. Try the water treatment taste test, and learn about the latest products available for making water drinkable from REI. Presented by Chris F.
- May 27: Trailside Flat Repair. Flat bike tires can ruin a beautiful ride, if you don't remember how to fix them. Join us for a demonstration on how to repair a flat, and be back on the road in no time. Bring a wheel and your toolkit if you want to practice, before you actually need to know! Presented by Tom H.
- May 20: Unicycling. The Twin Cities Unicycle Club is the largest and oldest unicycle club in Minnesota with over 200 unicyclists. A representative will join us for a demonstration of how to ride a unicycle. Try riding one too if you like!
- May 13: Gear Swap. Quality Gear from people who know their stuff Got Gear? Spring cleaning? Unused gear cluttering your house? Sell it at the Swap! Need Gear? Trying a new sport? Looking for advice? Find it at the Swap! Set up starts at 6:30 p.m. Open to the public, feel free to bring friends and family.
- May 6: Spring Intro Show. Featuring a digital slide show set to music and club representatives available to answer questions about the club. This is a great way to find out more about Minnesota Rovers, all the activities, and the people. Held at the Bloomington REI. Check the Special Events page for more details.
- April 29: DownStream/Upstream. A Journey Through the Urban Water Cycle documents a two-week journey that 39 kids, ages 4-6, took to explore the infrastructure of water. On exhibit are the photographs, artists' books, maps, and diagrams that illustrate their exploration of the urban water cycle starting from a classroom sink to the Mississippi River — upstream and downstream. Jonee Kulman Brigham led a structured and creative collaborative project that allowed children to explore cultural narratives and issues of sustainability related to the flow of water. Joni Kulman Brigham.
- April 22: Shark Week. A journey into the depths. Over six years of scuba travels depicted in spectacular video and underwater photographic form . It will cover diving in the waters of the island of Bonaire, the shark waters of Honduras, the world class drift diving of Cozumel. Plus, surprise locations and a brief introduction to underwater photography. Presented by Chad Hopp.
- April 15: South India. This presentation is a look at life in rural India in the southernmost states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. These are some of the quietest, slowest, yet most hospitable areas of India. Explore towns and villages, mountains and plains, temples and churches. Presented by Ted Ulrich.
- April 8: MN Children and Nature Connection. When children spend time playing and learning in nature, they reap physical, emotional, social, cognitive and academic benefits. Dr Cathy Jordan will discuss what we know about these benefits based on research. She will also present information about the Mn Children and Nature Connection, a coalition of professionals passionate about reversing the trend toward the disconnection between children and their natural surroundings. Presented by Dr. Cathy Jordan Director of the University of Minnesota Extension’s Children, Youth and Family Consortium and member and former chair of the MN Children and Nature Connection.
- April 1: Landscaping With Native Plants. “If suburbia were landscaped with meadows, prairies, thickets, ... then the water would sparkle, fish would be good to eat again, birds would sing and human spirits would soar.” – Lorrie Otto
A short presentation on the benefits of replacing your non-native plants and grasses with natives. Marilynn will also talk briefly about a non profit organization that she volunteers for, Wild Ones: Native Plants, Natural Landscapes. Our mission is to teach, and change the practice of gardening in our communities and around the country to using native plants. Presented by Marilynn Torkelson.
- March 25: Hiking the Wonderland Trail. The Wonderland Trail completely encircles Mt. Rainer in Mt. Rainier National Park. View the journey through the eyes of backpacker who hiked it in 1988 and again in 2013. Learn tips and tricks for getting a permit in the lottery, where to cache food, the best campsites, etc. Presented by Nadine S.
- March 18: Winter in the BWCA. A presentation and photo slideshow of winter camping in the BWCA. Three of us spent four days and three nights pulling sleds with our camping gear over the lakes and portages this last January. After driving down the Gunflint Trail to Round Lake we entered the wilderness at entry point 51. Learn a few things on what it takes to have a fun winter camping trip. Also I'll throw together a collection of photographs from previous winter camping trips that I have taken over the years. Presented by Jim Brekke.
- March 11: Adventures in Southern Africa. Ever wonder what it would be like to spend a month camping in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe; from Cape Town to Victoria Falls? See what it's like to go from the Cape of Good Hope; to temps of 125 degrees in the Namib desert; to wild game reserves and rain forests. Come hear all about it so you can make plans to do it too! Presented by Karen Nikolai.
- March 4: The "Loon" Line. Ever wonder what the Loon on your Minnesota tax return is all about? Wonder why you should give up some of your refund? Now you can find out! Carrol Henderson will be joining us from the DNR to talk about the Non-game Wildlife Program; what it benefits, and why you may want to give it a second look when you file your taxes.
- February 25: Fun in the Sand. Deserts were made for playing in! A short presentation on climbing, hiking and mountain biking in the Sonoran Desert. Blue skies and sunshine, three-hundred-sixty days of every year; truly. Grab your canteen/Camelback for a virtual vacation on Tuesday night, guaranteed to melt your ice dams. Presented by Holly Bayer.
- Feb 18: Touring England. From the Cotswolds to Southwark, Warwick, Dartmoor, Oxford, Savernake Forest, Penzance, and finally to Lands End! Rambling, driving, punting & pubbing our way around England. Learn about best time, best places, and best way to tour England. Presented by Jen Oberg & Barry Shillingford.
- February 11: Annual Meeting. Before the program (below); vote in the 2014 Board of Directors.
- February 11: Pukaskwa Coastal Trail in Ontario. The 60 kilometer long Pukaskwa Coastal Trail parallels the Lake Superior Coast in Canada. Find out why this rugged wilderness trail will challenge a novice and expert alike, and why the incredible scenery makes this trek so rewarding. Plus tips on light weight backpacking, water taxi and fees. Presented by Martin (Mr. Kek) Kubik, founder of the BWA Committee.
- February 4: Hiking the Columbia Gorge. Travel with a group of Rovers through the beautiful Columbia River Gorge and the Mount Hood National Forest. It was a 5 day trip in August with many scenic views of the amazing geography plus trees and flowers. Presented by Jim Hoeppner.
- January 28: Invasive Species: What are they and what’s the big deal? Invasive species are entirely a human-made phenomenon. Zebra mussels, buckthorn, garlic mustard, Asian carp, emerald ash borer, and gypsy moths are invasive species that have become household names these days as the media pleads with the public to help stop their spread. In the U.S., about 3 million acres are lost to invasive plants each year (twice the area of Delaware). Invasive species, if left unchecked, will limit many uses on lands now and for future generations. Now is the time to act to reduce the threat of invasive species in our region. Will you join the front lines of our defense team? Presented by Angela Isackson.
- January 21: Biking the MRT. The Mississippi River Trail is a bike route from Lake Itasca to New Orleans. I biked the MRT from St Paul to New Orleans in November. Slides and Show & Tell of the gear I use for lightweight long-distance bike touring. Presented by David Byrne.
- January 14: Touring Europe by Bicycle. Join us for an evening to discuss traveling by bike in Europe. Veteran Italian bicycle tour guide and world traveler, Cristina Taioli will present a photo slideshow presentation, a discussion sharing travel stories, and dreaming about her cycling adventures in Europe and South America!
- January 7: Lebanon Hills — Jewel of the South Metro. Learn about recreational opportunities at the park voted City Pages Best Hike — 2013 and Star Tribune's Best of MN — Best Regional Park 2013. It is a place where you can get a real sense of wildness right in the heart of the Twin Cities. Also learn something of the history of the park and what its future may hold with the release of the proposed new Lebanon Hills Regional Park Development Master Plan. Presented by Holly Jenkins & Barry Shillingford.