I did this walk primarily to be able to mark off Brown County in my Minnesota county book. Looking in my Minnesota geographic name book, I find Brown County is named for Joseph Renshaw Brown, called a prominent pioneer in this area. The story is that Brown ran away from an apprenticeship in Pennsylvania and arrived in Minnesota at Fort Snelling-- at the age of 14 years! What an adventure for a boy of this age. He developed the ability to speak Dakota fluently, became a journalist, and the list continues through attributes such as lumberman, legislator, and newspaper editor.
Springfield started out being called Burns, but at the time of its incorporation the name was changed to Springfield. Two stories are attached to this. One is that it was named after Springfield, Massachusetts, the other that it was named for a water spring. A great feature of this walk are trails along the Big Cottonwood River. Logically enough the river carries this name because of having cottonwood trees along its banks.
The walk started at a Microtel Motel. The attendant at the desk didn't know anything about a "walk box," so she suggested I wait a couple of minutes for Ben. When Ben appeared he knew exactly where it was under a desk and escorted me to the breakfast room in the motel so that I could do my paperwork for the walk. When I returned the box to the desk, Ben said, "Now don't get lost!"
The walk started out through a bit of a residential area that didn't have a great deal of interest. At this point I was trying to decide why this walk for Brown County had been located in Springfield. Soon I got into the business area of this small town, present population around 2150. I saw a sign for a meat market.
Across the street was a mural.
I continued on the circle trail through Riverview Park, just a lovely walk.
The route map directed me to cross the river and then immediately turn left and walk a trail on the other side of the river.
On one side of the trail is first a prairie and then a corn field.
I got around to a place on the map where a pond was indicated, but didn't see any pond. I kept walking and then around a grove a trees there it was.
Soon I was at a place where I had to make a decision between 5 K and 10K. Well first it was lunch time and I was hungry and it didn't appear there was much chance to get lunch in Springfield, and secondly, it looked as if I had walked the very best of the route and the rest would simply be for distance. So I headed back towards Central Street.
A walk through another residential area brought me to a group of brick homes.
The horrible weather we've had has delayed all plants and flowers this year. Below is the first peony I've seen. Peonies are high on my favorite flower list and I was glad to see one.