Superb Padded Floor at On The Run, Ham Lake MN


> See more details about On The Run Canine Center

Never would I have believed that a padded floor could be close to turf regarding its positive effects on joints, but as the saying goes, never say never. The agility facility at On The Run Canine Center in Ham Lake MN proved me wrong when my dogs and I experienced running on their Comfort King foam mat floor. Its anti-fatigue and shock resistant properties are the best I’ve experienced on any mat, and I like it better than some turf floors.


New directions

Until now, this blog has focused on agility trial locations and businesses near those locations, such as restaurants, hotels, and fun places for dogs. It generally runs a week behind when I’m on the road because adding things to the back end of the site take so much time. It also doesn’t really cover what I’m going through, which may or may not be of interest to you agility peeps, but nonetheless are part of the journey. The above image gives a clue.


The Kettle offers home cooked goodness

Large sign for The Kettle Family Restaurant in Clearwater Minnesota> See more local restaurants near St. Cloud/Clearwater MN

My last stop in Clearwater MN after trialing at the CACM agility trial  and staying at the St. Cloud/Clearwater RV Park was to have lunch at The Kettle Family Restaurant. They have a tall, highly visible sign, one where the message can be changed letter by letter. Quite pricey for a family restaurant. But they do have to compete with Nelson Bros. a few doors down, which must be no easy task.


Family friendly, sparkling clean St Cloud/Clearwater RV Park

Welcome sign for St. Cloud/Clearwater RV Park

> See more dog friendly campgrounds near St. Cloud/Clearwater MN

After trialing at CACM’s agility trial in St. Cloud, MN, the dogs and I camped for several days at the St. Cloud/Clearwater RV Park at 2454 County Road 143 in Clearwater MN. The park is located between St. Cloud and Clearwater, thus its name.

Camping at the RV Park was a refreshing experience for me compared to some other campgrounds on our nationwide trial expedition. The family friendly park has numerous shade trees, spacious sites, a camp store, new salt water pool, mini-golf, game room, and more.


Riverside Park in Clearwater MN offers canine fun!

Sign above picnic shelter at Riverside Park, Clearwater MN

> See more places for dog fun near St. Cloud / Clearwater MN

When the dogs and I are on the road competing, it’s always a treat to find a place where they can swim in the down time between one weekend trial and the next. They got their wish after competing at the agility trial in St. Cloud, MN and before our next trial at Ham Lake. We ventured into Clearwater, about a mile from where we camping  at the St. Cloud / Clearwater Campground, and noticed a small river with a nice park alongside called Riverside Park. Some kids were swimming, so we stopped to check it out. The rules did not say anything about prohibiting dogs from swimming …


Nice complex, bad experience at Nelson Bros’ Restaurant, Clearwater MN

Sign for Nelson Bros Restaurant and Bakery in Clearwater MN

> See more local restaurants near Clearwater/St. Cloud Minnesota

From searches on the Internet to recommendations by new friends at the CACM Agility Trial in St. Cloud, it was clear that a must-go-to restaurant in the area was Nelson Bros’ Restaurant & Bakery in the Clearwater Travel Plaza. The complex includes a sit-down restaurant, pub, bakery, food court, and gift shop that all operate separately.


CACM St. Cloud MN Agility Trial: Unique location, jumps, club

CACM outdoor agility ring> See more pictures and details about CACM training and trial grounds

The Canine Agility of Central Minnesota club (CACM) surprised me at their outdoor agility trial held at 6305 Glenn Carlson Dr., St. Cloud, MN.on June 17-18, 2017. Expecting to find temporary fencing, typical equipment, and a bumpy running surface, this trial provided quite the opposite.


Carl Spindler Campground in East Peoria, IL Picturesque, but …

Roadsign sign for Carl Spindler Marina & CampgroundMore dog friendly campgrounds near Pekin IL

Along the banks of the Illinois River at 3703 N. Main Street (access road #7) in East Peoria is the Fondulac Park District-managed Carl Spindler Marina and Campground. The campground offers 52 paved sites with 50-amp electric and varying combinations of water or sewer hookups. They also offer 26 primitive sites with electricity, and 3 cabin rentals.


Happy Tails Waggin’ at Dog Park in Pekin, IL

More details on parks, trails and off leash areas in Pekin IL

There are dog parks, and then there are better dog parks. Happy Tails Dog Park at 1701 Court St. in Pekin IL, a few miles from a recent dog agility trial at Avanti’s Dome, is one of the better ones. It is spacious, grassy, has fresh water stations throughout, and contains several growing shade trees in both the small and large dog areas. My dogs loved running in this park, despite the very hot day.