2008 Western Adventure

 

Day 6 - June 25, 2008

It stormed most of the night, so I thought I'd be in for a wet day of riding.  Much to my surprise, it didn't rain one drop all day long, which is a blessing for those poor soles who have been pounded for the last few weeks.  So much is still under water, and I'm still seeing lots of sandbags.

My goal today is Minnesota, which should be an easy ride if I don't run into any complications.  Iowa is such a pretty place, but after a couple hundred miles of farm after farms, it seemed that I was on a carrousel  seeing the same scene time and time again.  I started to note the differences in each farm in order to break the monotony.  This farm has a blue Ford tractor and that farm has a green John Deer tractor.  It seemed that the farms used a wide variety of colors to paint their barns.........red, white, or about to fall down gray.  With all of those farms, and I didn't see very many farmers working their fields, or anything else.  I took a break for lunch at one of my favorite traveling eateries....Subway.  While there I decided to call Jay Hudson, one of my high school classmates, to update him on my progress.  I plan to stop and see him and his wife Barbara when I get to Ogden, Utah.  He is one of the best story tellers that I've ever run into.  In fact, just finished writing a book about his birding experiences.  The book is not so much about the birds, but about his personal experiences associated with each bird sighting.  I'm looking forward to meeting up with him in a couple of weeks.

When I crossed over to Minnesota something seemed different, even though the scenery was about the same.  I guess it had something to do with my being born in Minnesota and I was coming home.  I want to spend a little time in Minneapolis, where I was actually born and spent my formative years (til 9 years of age).  I have some many memories from my childhood, and I want to revisit a few of them.  The places we lived in, and the two schools that I attended.  Yes, they are still there.  I spent a lot of time in Minnehaha Park, which was just a few blocks away from both home that we lived in.  The Mississippi River where my cousin and I would sneak down to.  Neither on of us knew how to swim.  Not that it would have helped if we'd fallen in.  The current would have us in the next state by the time our parents found out what happened to us.  We used to climb the cliffs by Fort Snelling VA Hospital, which is located above the Mississippi River.  There was a cave about 3/4 of the way up the cliffs.  It was so neat, but neither of us ever told our parents, even after we had grown up.  That was our little secret.

I pulled into Rochester at about 6pm and decided to stay here for the night, rather than fight the traffic of the big city.  Rochester is only about 45 minutes from Minneapolis, so it will be a fairly quick ride in the morning if I can find my way around the heavy traffic areas.  I found a nice little mom and pop type motel, which is what I love.  Unfortunately, they are a disappearing breed.  My handy guide to the mom and pop motel's is www.motelguide.com.  Actually I spotted this hotel as I was driving into Rochester.  It's called "Best Price Motel".  Now there's a grabber for a guy on a budget.  It's clean, convenient, has wireless internet, and best of all it's $39.  There's a Perkins right across the street and I was craving one of their Reuben sandwiches with onion rings....yum.  After I ate, I set off to find a do-it-yourself car wash, which I finally found on the other side of town.  It did give me a chance to see a little bit of the city, which I like.  It's not terribly big, but has all of the amenities.

I've added the days photos and jotted down a few words, talked to my wife, all of the kids and three of our grandkids and now I'm ready for a good nights sleep.

    

   

 

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