I’m sitting here in the RV in St Paul, Minnesota. I’ve got the A/C going full blast and it’s pouring rain outside. Seriously pouring. Like torrential. Thunder and lightning too – it’s crazy. I’m waiting for my friends Renee and Matt to get home – I’ll be spending the next couple of days posted up here before Renee and I head to Green Bay on Thursday. And while I’d love to stay in their amazing home, they have four cats. And I have Juno. And a horrible allergy to cats. So I will happily sleep in the MoHo and use their bathroom and laundry facilities!
The last couple of days have been fairly quiet. I had to work extra hard to get the “Welcome to Minnesota” sign. As it turned out, while I was running errands in Fargo, I unwittingly crossed the border. So when I got on I-94, I was already coming up on Exit 1B. Not okay. I exited the freeway, got back on I-94 heading west, drove a few miles, got off the freeway, and then got back on I-94 heading east. Sigh. But I got the picture so it was worth it.
I cruised up to Bemidji for the weekend. Bemidji itself can be seen in about 30 minutes. There’s the lake, the Paul Bunyan statue and a killer ice cream shop called Big River Scoop ice cream where I got a “Kitty Kitty Bang Bang” milkshake. Cheesecake, oreo, raspberry ripple – enough said. I’ve come to realize this trip is all about drinking milkshakes from local ice cream shops. And also eating homemade fudge. I just need more squeakers (cheese curds) and my diet will be complete.
After some internal debate, I decided to visit Voyageurs National Park. Because why not? Voyageurs is one of the few parks that is best seen by boat so I booked a 2 1/2 hour Grand Tour of Rainy Lake. We visited Little America Island which had an old gold mining operation (complete with old mining shafts and mining equipment) and spent the rest of the time just enjoying the scenery and looking for wildlife. Saw loons, bald eagles, one frog and a beaver lodge. The wide angle shot of the lake – the land on the far side of the lake would be Ontario, Canada. I’d definitely like to go back and spend more time there – but I’d want to do it on a houseboat like the one in the lower right hand corner. It’s got a slide??!?!?!!!?
Most of yesterday was spent in Park Rapids – Juno had a grooming appointment (he looks so handsome) and I booked a massage. While this trip has exceeding my expectations in so many ways, the one downside has been how all the driving has impacted my body. The massage therapist spent the entire hour doing deep tissue work on my glutes (at my request) and it was one of the most painful experiences ever. I wish I had had a wooden spoon or a leather strap to bite down on. I got off the table and was woozy for a good two hours afterward. I’m still in some pain and am trying to figure out how long distance truckers are able to do this. Clearly I’m going to need to book more regular massages… the upside was I had a hotel booked last night (only the second time in six weeks!) so I was able to sit in the tub. And cry. No, I didn’t really cry.
Pretty much caught up now. Got to St. Paul earlier today and discovered the capital building is under renovation. Bummer. But Juno and I still took a lengthy stroll around the grounds and enjoyed the various monuments. From there, I met up with an old friend/former colleague Tom and we ate lunch, took a walk, saw that F. Scott Fitzgerald’s house is for sale (www.spacecrafting.com/f145f), I had another milkshake and then ended up getting Gin ‘n Tonics at a local St Paul establishment. We forgot to take a picture but maybe I’ll see him again…. The rain started about five minutes after I departed.
Looking forward to catching up with more friends over the next couple of days. And then it’s off to Green Bay on Thursday for the Raiders/Packers game. Next post will have me representing the 510 in my silver and black. Until then…
State count: 8