Happy 70th To Me! (Day 1, Part 1)

September 2

It was a BIG one.  What to do?  I thought about a party, but I would have cried through the whole day ruining the festivities.  So, how ’bout . . . a ROAD TRIP?  Beginning Saturday morning?

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[But where would we go?  We thought about seeing Bonnie Raitt in Moorhead . . . but by the time we checked the closest seats were in East Grand Forks.  We weren’t A-listers like “the kids” who got back stage passes!  Woo-woo!  Besides I’ve never been much of a big venue kinda guy – I like to see the whites of their eyes and smell the wine on their breath.]

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[Bonnie, at 67, is at least of my generation.  🙂  ]

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[We thought about the Cities, but the State Fair had sucked all the air out of anything else happening down there.  And the Fair falls within the “big venue” category for me.  So . . . Ortonville?]

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[We had long talked about a road trip to the far southwestern part of the state – the only part we had not yet visited.  Which is really strange since Mom grew up in Worthington and I had never been there!  We’d be visiting places of first impression.  By the time we returned home on Monday afternoon, my birthday, Labor Day, we had traversed 560 miles.]

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[Ortonville is as far west as you can get in the southern half of the state without being in South Dakota.  It’s at the base of the little bump out into South Dakota, by Big Stone Lake, the source of the Minnesota River.  From here a straight shot south on Highway 75 almost to the Iowa border.  Bellingham, Minnesota?  Just down the road a bit.  Population 168.]

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[A big city in these environs – and hometown of Charlie Roth (you can look him up) . . . ]

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[Another capital I can check off the Bucket List . . . ]

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[A rather new participant among old guys at the Y in the morning used to own this DQ.]

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[I tried to catch a hint of each town along the way.  At times, as the Super was taking a turn on two-wheels with her super charged turbo diesel VW Beetle convertible, I’d miss a shot.  Canby was once home to a couple of Alexandria educators, as I recall . . . ]

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[Small town America on the edge of the prairie seemed to be doing OK . . . ]

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[Close to the edge of the world . . . ]

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[When we approached Lake Benton we began to notice for the first time some . . . TOPOGRAPHY!]

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[Hole in the Mountain Prairie is a preserved remnant of the tallgrass prairie in southwestern Minnesota.  It is owned and administered by The Nature Conservancy, and is located on Buffalo Ridge near the town of Lake Benton in Lincoln County.  It spans a valley of about a half-mile in width, with a total area of 1,364 acres.  The preserve is home to about 60 species of grasses and emergent vegetation, and about 200 species of wildflowers. Trees are a minor feature, with only about 10 species present.  (Wikipedia)]

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[And here is Lake Benton in Lake Benton.]

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[The first stopping off point for the grand adventure . . . ]

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[Pipestone National Monument is located in southwestern Minneasota, just north of the city of Pipestone.  The catlinite, or “pipestone”, has been traditionally used to make ceremonial pipes, vitally important to traditional Plains Indian religious practices. The quarries are sacred to most of the tribes of North America, and were neutral territory where all Nations could quarry stone for ceremonial pipes. The Sioux tribes may have taken control of the quarries around 1700, but the Minnesota pipestone has been found inside North American burial mounds dating from long before that, and ancient Indian trails leading to the area suggest pipestone may have been quarried there for many centuries.  The National Monument was established by an act of Congress on August 25, 1937, and the establishing legislation restored quarrying rights to the Indians.  Today only people of Native American ancestry are allowed to quarry the pipestone.  As an historic area under the National Park Service it was administratively listed on the National Register of Historic Places under the heading “Cannomok’e—Pipestone National Monument”.  The Red Pipestone Quarries within the monument comprise a Minnesota State Historic Site.  (Wikipedia)]

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[We were chastened to remember our friends from the East stopped here on their last trip to Minnesota, thus visiting here before we ever did.]

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[This was a 20-minute movie – highly recommended for a history of the place.]

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[Well, all of the above was a tour of the facility.  Now, let’s go hike a trail . . . ]

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[This way, old man!]

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[My guess, prayer ribbons?]

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[Lead on, McDuff!!]

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[Oh boy, rock outcroppings!]

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[Look up there!]

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[And here she/he is . . . can you see the face profile?]

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[And now the face at an angle.]

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[I wonder what’s around the corner?]

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[A waterfalls!]

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[Since you asked . . . ]

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[The Super did a video here.]

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[More figures?]

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[Yup!]

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[The sumac is turning.]

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[Hey, if plants can get along????]

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[We left the national monument and got a whiff of the town of Pipestone, population 4,317 (I didn’t think it was that big).]

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[The Calumet Inn is apparently well-known to everybody but me.]

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[A busy first day.  We’ll cut it off here and finish the day in the next posting.]

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Oh, to be seventy again.  ~  Georges Clemenceau (on seeing a pretty girl on his eightieth birthday)

Up Next:  Birthday, day 1, part 2

About tomobert63

The Journey Begins Thanks for joining me! This is the follow-up to the original, “alexandriacardinals.wordpress.com,” which overwhelmed the system’s ability to handle it any more. Thus, this is “Part 2.” As the original was initially described: 10-26-07-4 “It all began in a 5,000 watt radio station in Fresno, California” . . . wait a minute, that was Ted Baxter on the Mary Tyler Moore Show! Let’s see . . . oh yeah, it all began in 2003 when retirees, i.e., old people, in Alexandria, Minnesota, who had no desire to become snow birds, went looking for mid-winter entertainment here in the frozen tundra of West Central Minnesota. We discovered girls’ high school hockey, fell in love immediately, and it remains our favorite spectator sport to this day. Initially, and for several years, reports on these games were e-mailed to those who were actually snowbirds but wanted to keep abreast of things “back home.” It was ultimately decided a blog would be more efficient, and it evolved into a personal diary of many things that attracts tens of readers on occasion. It remains a source of personal mental therapy and has yet to elicit any lawsuits. ~ The Editor, May 9, 2014 p.s. The photo border around the blog is the Cardinal girls’ hockey team after just beating Breck for the state championship in 2008. It’s of the all-tournament team. The visible Breck player on the left is Milica McMillen, then an 8th-grader – she is now an All-American for the Gophers. The Roseau player in the stocking cap I believe is Mary Loken, who went on to play for UND; and the Cardinal player on the right, No. 3, is Abby Williams, the player we blame most for making us girls’ hockey fans who went on to play for Bemidji State. *********************************************************************************** Photos contained herein are available for personal use. All you have to do is double click on any of the photos and they will become full screen size. You can then save them into your personal “My Pictures” file. They make lovely parting or hostess gifts, or holiday gifts for such as Uncle Ernie who wants to see how his grand niece is doing on the hockey team. If any are sold for personal profit, however, to, for example, the Audubon Society, National Geographic, Sven’s Home Workshop Monthly, Curling By The Numbers, or the World Wrestling Federation, I only request that you make a donation to the charitable organization of your choice. You have two hours and fifteen minutes. Pencils ready? Begin! **********************************************************************************
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2 Responses to Happy 70th To Me! (Day 1, Part 1)

  1. JamiG4 says:

    Glad you had fun! Pipestone looks beautiful. Love all the prairie!

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