Sunday, December 31, 2017

Christmas in Medford

I was staying over a night in Medford on my way up north to the Seattle area.  The hotel was located in the center of town and I could see a well lit tree about a block away.  I walked over with my camera and was about to take a spectacular picture when I noticed that the battery was so low that nothing--NOTHING-- was going to be photographed that night.  Ahh, disappointment!!  So, I got up extra early the next morning, took my freshly charged camera and walked over and took this equally spectacular picture.  Then, back to my room and back to bed.  I just love Christmas lights.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Wyoming sunrise

I saw this incredibly beautiful sunrise one morning while I was in Gillette, Wyoming.  Amazing.

Monday, November 6, 2017

minuteman missile silo

Learn about the cold war era and the weapons of destruction at the minuteman missile silo site.  The missiles have long since been decommissioned but during the 1950's-60's they were always "at the ready" to protect our country.  Although the missiles were capable of mass destruction they were primarily used as a deterrent to other governments challenging our peace.  There were many underground missile silos located throughout the US during the era that the public may have never known about and for this reason the silos earned the distinction of being  "hidden in plain sight".

The Minuteman Missile Historic Site is operated by the National Park Service and is open free to the public.  It is located along I-90 near Philip, South Dakota.  Come, see the history and enjoy.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

chapel by the wayside

I drove across South Dakota recently along I-90.  There are a couple of rest areas
along the route where a church group has built a chapel for travelers to stop and refresh themselves spiritually while on their journey.  What a beautiful thing to do.  I thank you.

Friday, November 3, 2017

the old mill

On my way out of Minnesota I stopped by the Faribault Woolen Mills.  They have been producing woolen blankets and other woolen goods since the 1890's.  Made in the USA!!!!!  There is a very nice mill store on the premises and I was able to find some interesting woolen remnants for a special project I'm working on.  The mill sits next to the dam on the Cannon River in Faribault, Minnesota.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

MN state fair

In late summer we went to the state fair (also known as the Great Minnesota Get Together) in St. Paul.  It was beautiful day and the crowds of people were having a good time.  Plus eating.

Smokey the Bear rode in the big parade down the main street.  We were in one of the pavilions when the parade headed our way.  We just had to run outside and see what all the noise was about!

The Creative Arts pavilion is my favorite place to visit.  I stand amazed at the hand crafted items that are on display.  The sewing and needle crafts are always interesting to me.  I especially like to see what the young 4-H members are presenting.  Start 'em young, I say.  The quilts are so beautiful and this wooden cathedral is astounding.  The intricate detailing amazes me.

No trip to the fair would be complete without a bag of Tom Thumb donuts.  Part of the fun is watching the miniature donuts being made in the donut machine.  

The Hamline Dining Hall offers the only sit down/dine in food palace at the fair.  Still going strong after all these years!!  A lot of walking, a lot of tasting, a lot of fun.  That about sums it up.  A grand time was had by all.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

spider gate

It's halloween.  I saw this wrought iron gate recently while I was walking down a city street.  The gate looked like one big spider web and the staircase behind the gate looked kind of spooky, too.  It's kind of creepy.  BOO!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Hollow Rock

Just to the north of Grand Marais, Minnesota you will find the Hollow Rock.  This small island sits right off shore and features a natural stone arch.  The arch was formed over many thousands of years as the pounding waves from Lake Superior beat against the rock and the erosive action of the water wore the hole through the rock.  Nice to stop and see.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Fort Snelling National Cemetery

I've posted a picture in the past that is very much like this one I took recently.  I think it is fitting to revisit this hallowed ground as we approach Veteran's Day in a couple of weeks.  Several members of my family are buried here including my dear brother, Steven.  They served in honor.  May they rest in peace.

Friday, October 27, 2017

grand marais

One of my favorite small towns along the north shore of Lake Superior is Grand Marais.  I have been here several times while growing up in Minnesota.  I loved to walk by the stores on the main street and venture out on to the jetty.  Time certainly changes things and many of the old shops are gone.  The movie theater?  That's gone too.  But, the harbor never changes.  The waves still lap away at the rocky shore with a gentile, rhythmic sound.  I went up to Grand Marais this Fall just as the leaves were starting to change colors.  Like an old friend from long ago, meeting again after many years apart was such a lovely reunion.  I'll be back, again.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

bird on the dock

Yup, that's what this is...a bird on the dock.  I took this picture on the dock that juts out from the fort at Grand Portage.  Looks like the bird was enjoying the day.  And, so were we.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Grand Portage

Just six miles south of the Canadian border in northeastern Minnesota sits the Grand Portage National Historic Site.  A fort was built here during the 1700's.  It was used by the Ojibwe tribe and the British North West Company for the fur trading business.  The Great Hall was the center of activity during the annual meetings of the North West Company.  The kitchen was located next door.  An upright timber barricade surrounded the fort.

The name Grand Portage comes from the 8.5 mile land passage that the fur traders made between this fort and Fort Charlotte to the west.  Between these two forts flows the Pidgeon River and at the point where the river empties into Lake Superior there are many waterfalls and rapids.  Skirting around these obstacles by using a land pathway seemed logical (and somewhat easier).  Thus, the grand portage was put into use.  Today the reconstructed fort tells of the history of the fur trading industry during the 1700's and the contributions of both the Ojibwe people and the British.  This historical park is under the supervision of the National Park Service and it is free for all to enjoy.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

high falls

I had never been to the most northeastern tip of Minnesota before this summer.  The arrowhead country is the pointed section of land (it looks like an arrowhead) that juts out into Lake Superior just below the Canadian border.  There is a beautiful falls that sits along the border and is known to be the highest waterfall in the state of Minnesota.

The spray from the waterfall is magnificent as the water roars over the edge of the rock ledge.  At this point both Canada and the United States of America can be seen on either side of the falls.  So close, it's almost touchable.

Monday, October 23, 2017

nut goodies

Does anybody remember these?  I didn't know they were still being made.  I used to love eating a nut goodies candy bar when I was a kid.  The corner drug store carried plenty of this yummy chocolate, carmel and nut filled candy on the candy rack.  The package even looks the same.  My sister remembers them well and we are pretty sure this was our mother's favorite candy bar.  Still delicious!!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

ice cream time

I can hardly believe it.  I haven't eaten in a Bridgeman's in many, many years.  (I've been on the road a lot!)  I remember having ice cream at Bridgeman's many times when I was young.  The fudge sundaes are out-of-this-world.  I found this one in Duluth.  So, I indulged.  Magnificent.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

first sign of Autumn

This picture was taken about three weeks ago.  How quickly things change.  The green leaves have all turned to a brilliant orange .  Summer is over in northern Minnesota.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

a country church

In southern Minnesota, out in the countryside near Hector, stands a beautiful old white wood frame church.  This is the church we decided to attend on that Sunday morning.  We wanted to hear the minister preach because, as it turns out, he was an old friend from our childhood.  We all went to the same grade schools in our community and he was a member of our church, too.  We lost touch over the years but have recently re-connected.  What great conversations we had after church that Sunday and those conversations continued over lunch that afternoon.  Lovely church and lovely company!!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

a big horse

Oh, look what I found.  It's a giant painted horse...Swedish style.  It's called a Dalecarlian horse and it is named after its' region of origin in Sweden.  You can find this horse just outside of Cloquet, MN

Tuesday, October 10, 2017


It was Sunday and we wanted to attend church.  We were able to find a church about twenty miles or so south of Duluth.  It is a small church in the country that is attended by some very warm and friendly people.  And, it was communion Sunday, too.  PTL

Monday, October 9, 2017

grand rapids school

In northern Minnesota somewhere between Duluth and Bemidji lies the town of Grand Rapids.  We passed through there on our way across the state this summer and decided to stop in the center of town and visit this beautiful old school building.  The central wooden staircase was exceptionally beautiful.  I can just picture the students running up and down these stairs.  More than that I can picture some daring students sliding down on the stair railings.

The building today houses small boutiques and galleries in the former classrooms.  Fortunately the old school building was left intact and the beauty of the interior still remains.  The polished wooden floors, the chalk boards and the old cloak rooms attached to each classroom brought back some fond memories of my grade school days.

It makes me happy to see older buildings being taken care of and being put to good use again.  What a wonderful old building.  And, if walls could talk....

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Herman the German

In southern Minnesota in the town of New Ulm there is a large statue that has been erected in a park high on a hill overlooking the city.  The statue is known as the Herman Heights Memorial and is commonly referred to as Herman the German.  The statue commemorates the Germanic victory over the Romans at the battle of Teutoburg Forest.  The leader, Arminius, lead the troops in the battle and it is he that is captured in sculpture atop this 102' memorial.  You can climb the spiral staircase to the observation deck where views of the river valley await.  It's a nice place to visit when you are in this  part of southern Minnesota.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

der glockenspiel

In southern Minnesota there lies a town called New Ulm and it is known for its German influence.  Right in the middle of town is a large clock tower and glockenspiel.  The clock rings on the hour and the doors on the tower open to reveal moving characters mounted on a rotating carousel.  It is a lot of fun to sit on the park benches that outline the plaza and watch and listen to the music and dancing of the mechanical characters.  This day was a perfect day for viewing, too.  What a beautiful blue sky!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

arctic cat tour

This was another fun day on our Minnesota tour.  We were in Thief River Falls and decided to take a tour of the Arctic Cat facility.  The tour was supposed to be a one hour tour but because we had such an enthusiastic tour guide, the tour turned into a two hour tour.  Wow, we were all happy and our host was terrific.  He showed us all of the steps it takes to build a snow mobile and we also saw the off road vehicles being constructed.  We saw everything except the "secret stuff".  What a great tour.  And, the town of Thief River Falls has a very nice small town America downtown main street, too!!  The town resides in northwestern Minnesota.  Go there.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

d q at night

I spent a lot of time in Minnesota this summer.  Over the next few days I will highlight some of the things I saw along the way.  You can't fully appreciate Minnesota without stopping by one or more (I vote for more) Dairy Queen ice cream stands.  This drive-in is located in Paynesville.  I have been here many times over the years and I am reminded of a lot of good times spent coming and going along Highway 55 on our way to the cabin.  Enjoy!!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

concert in the park

This is what a fun night out in San Diego looks like.  I was visiting there recently and was happy to participate in a concert in a local park.  The band was great and the atmosphere was very casual.  Blankets and lawn chairs decorated the grassy area and people were dancing to the music.  What a fun way to spend a warm summer evening in San Diego.

Monday, September 18, 2017

tunnel art

I have been doing a lot of flying lately.  Most of the time I have flown out of the Atlanta airport.   Instead of riding the train between the terminals I prefer to walk.  The most interesting thing about the walk between terminals is the art displays that you pass along the way.  My favorite gallery display is the colored glass installation depicting a forest canopy.  There are breaks in the leaf coverage where bird silhouettes (and sounds) are visible (and audible).  The blues and greens are just beautiful.  Another gallery holds modern sculptures and yet another gallery gives a great history lesson on Atlanta.  If you fly through the Atlanta airport take the time to visit the underground art galleries between the terminals.  You will appreciate the art and it makes the walk very enjoyable.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

city square

Across the street from the Walton 5 and 10 is the city square.  It is a lovely little park and very well maintained with lush gardens surrounding the lone statue honoring soldiers from past wars.  There are lots of benches for sitting and peaceful reflection. It's a lovely centerpiece to a small Arkansas town.  Enjoy your time here.

Walton's 5 and 10

This is where it all began.  In this five and dime store the beginnings of the Walmart chain of stores was laid.  It is now a museum and is open to the public--free of charge.  It's quite an interesting little museum.  The history of the Walton family is on display along with the events time line that led to the formation of this large company. The museum also explains the work ethic of Mr. Walton and his personal code to live by, as well as,  his emphasis on philanthropic giving .  This is a very interesting place to visit. It's in Bentonville, Arkansas.  Go.