Sunday, June 15, 2014

North Country: Pipestone quarys and city lights

Jun 15 2013

All dressed up and nowhere to go. . . Sun was up at 5:30 this morning and so was I. Morning chores are done but it’s still too early to head out. The Pipestone National Monument is right across the road but doesn’t open until 8:00.

The clock finally worked its way around to 8:00 this morning and I went across the street to the Pipestone National Monument. The visitor center is OK, the trail is pretty good.

Until you get out on foot you don’t realize that you’re in a shallow, rock edged, wide bottomed, canyon with quite the little river running through it. It’s too early in the season right now, but once things dry up a little later in the summer Native Americans actually still quarry the pipestone along the banks of this river by hand and use it to carve things, including the peace pipes the place is named for.

After touring the monument, then taking a drive through Pipestone the town to check out some of the great pressed-tin facades, I headed for the city (The twin cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul). Along the way I drove through The Hole in the Mountain Prairie just south of Lake Benton, an interesting jumble of steep, rounded hills in a sharp valley. Just west of the town of Benton is the 360 acre Hole in the Mountain County Park but I didn’t stop to check it out because I wanted to be getting into the Minneapolis area by mid-afternoon at the latest to avoid traffic.

I did take the time to stop in Walnut Grove to check out the Laura Ingals museum. The museum is a block off the main road but Walnut Grove is still small to day so it was easy to find. Pretty touristy with a gift shop at least as big as the museum display area  but still not too bad. Good enough that I didn’t feel like I wasted my $6 though I did pretty much, OK, completely, ignore the gift shop.
Tonight I’m sitting in a campground right on the southern edge of the twin cities. Of course the place is full, and there are lots of kids. When I first got here I kept wondering why so many people were waiting so long to head home for the work week. It took me a bit to get my head around the fact that it’s Saturday night and not Sunday.
Hard to get shower time when so many kids are around. Unlike older couples that tend to use the facilities in their rigs, parents with kids don’t want them messing up the place so send them to the shower house. They keep the place busy until pretty late, past my bed time anyway.  (When did it become OK to spend so long taking a shower and using up so much water in the process??)

Uh oh, I'm back into the glass is half empty mode and the poor camera is just gathering dust. I've got to figure out a way to get past this mood and start engaging!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment