Sunday, December 11, 2016

Not Quite Official

It isn't winter as defined by the calendar but there's no longer any avoiding the meteorological version here in SE Minnesota.

Being just a bit too cocky lately about my having avoided a real cold for the last few years finally caught up with me and I've paid for it this past week.  Last weekend wasn't totally the way I'd planned since far too much of it was spent moving extra slow and with very little energy.  It didn't help that I'd been scheduled to leave mid-day driving to the far NW reaches of Minnesota for my employer.

The salesman and I left on Sunday so that we'd be setup and running a demo of one of our CNC machines in a large corporate conference room at 8AM Monday morning.  Normally a 6 hour drive that I'd look forward to in most every way, my ill health and the fact that it was Sunday choked down some of that delight.  Luckily the weather and trip went well; it was just long.  We spent the night an hour's drive from Canada.

Monday afternoon the plan was to do it again at another facility, this one in Bemidji (one of the homes of Paul Bunyan).  The NW corner of Minnesota is relatively ND-flat, somewhat wooded and interspersed with bogs.  On the drive south to Bemidji, population density, homes and roads are few and far apart.  There were some long sections on the main highway where there weren't any sideroads and when there were, their gravel surface went into the distance, the straight path the only feature seen.

It was at one of those rare roads pointing west when a sign caught me eye to the extent that it startled me.


Thoughts started racing, the radio was turned down.  The sign wasn't as permanent or commercial looking as one might be for "Bob's Produce and Pork" but it was definitely more official than a sign might be for "Brittany's Graduation".

At the next stop light south I quickly puched a search into my phone, in a hurry because if I don't do it right away, I forget and those 3 words aren't normally in the same place together.  The search quickly gave me an answer and I should have known that it wasn't me to be the first discoverer of something unique.

Hazel Dell Library

Our afternoon demo went well and in the evening, my partner wanted to show me "The Gullies" south of Bemidji in the Paul Bunyan State Forest.  He'd been sharing with me how much fun it would be to explore the area on one of my smaller bikes and he was absolutely correct.  It is definitely an area begging to be ridden through.

Looking out the window of my 4th floor motel room Monday evening......

Roads were slippery on our way south to Demo #3 but passable with care.  By mid-afternoon Tuesday I was on my way home and I couldn't wait to get there and crawl into bed.

Since it's the Holiday season, I'd been invited to many events and they all seemed to be concentrated towards the end of the week.  There were plans for Thursday evening but a schedule change at work forced me to be a No Show at that one.  Friday's invitations had me at 3 places; Peg and I chose to attend mom's party hosted at her assisted living facility.  Saturday evening was the Minnesota Guzzi Club dinner and I made that one but it was definitely time for bed when I arrived home.

This morning I had to get up early; lying in bed was just too uncomfortable.  So I made some coffee, sat down in the living room and with my headphones on, watched the snow come down outside.  The American Routes radio program was on and they were playing a tribute to Allen Toussaint.  I listened for 2 hours.  I've never gone out of my way to listen to the song Southern Nights that we've all heard Glen Campbell perform; a song that Allen Toussaint wrote.  When Mr. Toussaint did a live version this morning where he told the story of how and why the song was written you could have poured me out of a jar.  That song will now never be the same.

You can listen to the stream at the American Routes website.

Now time for another nap.


  1. Continue getting rest when possible, a cold is no fun....gets in the way of riding, when it's possible or when one has a sidecar rig. :)

    no snow here in the Metro Denver area, boringly clear and sunny.....

    1. Feeling much better thanks.....did some sidecar dreaming while recuperating. :)

  2. Merry Christmas my friend! Hope you feel better soon.

    1. Thanks Eric, last night was a long one but today I felt much better, well enough to attend our monthly VJMC meeting.

  3. My, the view out of your hotel room reminds me of my dreadful stint in Winnipeg back in 2009.

    Be better soon!

    1. Thank you Sonja. That motel room wasn't all that far from lovely Winnipeg.

  4. Doug the good news is that what with getting that cold now, you'll be in reliably great shape for the holidays. Always a silver lining.

    1. David, the optimistic view, thanks for the reminder and I'd agree about that very silver lining. Hopefully I haven't shared this with anyone that will meet with poor timing.

  5. Hope you are feeling better. Sounds like your cold and The Cold arrived about the same time.

    Thank you for the link on that library, that is pretty cool.

  6. Thanks Brandy, better health has returned....took much longer than necessary though!

    That library sign beside the road just about reached out and grabbed me as we drove past.