Diary - Day 20




Jeremy's Pictures

Day 20 Tuesday May 31st Winona MN – Duluth MN

Linda & Roger Lacey

Colin's Picture


Today was also a day of gentle driving, after the roll call and brief directions to get out of town, which for some reason always presented a problem.  Ahead lay another drive across rolling countryside and lakeside views.  It was so green; it put me in mind of the Italian Lakes.  Quaint towns, very small population supported art shops etc., and of course the inevitable coffee house. 
Driving on we passed a lilac coloured house, hope Jeremy noticed, but a photo was taken just in case.  This was at Fountain City, and there were a few brick built houses also, some overlooking the Mississippi River, a perfect location.  Coming from Europe you may think this odd, but most USA houses seem to be built of wood.
The bulk of the Mississippi seemed to trail off from then onwards; just a few tributaries and streams meandered through the fields and trees.  Once again the noise of a train resounded through the air.  Wonderful Woo Woo echoing for what must have been two miles or more of carriages passing by – fabulous!

Over the next couple of hours driving, there was not a lot of change in scenery, but colour in abundance in the way of flowers, mauve and white which bordered the hedgerows.  We stopped at a great little coffee shop in Stockholm, situated just up from an art shop, which had it been open could have sold a few items.  Pity, the owner missed some big spenders!
The town of River Falls was home to a logging company and at various stages along the route, sculptors would carve animals such as bears out of the wood.  This brought back memories of past purchases from family skiing holidays.

The group stopped for lunch in Stillwater and had a delightful buffet at the Waterstreet Inn by the river, hosted by the local Morgan Club and received a welcoming address from the Mayor and local State Office Representative. Later back over the bridge at the entrance to Stillwater we joined the Route 35 north all the way to Duluth, this time going through tiny communities, the smallest of which claimed a population of 693 at Webster.
The monotony of the final part of the drive was interrupted only by yet more of American advertisements such as:-

             ‘Royal Oaks’ Independent Senior Community.  I like that one.
            “Try our Sundays, they are better than Dairy Queen” (Lutheran Church notice)

One small incident occurred today that of a white toy poodle escaping from a garden being chased by a huge strapping man in his 40’s.  The two just didn’t seem to go together somehow.  The dog ran under a school bus stopped along side of us in the opposite direction with the gentleman concerned trying his best to grab the now petrified animal as it popped out from beneath the bus.  Traffic by this time was beginning to collect in both directions, but all ended well, and I have to say it did break the endless miles of somewhat repetitive countryside.
At last we hit the town of Superior and a short time later Duluth.  What a change in the temperature, down to 57F(14C)! At least a warm ‘welcome’ reception greeted us in the Comfort Suites of Canal Park, where the air was abuzz with conversation, reflecting over the last two days which for me cannot be beaten for scenic coverage.


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