12 August, 2006

Trip Report, Day Two

(Monday, July 17, 2006)

Currently I Am In: Bimidji, MN.

We spent the day driving. Yeah, big surprise there.

Started the day by visiting an antiques mall, waved good-bye to Interstate 35, then proceeded “inland”. Drove around a rather large lake (Mille Lacs), had lunch in Garrison, MN, drove deeper into the northern forests of Minnesota, finally hit U.S. 2 in the town of Grand Rapids, MN - our principal route for the next several days - then headed west to Bimidji, MN, where we got a campsite at a KOA campground for the night. In a nutshell, that was the day.

I like small towns. Especially old ones. I like the way they look, the way they feel. I like it when they try to preserve as much of their history as they can, maintaining and preserving their older buildings instead of tearing them down for the faux suburbia look. I don’t know if I could live in one for any length of time, but I can visit, and occasionally take a stroll through them. This trip, with impatient kids in tow, I’m more likely to drive through them than actually take the time to explore. But that’s one of the reasons why I’m avoiding the interstate and taking the “backroads”.

Some pictures for today:

Garrison, MN. On the shores of the Mille Lacs. Martin pointed to this statue and said, “Oh! They have FISH here!”

Downtown Aitkin, MN. Wanted to explore here a little more, but boys were instant about moving on.

Martin and Liam at Big Sandy Lake, in the Savanna State Forest. We were passing by, and the boys wanted to get out for a good look.

Panoramic view of Big Sandy Lake. Series of shots taken from the rest area along Minnesota 65, Photoshopped together to form a panorama. You'll be seeing a lot of these kind of panorama scenes in the coming days.

The Mississippi River at Grand Rapids, MN. Image taken from my car whilst stopped for a red light. Not much, is it? You'd never think something barely more than a creek would amount to much.

I haven’t been camping in about 15 years. My wife has never been interested in it (her idea of “roughing it” is a hotel room without television), so I just haven’t really had the chance. But since she’s not on this trip (she’s got a trial to prepare for), and since the boys have been asking about going camping for some time, I thought we’d give it a try this time around. So, here is the result of this endeavor:

Don’t know how this is going to go tonight. We’ve got sleeping bags and an extra blanket. But so far, the boys are loving it. Oh well, we’ll see how this goes.

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