Lakes & Plains

Summer is a great time for a road trip, and a summer wedding is an even better reason. This has been kind of a regular thing most of the past few years.

Black River State Natural Areas

We began by heading north and made a stop to look at the distant highlands across Wisconsin’s Black River State Natural Areas.

Anne & Sam

Anne & Sam in the back, doing some smart phone consulting.

Marianne Novy

My sister Marianne also joined us for this trip.

Cedar Street in Chippewa Falls

Our first objective was to visit the homes where we used to visit my grandmother and where my mother lived when she grew up in Chippewa Falls. The home on Cedar Street where grandmother ran a boarding house after grandfather died is now a pottery shop called Glazed N Glass Creations. Owner Lynn Peloquin gave us a tour and told us that previous to her occupation a realtor and an attorney had used the building.

Elm Street house

A few blocks away was the Elm Street house where my mother grew up, with her two sisters.

Elm Street Elementary

A block down the street is the Elm Street Elementary school that she attended.

Interstate State Park

As we headed further north we stopped at Interstate State Park, Wisconsin’s oldest state park and the end of the Ice Age trail, to enjoy the scenic Dalles of the St. Croix River.

Highway signs

As we continued on I renewed contact with two major highways. Highway 2 crosses the northern tier of the U.S., starting in Massachusetts as the Mohawk Trail. I was on 2 a couple of months ago in New England, and two summers ago I rode the train that follows 2 across the northern plains. The Great River Road runs through my home town of Prairie du Chien, all the way from New Orleans, as it follows the Mississippi River to its source, which was our goal as well.

Paul Bunyan, Babe the Blue Ox, and my sister Marianne

But first a quick stop in Bemidji to visit Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox. This historic roadside attraction is second only to Mt. Rushmore in terms of popularity, according to one survey by Eastman Kodak.

The tall trees of Lake Itasca

Early the next morning we walked through the tall trees of Lake Itasca to see the source of the Mississippi River.

The source of the Mississippi

And there it was, the source of the Mississippi.

The source of the Mississippi

The rocks were a little slippery, but it was quite thrilling to talk across the river at its source.

Sam crosses.

I think Sam felt the same way.

Wading back across the Mississippi

And then we waded back across the Mississippi.

Heading off to the Gulf of Mexico

A hundred yards downstream we watched the the stream of water heading off to the Gulf of Mexico.

Anne said she could listen to the sound of rushing water all day.

Anne said she could listen to the sound of rushing water all day.

Antique Fever

But we headed off to other pursuits, which included stops at antique stores.

Gas prices near Fargo

We noticed gas prices near Fargo and along the Red River Valley were significantly lower (by about 25 cents per gallon) than elsewhere.

across the plains

Soon we were heading across the flat plains where the horizon stretches into the distance.

North Dakota farmers mow and bale the roadside ditches.

North Dakota farmers mow and bale the roadside ditches.

The road just goes on and on.

The road just goes on and on.

Freeport MN

On our way back, along I-94, we stopped to eat at a random farm town, Freeport MN.

Charlie's Cafe

Charlie’s Cafe seemed like a popular place, it was pretty busy.

Garrison Keiller painting

It turns out Charlie’s Cafe is famous for two things, its cinnamon rolls and it’s inspiration for Garrison Keillor’s Chatterbox Cafe.

the scene of the wedding

Our final destination was Davidson Hall at Trinity Bible College in Ellendale, North Dakota, the scene of the wedding.

The bride appears

The bride appeared right on schedule, on the arm of her father, my brother Galen.

beautiful evening for a wedding

It was a beautiful evening for a wedding for a beautiful bride.

A beautiful & fun ceremony

A beautiful & fun ceremony.

Mr. and Mrs. Kellan Ryan

Mr. and Mrs. Kellan Ryan.

Tim Govier and Sheraiah Ryan

Beth’s brother Tim and Kellan’s sister Sheraiah.

Congratulations Beth & Kellan!




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