Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wednesday GUEST Blog

6-20-12 vacant brain
Ann is back from her 11 day road trip and is ready to start filling us in! ~Judy

Summer Road-Trippin’ – Part One
It started so simple, my friend asked me to ride out to Bozeman, MT with her to see an ailing friend. Mmmmm yes, if we can do some side-trippin’. She let me plan the trip and I added the vistas on my bucket list, 3500 miles in 11 days by car. 

First stop Winnipeg, Canada for no special reason other than I’ve always wanted to visit after hearing it was an old European French city over the ND border. Yes, a bit out of way, that’s stop #1. Bozeman would be stop #2, Yellowstone #3, Black Hills of SD #4. Yes, I dream big! 

Day One: The drive to Winnipeg would take 11 hours, and leaving at 4 pm, we stopped in Alexandria, MN. What a find there, home of Big Ole and the Kensington Runnestone. It’s also a fishing resort town, with at least 20 lakes surrounding the City. I’ll be back to do some sightseeing and maybe some fishing. More about the controversial stone below, fact or fiction, you tell me. And while we did not see the actual stone, here’s a replica of it that traveled to the 1965 New York World’s Fair and Sweden in 2003 and a picture of Big Ole.


Ever since 1898, when Olof Ohman, a Swedish immigrant working his fields in what is now Douglas County, MN, found the 202-lb., mysteriously engraved stone tangled in the roots of an uprooted tree, controversy has raged over the artifact’s authenticity. The stone, dated 1362, soon proved how difficult the search for the truth can be—and raised eyebrows over the possibility that North European explorers predated Columbus in America. Fact or fiction, this is the inscription on the stone:

The inscription on the Runestone has been translated as follows:

"We are 8 Goths and 22 Norwegians on an exploration journey from Vinland through the West. We had camp by a lake with 2 skerries one day's journey north from this stone. We were out and fished one day. After we came home, we found 10 of our men red with blood and dead. AVM save us from evil. We have 10 of our party by the sea to look after our ships, 14 days' journey from this island. Year 1362."

 Day two and three: North to Winnipeg, arriving at the Marlboro Hotel at 2 pm. Boy was I disappointed at the hotel and the City. The first room was a major dump and the second room, well a bit better. We made the most of it, cutting our stay to two nights. We saw the major sights: The Forks, St Boniface, French Quarters  and downtown. We age at a Trinidadian shack, Chinatown and I bought a new pair of tennis shoes, what do you think? (Dansko walking shoes) 

Not being judgmental, Winnipeg, to me, is a City of the “Haves and Haves Not”. The Halves Not are the Native Canadian Indians congregate downtown and at the downtown hotels. The Halves, well you can imagine. Winnipeg will not be on my return City list.

Day Four: Off to Minot, ND via the International Peace Garden by recommendation of a mutual friend. Wow, no way you would get here unless you really wanted to see it. The bad news, the planting season was just now beginning, thus the flower clock and the gardens were not ready. Rats! On the bright side, we saw a 911 Peace Memorial and that was pretty neat. In all, I can say “been there, done that”. 

We stayed overnight in Minot, no man’s land for sure, and ate a rustic restaurant. Back on track for some USA exploring.

Day Five, all day driving to Bozeman via “Oil Country” USA. I’ll write more about the ND oil boom later. 

Gotta run;
Chat Later, That Girl
Ann Marie

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