Finding the Back Roads

Today’s post comes from  Barbara in Rivertown.

For several years after my dad died, I traveled almost monthly from Minneapolis to Marshalltown, IA, to visit my mom, before she moved up to Minnesota. It didn’t take me long to get tired of the straightforward I-35 à I-30 route; and besides, 35 veered east and took me slightly out of my way. I got out the maps and found a number of “back roads” which, although they didn’t necessarily save me time (since the speed limit is 55 instead or 70), took me more directly south and gave me some different scenery. I got in the habit of giving myself extra road time, because I liked to stop at whatever caught my eye – i.e., the photo at top is in tiny Austinville, IA, north of Marshalltown. There were parks in towns like Hampton that made nice rest stops, and I learned which towns had a decent coffee shop.

old-outbuilding-in-new-trier

Minnesota has great back roads, too – for the numerous trips between Mpls and Winona that we’ve taken this year, we often use the alternate Hwy. 50 north of Red Wing to catch 52, instead of taking Hwy. 61 through Hastings, and this takes us right by a lovely old “garage” in New Trier. Heading south from Winona to catch 90, a short detour into Pickwick yields a view of the old Pickwick Mill.

pickwick-mill

On our recent trip to Marshalltown from Winona, we could have followed I-90 to I-35 to I-30, but we jumped off 90 at Austin, MN, and head south on 218. This was a little dicey because of the unusual amount of rain that the driftless area (NE Iowa, SE Minn, et al)  has seen this month. Indeed, we drove into Charles City and made it over the roiling Cedar River, but were lucky to be leaving 218 and turning west – the road east was under water and barricaded. Here’s a video of this same spot back in 2008, when there was even worse flooding.

On the way back to Winona we decided to try another route, through Nashua IA where resides the Little Brown Church in the Vale – my folks got married there 70 years ago.

little-brown-church-in-the-vale

We crossed the Cedar River again, still roiling but not flooding our path. The little church was open for visitors, and as I signed the guest book I was astonished to see that the name above mine was a college friend – I looked up and there she was waiting for me to realize we’d crossed paths!

When have you had a memorable experience while traveling the back roads?

180 thoughts on “Finding the Back Roads”

  1. Love the back roads and almost always take 52 to 15 to Iowa City. Goes through Decorah and well clear of Waterloo.

    We took the not freeway route across New York State from Rochester to Ticonderoga. Lots of stories from that. Not good for phone typing, but a partial explanation of my absence from the Trail of late.

    More later.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. We just took the back roads from Guernsey, WY to Lusk, WY. . At one point we crossed the area where the Oregon Trail, the Cheyenne-Deadwood Stage line, and the Pony Express all converged. The terrain is hilly with some pines. On the scenic route from Spearfish to Newcastle, WY a turkey tried to fly over the van with tragic results (at least for the turkey.The van was fine). There were elk crossing signs, but no elk. We counted 180 antelope and about 100 mule deer in Wyoming.

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    1. WY is backroads heaven. Lot’s of adventures in both east and west parts of the state, particularly driving through the Bighorn Mts. and going to and coming from Grand Teton NP by the more southerly routes.

      Chris in Owatonna

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  3. Driving back from Galena, Illinois, we were on back roads in southwestern Wisconsin when we unexpectedly happened upon the Dickeyville Grotto:
    grotto, dickeyville

    A single picture doesn’t really do it justice. Since then, we have deliberately taken back roads to visit other “outsider art” sites like Nick Engelbert’s Grandview and Fred Smith’s Concrete Park.

    We often will stop at picturesque rural cemeteries just to have a little look around or divert from the main road through interesting small towns to circle a few residential streets and get a feel for the housing stock.

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  4. MN Highway 1 from US 61 to Ely is a gem. Gorgeous in fall, adventurous in winter, pleasant in spring and fall if not too busy.

    When Dad lived in Victoria, MN, we’d drive the back way from Faribault, up highway 21 to Jordan, then 169 to Chaska and cross the MN river there. Beautiful farm country in mid-summer.

    I could write a book about all the fun and interesting back roads we’ve driven over the decades. Way more fun than Interstates.

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Highway 1 is lovely indeed, Chris. But the first time I drove it was a horror. I failed to stop for gas on Highway 61 although my gas gauge was flirting with E. I planned to gas up on 1 somewhere. Guess what? There is no gas station on the whole durn thing. Worse, my partner that day was a woman whose deepest satisfaction in life was saying “I TOLD you so!” I suffered every foot of Highway 1, finally gliding into an Ely gas station with my poor Outback running on fumes.

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      1. “No Gas Until Ely” might be a good sign to post at the Jct of 1 and 61. 🙂

        My wife is also a worrywart when it comes to running low on gas. But I’ve never run out when doing a “Kramer” with the gas gauge. (from a classic Seinfeld episode).

        Chris

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  5. Many of the gravel roads I was familiar with as a child in Rock and Pipestone counties have been designated Minimum Maintenance roads. A year before she died, my mom was insistent that we drive around those roads so she could show me the places she grew up. We bumped around and dodged pot holes as she reminisced. I remember one place she showed me where she and her sister, ages 8 and 10, would walk to school and cows would follow them, and her sister would always be really scared. I need to redo that trip with son and daughter so I don’t forget. Some of the farm places mom and dad lived on as children aren’t there anymore.

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    1. It seems odd to think that “some of the farm places mom and dad lived on as children aren’t there anymore.” Of course, they are there . . . in a sense. But there has been so much change that, in another sense, they aren’t there.

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  6. Love this topic, BiR.

    There is a magic land that used to be my second home. The western border of it runs from Pine City to Duluth along I 35. The northern border is the south shore of Lake Superior. Then draw a diagonal line from Ashland down through Cable, Hayward and Trego, paralleling the Namegagon River. The southern border would be a line from Trego along Wisconsin 70 west to I 35.

    That land is filled with tiny towns I know and love, towns that are obscure to almost everyone else. Grandview. Dairyland. Siren. Iron River. Solon Springs. Delta. Port Wing. Mason. Moose Junction. Lake Nebagamon. Maple. Seeley. Grantsburg. Brule. Danbury. Those are just some of the Wisconsin towns. Now add such Minnesota towns as Blackhoof, home to Barb and her goats. Kerrick. Cloverton.

    These are mostly towns too small to have a stoplight. Towns too insignificant to have a single chain store or fast food outlet. Towns too small to support a gas station or grocery store or a church. But of course, even the smallest is likely to have a local bar, for that is the central fixture in the culture of this region. I know the taverns, too: the Poodle Inn, the Lyon’s Den, the Angler’s Inn, the Green Top, the Little Kro Bar, the Pour House.

    If you look at this area on a map, it is a classic case of “you can’t get there from here” place that lacks highways. The secret known to very few people–most of them locals–is that the area is rich with dinky blacktop county highways with alphabetical names. (Two of my favorites are County M and County T.) These obscure roads wind through gorgeous but unpopulated landscapes. Drive them for half an hour and you might see more deer than other vehicles.

    This is a land so free of roads and people that it played a key role in the history of wolf restoration. In the 1970s a few wolves migrated to this area from the BWCA. They set up home along the border of Wisconsin and Minnesota, then created baby wolves that grew up and eventually returned the wolf to the whole region.

    Back roads don’t get any backer than these.

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      1. Herbster is one of those tiny towns I knew. Did you ever get in that amazing log cabin building? The one that was Wisconsin’s only log cabin schoolhouse for decades? County A from Brule to Port Wing is one of the nicest of the alphabetical blacktops.

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  7. Across Pennsylvania on an east-west line on US 30. Not exactly a back road, but an amazing drive and not on interstate, which it parallels.. The best two day drive I have ever done. Two days to stop in all the towns. I was in Greensburg PA about a dozen times but only later realized Johnstown is only a few miles away. The story of the flood interests me.
    Back roads of southern Lake County, every one of them several times, and some of the adjoining St. Louis County roads., Back roads up to the Iron Range.
    A few of the back roads around Winona, up in the bluffs. Back roads of Wadena County.
    Back roads of the Flint Hills in KS. Does not sound like how fascinating it is, first inspired by a William Least Heat Moon about Chase County KS Pryrie Earth, or some odd spelling like that, everything about him being odd.
    Back roads of northern WI near Lake Superior.
    I love almost any back road. Around here we used to go out and seek out cemeteries to walk. Drive to the Cities on the west side of the MN river is a fun ride. Motorcycle riders love it, up and down, curves and curves.

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  8. You can see wheel ruts near Guernsey, WY from wagons that passed on the Oregon trail. Imagine traveling on that road! Husband and I wondered what the Cheyenne-Deadwood stage would have been like to travel on. I think it would have been exhausting and dusty.

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  9. The North Shore going to Lutsen has always been a work of art to me, but that’s likely because I rarely travel far from home. At this point, backroads are all I use due to my anxiety about entering freeways.

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  10. Afternoon all! YA and I went to a wedding in La Farge, Wisconsin last month. On the way over we used YA’s google maps on her phone which just took us out 94 almost to Janesville and then doubled back a bit. On the way home we used my mapblast directions which took us on the river road, which twisted and turned. There was no other traffic on the road and the sun was going down so it felt shady and cool and almost spooky.

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    1. La Farge- that’s Organic Valley country. The driftless area of Wisconsin is really beautiful. We traveled through La Farge on our way east from Viroqua. One of the things I was surprised to discover traveling in that quadrant of the state south and west of Madison is that that part of Wisconsin used to grow a significant amount of tobacco and still does in a minor way. On the back roads you can see farmsteads with tobacco barns- long buildings ventilated along the sides- and in Viroqua there are two large brick tobacco warehouses along the railroad tracks.

      One of the things I’ve always intended to do, but haven’t yet, is to follow Highway 12 across Wisconsin from near Hudson to Milwaukee. It’s the road that was supplanted by interstate 94 and follows along the same general route, but it goes through all the little towns that the freeway bypassed.

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      1. I’ve driven Highway 12. Classic Wisconsin rural area, with many little taverns. All I can add is you better get a full tank of gas before doing that drive, as you won’t find much gas along the way. Especially on Sunday! 🙂

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      2. The last time I drove to Colorado I took the old highway that the interstate supplanted. Loved the little towns I passed through, ate meals in, watching the freight trains pass me by. Love the back roads everywhere!

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  11. i love the back roads and find the wonderful scenery is the best therapy inn the world, that is until civilazation starts calling out nd you relize you have no idea where you are. i am usually ok wiht this but am amazed at the navagatorrs sitting next to me frea out whn i tell them we will certainly that will act as a reference point sooner or later. often it is miles and miles form where i would have guessed.
    this works best when the attitude is the thing to measure not the clock.
    montana woyming canadavirginia lots of beautiful back raods everywhere. i used to wonder how a person could find a way to make a living of the grid in these wild and wonderful respits form the churl of humanity. today i realiz that i can likely do anything i wanr form anywhere. its a brave new world. set your life according to the perameters you would like to make the lead dogs in you destiny. i guess its always been that way but today it is so easy to be hooked up form the middle of podunk anywhere it is amazing. wisconsin where steve mentioned is good and all canada is like that as are all mountain states in the west. in the east it is all an illusion. it looks like you are in the country when in new hampshire connecticutt and vermont but there isnt a 1/2 mile stretch of road without the next subdivision tucked into the trees
    i love the backroads mentaility and try to go there whenever i can

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  12. One reason we have so many chain operations in this country, they tell me, is that people like predictability. They know what they’ll get at chain stores. Travelers can always get a decent breakfast at McDonald’s, just like they can sleep at a Motel Six without great discomfort.

    I’m apparently made backward or upside down. I love little towns on back roads that have no chain stores. Up in northern Bayfield County there was just one chain store, an A&W, and even it didn’t look like other A&W stores. Everything else was a one-of-a-kind store or bar or motel or restaurant.

    There was only one store in Cornucopia, Ehlers, a general store that was absolutely unique. It reminds me of that wonderful co-op in Finland, MN. I loved dining in tiny Main Street cafes that mostly catered to locals, places where everybody sat in his or her usual spot, places where the waitress already knew what most of her customers wanted, so she didn’t even consult them before showing up with the food.

    At a little motel in Blackduck they had a sign in our room: “Don’t throw cigarettes in our toilets. We don’t pee in your ash trays.” You know, you don’t get little decorating touches like that at a Best Western.

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      1. There is a famous bumper sticker about that: Where the Hell is Blackduck? It’s on Highway 71, maybe 40 minutes north of Park Rapids. They had another sign on the wall: “If you smoke in bed, the ashes on the floor might be yours.”

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  13. Hey Kids–
    Great topic BiR! I love taking back roads. Whenever I can take a ‘scenic route’ I do.
    Worked on a show in Chatfield this summer and Hwy 52 is the main route. But boring and too much traffic. So I’ve found a few other good ways to get there. Some more scenic than others. Going home late at night, I just stick to 52 so I just ‘get home’.
    Wabasha County Rd 11, from US Hwy 63 to Millville MN is a great road following the Zumbro River. Another couple weeks with the leaves turning and it will be great.
    Olmsted County Rd 1 South of Rochester going to Spring Valley is another wonderful twisting road through the countryside.
    And how about that road through Whitewater; is it 26? Which one turns to gravel (and is probably under water with all the rain this year)? But it’s a great road too. I only find it by accident once in a while.

    Have I mentioned here I’m taking an algebra class? It’s sucking up all my extra brain power. Not to mention time. I thought algebra was hard in 9th grade… it hasn’t gotten easier!

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  14. Morning all! Blevins reminder
    Sunday, October 16
    2 p.m.
    tim’s

    Dear Committee Members
    Julie Schumacher

    Other Powers: The Age of Suffrage, Spiritualism, and the Scandalous Victoria Woodhull
    Barbara Goldsmith

    AND….drum roll… looks like we’ll have our Dakota contingent with us!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dang nabbit – just found out that Middle Niece, who is in Iowa for her freshman year of college, will be home this weekend and Sunday is the designated day to celebrate her birthday. As swell as you all are, Niece takes precedence (even over, sadly, our Dakota contingent…).

      Maybe it’s safer that way, you can speak ill of me and my suggestion of Victoria Woodhull more freely without me there. 🙂

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  15. I now have our photos scroll through as the screen saver. I was struck before this post about how many are of back road places, places with color or places where we picnic or camped in little used sites.
    Our son developed the back road habit. Every time he moves to a new place, he soon finds the scenic routes, the alternate routes, the small roads that lead to interesting places.
    I forgot in my list upstate New York at the opposite end from MIslandgirl, up along the Hudson.

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  16. I want to mention two superb highways in Minnesota, two roads that are particularly attractive in the last two weeks of October.

    One is Highway 23 from Sandstone to Duluth. Very few cars. No highway patrol cars. Just a little winding highway that cuts through lovely country. It’s always pretty, but never more than in fall. There is a spectacular scenic lookout not far south of Duluth.

    The other, which is far better known, is Highway 61 from Red Wing to LaCrescent. That’s famous 61 in the stretch where it parallels the Mississippi in SE Minnesota. One of my favorite drives used to be the loop down the Wisconsin side of the river and then up the Minnesota side. There are fun little towns on the Wisconsin side.

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    1. Steve – I just saw the funniest book at the library and made me think of your story of your first foray into taxidermy. It was on one of the display tables – Crap Taxidermy. Just pictures of badly done taxidermy, although there were some “directions” at the back of the book.https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41OGGIqlQUL._SY370_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
      Still amazes me what can get a publisher’s interest!

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    2. I take part of the Highway 23 route every time I go to Duluth, Steve – my sister lives along 23, just inside the Duluth city limits and so I take the Banning State Park exit and on to the very west end of Duluth. When I took it last week, there was very nice color during the first part, but the nearer I got to Duluth, the less the leaves had turned.

      One year I took it in early November. The tamaracks – oh my! They were so, so beautiful.

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      1. For many years that stretch of 23 was difficult to enjoy because the hillsides flanking the highway were so badly eroded. Then MNDoT made a heavy investment to stabilize the soil on those steep areas. Their work paid off and now 23 is easily one of the prettiest bits of highway in the state.

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  17. When I stayed with my friend near the town of Lutsen, her cabin was on Cascade Beach Road, a dirt road that used to be called simply “the Old Road,” because it was the main road before the paved road, Highway 61, came along. It’s great, because you can walk along it and hardly ever meet a car.

    Years and years ago, this same friend and i and another friend set off on a drive in Cook County, MN. I don’t think any of us really knew where we were going, including the driver, but we first pulled off 61 onto one of the main dirt roads that heads inland, then we kept taking various roads off from there. We ended up at an overgrown driveway that led us on foot to a couple deserted buildings and a beautiful lake. It was a sparkling golden, autumn day and the sky and the lake were both deep blue and the lake sparkled in the sunlight. It was a magical day, full of beauty and sunshine and the joy of being alive amidst all that beauty.

    Here’s a picture of the Old Road near where I stayed:

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  18. Submitted a new guest post. If any baboons had traveled the roads to my house today, they would have seen the 90 sheets of lefse I fried from potatoes from our garden, as well as the puree made from 25 lbs of our garden tomatoes. I am really tired of all this garden abundance.

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  19. Up on 35 in Wisconsin there is a “town” called Moose Junction. It’s too small to even have a population sign (at least the last time I was up there) and is probably called Moose Junction because it’s the meeting of two roads, 35 and Moose Road. I love the idea that the local moose meet up at this junction to chew the fat!

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  20. Naming a few places I have been:
    Toimi, MN, Skyboo, MN, Big Noise, MN. None is a real town, two non-exitent anymore, altough they do appear on some maps. All in the woods north of Two Harbors.
    Peculiar, MO. Fair Pay, MO. Tightwad, MO.Hafway, MO.Clever, MO.
    Effie, MN. Blackhoof, MN. Twig, MN

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  21. And of course there are the Minnesota towns of Fertile and Climax, home to the famous and possibly apocryphal newspaper headline:
    Fertile Girl Killed in Climax!

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    1. One day when I was pheasant hunting I stopped in for lunch at some tiny town down near the Iowa border. The newspaper I read there had a nice headline: “Manly Woman Marries Fertile Man.” (Manly and Fertile are little farm towns.) I was left wondering whether the wedding had been forced by a pregnancy.

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  22. Kansas I nominate as the state with the most unremarkable towns and town names. It likes to duplicate names. It even has a Mankato and a Minneapolis. Bit it does have the Marais des Cygnes River (Swamp of the Baby Swans).

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    1. I’ve always felt town and place names in this country would be totally boring were it not for the music that some Indian names carry. European settlers gave us town names like Herbster. From Indians we get such names as Chengwatana, Mendota and Wadena.

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      1. FRENCH. Shutting down these fingers. Wed, I get several shots along my spine and find out if they want to operate on my neck and if I am willing.

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  23. Hi–
    We were up in the cities over the weekend as our daughter-in-law ran the TC Marathon. (She finished!)

    Coming home, with all you in mind, I took I35 south to Faribault. Then cut over on 60 so I could see the farm country and through Kenyon and Wanamingo. South on 57 there through Berne and another small road, 22 over to 11 and to County 14 through Genoa and Douglas and across 52 to the roundabout on 63 North of Rochester and finally home. Took a little longer, but it was a nice day for a drive and we only got stuck behind 1 combine. 🙂

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  24. Well, there are also some pretty interesting towns in Wisconsin, like Wauwatosa, Weyawega, Wautoma, Pewaukee, Oconomowoc, and Keewaunee. Try saying them all really fast.

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    1. I lived in Milwaukee for two years and even back then I loved saying “Pewaukee” – you have to scrunch up your face and really accent the Pe- part of the word!

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  25. OT – I’m attempting to clean up my neglected flower beds and it is obvious that I have too many of some perennial plants. I could bring some of them to book club on Sunday if any of you local people want them. The choices may include campanula (the tall kind), coneflowers, black-eyed susans, daylilies (nice colors), and maybe a hydrangea (invincibelle spirit). Let me know if you may be interested or email me if you have questions.

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        1. There are PLENTY of coneflowers and black-eyed susans. Several extra daylilies. One purple aster. And many tall campanula (bellflower).

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  26. I wish I could say that I have been diverted down back roads lately…alas, it is not so. Work and life and stuff stole my brain. Taking back roads through southern MN and western WI with my bestest pal has lead to some silly in-jokes, including seeing a “free range nun,” taking a wrong turn and winding up in the cornfields of Iowa (once we were turned back to rights, we found ourselves on a back road where we passed a really hunky Amish man…and then we got to giggling about how wrong it was, in so many ways, to think him “hunky”), and “Bolo was a good dog” (which, admittedly, was not off a back road, but came out of the sort of supper club you can only find off the beaten path these days…and sadly, the supper club in question has since closed…).

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    1. My winging it #1:Sandy is a volunteer in the Lutheran Social Service guardianship program (they are guardians of adults living in group homes). Every year LSS gives them an appreciation dinner. The average age of volunteers must be about 65. For years it was a cloth napkin elegant luncheon. Today it is at the local slightly rowdy rock and roll bar followed by bingo. Can you tell the new supervisor of the program is in her 20’s?

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        1. Sandy thinks the site and bingo today is funny. She has not talked to any other of the volunteers.
          They are not legal guardians. Some such residents, those without family support I guess, are assigned to various social service agencies who serve as legal, ah, what, not legal guardians, I do not think, but watchers to watch for any abuse and to see they have proper care. So the volunteers visit once a month and make reports. A social worker visits once or twice a year. The volunteers are more like social contacts. Sandy was LSS volunteer of the year for all of MN a dozen years ago. Sandy’s one remaining contact cannot talk. She is a thalidomide baby. She giggles and pets Sandy’s hand when she comes to visit.

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    2. My winging it #2: my whole life I have had a slight case of psoriasis. Most people have trouble believing me when I tell them that I do. Nothing shows. It turns out psoriasis is the source or partial source of many of my problems, such as pain, joint issues, neck and back issues, sleeping issues, dry eyes.

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        1. Number one listed treatment for pain is NSAIDS, which, as it happens, I am not allowed to take for a month. Some expensive drugs, of dubious results. But that is from my reading. We will see what a dr. says, when I get to a dr to address this. Which dr. is a question, what kind of dr.
          For eyes I am doing OTC eyedrops and heat packs on eyes, which do not seem to be doing much in the one week i have been on them. Prescription drops would be the next move. It can cause impaired vision. So my eye dr. says to come back in a couple weeks if this is not doing it.
          For the back, which is part OA and part PA, I get six shots tomorrow. Then we see what that does. Then we look a surgery, especially on the neck. If you have claustrophobia, I can tell you you do not want a neck m<RI. But I got through it, no idea how.

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    3. Ever the pedant, I’d like to insert an explanation here of the origin of the expression “winging it”. It refers to the theatrical practice of memorizing one’s lines in the wings just before going on stage. That may seem unprofessional, but in the early days of touring theater in this country, actors didn’t travel with a complete company but rather counted on local acting groups to fill in the secondary parts. Often the engagement in a particular town was only a day or two and the play to be performed was unfamiliar to the fill-in actors. With no time for rehersal, winging it was a necessary expedient.

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        1. I remember reading accounts where the only available “extras” for non-speaking parts were a group of Native Americans hanging around town. Another story involved an actor in a death scene contriving to fall with his upper half in the wings so he could play the violin to accompany his demise.

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    1. Hiding on a remote island in the middle of a lake, possibly a Great Lake. He was placed in hiding after his secret identity was disclosed during a mission to infiltrate a ring of evil doers intent on ridding the world of donuts and the color teal. He was called upon for this mission due to his keen ability to wear neutral tones and speak highly of the parsnip. Once this nefarious ring has been put down he can return, having played his part to keep the world safe for crullers everywhere.

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    2. he sent a quick note before he left… he was called on to take a shuttle to a moon mission where the satellite that has been lined up to thwart russian attempts to laser the key locations of us intelligence has been oddly alive these last 3 weeks
      it appears greg brown songs and little potato renditions are being emitted at an unprecedented rate.
      the tinking is that the russians are masking the wiki leaks sources with obscure files for the past and the voices of captn billy and bud buck have been heard coming form the sea of tranquility and other nearby craters and moon vistas.
      it was the chance dale had been waiting for and he was allowed a toothbrush and a 64 gig thumb drive with whatever he wanted to take along

      what do you think he took?

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  27. Ooh, I know! He’s Dale of Norway, taking his code name from the Norwegian Sweater company. He is crossing fjords in search of rare and top secret goats to be used for military purposes.

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  28. He’s on his annual visit to the Cayman Islands to oversee the obfuscation of illicit proceeds from the Dale empire— Southdale, Rosedale, Mondale, Airedale and Chippendale.

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  29. he’s right there . havnt you noticed this is the norm

    he has formed the habbit of letting it slide.
    after 5 years of never missing a beat he is exhaling and discovering there is life after the trail.
    it takes 21 days to form a new habbit and he finally has it.
    he can get around to it later and survive.

    we are all fine and in the memory of boon and erickson we can carry on too

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    1. Had several encounters with Charlie Erickson. He wasn’t necessarily in his professional demeanor, but he could have been. But he was warm. Looked you in the eye, asked your name, repeated your first name. After the first couple times he asked if we had met. But we did always in the same context.

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      1. i think of riding in my dads station wagon with the pushbuttons on the radio and how we would laugh and smile and when they were doen he would shut off the radio and enjoy conversation. my dad called the radio the conversation killer. but we loved boone and erickson.
        i suppose the radio had a different meaning to him with fibber mcgee and molly and the shadow and the lone ranger as reference points. they did actually sit around the radio and stop talking. a good observation

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        1. We all listened most nights. My father read and listened, which he could despite not being a good multi-tasker. My mother, a great multi-tasker, listened and sewed, mostly stitching together quilt blocks. I listened and drew or did jigsaw puzzles with my sister.

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      1. wcco had a 60% market share of the radio or some wow number and boone and erickson had the afternoon drive time and saturday mornings. they were a very big deal

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  30. OT Update: had six steroid shots in my back, which was not too bad except the time the anesthesia needle caught the nerve to my right leg. They said it would probably take awhile to take effect. But I was so much better even last night. Not pain free in the lumbar, but so much better.

    Liked by 5 people

  31. Thanks, Linda. The first artist who comes to mind for me is John Prine. Some of his songs read like short stories (“Hello in There”, “Donald and Lydia” and “Angel From Montgomery” and others). I’m much less familiar with the artistry of Bruce Springsteen, but what I hear suggests he might deserve this kind of attention, too.

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  32. When you read the list of American literature Nobel winners, you notice many things. Literature awards are bound to look foolish years later, except perhaps in kid lit. But one think you notice is the few last American winners are hyphenated Americans, immigrants. Shhh! Don’t point that out, just relish what it says about us as a nation. something wonderful.
    My daughter and family are at an inter-faith day in a Presbyterian church in a decent sized small town in south central MN. That Muslim speakers were invited has driven many in the town over the edge. The local Fundy churches have been screaming about the violence being imported to the their Christian town.

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      1. i have decided ot set up a guest blog claendar
        we willl talk tomorrow
        clyde we need two from you before your hands go down. i like the idea of having accesss to your stories and we can discuss them
        by the way you and sandy are welcome tomorrow if it works

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