Continuation Minnesota calling ...
One day it was decided we would head for Duluth for a couple of days, although we stopped off first at the Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post in Onami. It really was a fantastic experience for me. We had a guided tour and I truly felt a connection with the place and with the Native Americans I met there. I don’t think I shall ever forget that day.
Duluth is a beautiful place as well, situated in the northeast part of Minnesota, at the western edge of Lake Superior. The biggest lake in Sweden is called Vänern. It’s huge, I’ve seen it. But it’s a puddle compared to Lake Superior. Just out of curiosity, is there anything small in America?
I ate a steak in Duluth that was huge and with that came a Caesar salad and fries, plus a fresh, hot loaf of bread. It must have been a Fred Flintstone special or something because I swear, it was out of this world. It was worth every dollar!
Rosie and I spent the 4th July in Mankato. An Englishman celebrating the English getting thrown out of America; gotta love that. We spent the day with a lovely couple, friends of Rosie and now, friends of mine. We had a wonderful time. I happened to mention I would love to see Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse, in South Dakota. It was too far to go that day, but we decided to take off for Rapid City the following Friday. When you look at a map, it’s difficult to understand the vastness of America. Thumb on Mankato, MN index finger on Rapid City,SD…no problem. It was suggested we would drive through Sioux Falls and then stop off at The Corn Palace in Mitchel. After that, we were told, there would be nothing until the Badlands. Now, I have never seen a palace made of corn and I have certainly had never seen, ‘nothing’.
And then there was nothing. I have never really seen nothing before, so I was quite looking forward to it. I suppose if you have traveled interstate I-90, more than once, that eight or so hour ride can be quite nauseating. For me on the other hand, it was one of the most exciting journeys of my life. We crossed the Missouri River at Chamberlain before carrying on toward our ultimate goal. Oceans of greens and yellows spread out in all directions, the sky clear and blue, up above.
In time we neared the Badlands. I was in awe, had never seen anything quite like it. Part of the movie, Armageddon was filmed there and it was easy to understand why. 244,000 acres of skyward reaching pinnacles and twisted spires, an alien world; rising from vast prairies. We spent several hours there before heading for Rapid City.
The next day we went to Mount Rushmore and I got to meet the four founding fathers. They were spectacular, up there, proudly looking out across the country they helped to create. The most moving experience for me though was seeing Crazy Horse. Work was started on it back on June 3, 1948. I don’t think I will be alive to see its completion, although I feel honored to have been able to see what has been done so far.
Bye for now … Gavin