Of Combines and Cornfields

     The first night of camping in our RV was quite uneventful.  The hosts were hospitable, the bathrooms were clean and there was no charge for plugging in for electricity.  I think Mike was reliving his days as a youth because he wanted his first night of camping in the RV to be in his parent’s yard.


     On Friday we picked the kids up after school and headed south.  The view out of an RV is incredible.  The windshield is so huge and the seats are so high up you can see things you normally can’t see when driving a Subaru.  It’s surprising how big of a difference a small thing like that can make. 


     We said good-bye to Grand Marais and savored the big lake views down to Duluth, MN.  We visited Mike’s cousin and Voyageur Crew Member Extraordinaire Sheri Prom at Valentini’s Restaurant where she works.  We had great service, delicious food and a farewell hug before we continued to St. Cloud, MN.


     The kids were tucked into their beds and sleeping before we arrived at our campsite.  Josh was sleeping on the table turned into a bed and Abby on the couch when they were greeted by the campsite hosts, Grandma and Grandpa.  Josh was excited to hear the trains passing nearby and wanted to go to see if any taconite had fallen out.  He was told he wasn’t on the NorthShore anymore and the trains around St. Cloud carry coal, not taconite.  Just one of the small differences one can experience by leaving CookCounty.


     Saturday morning came too soon and we scurried about so we could get an early start.  The early start didn’t happen until sometime after 1:00PM.  We had to stop to see the other set of Grandparents and have lunch with my Sister’s Family before we left St. Cloud. 


     The big observation of the day was of combines and cornfields as we traveled west on Highway 23.  Farmers were busy working in their fields and moving equipment along the shoulders of the road.  We hope the one combine driver near Marshall, MN is ok after an accident with a train.  We’re not sure if he was crossing the tracks and stalled out or if he tipped on the tracks but emergency workers were working to free him from the combine when we passed by. 


     We don’t see many combines or cornfields on the Gunflint Trail and the only remnants of train tracks are the old railway beds in the woods.  We also don’t get to experience the smell of manure being spread on fields and for that I am grateful.  I’m not sure if some of those towns always smell the way they do but I’m quite sure I wouldn’t be able to live anywhere with a paper mill, chicken barn or manure field.  I value the smell of the crisp fresh Gunflint Trail air way too much.


     The Interstate is calling our name.  Hasta Luego.