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Rainy, Icy Northern Minnesota

November 22, 2013

Minnesota – Friday, November 8

I woke up to a pretty dreary day, and the forecast was not very promising for the next few days. But I just bundled up and headed out into my day. I couldn’t even take many pictures because it was just too wet out! I had to keep the camera and case in a plastic bag in my pocket, and Tula wasn’t very interested in spending too much time outside!

Despite the weather I wanted to head up near the Minnesota/Canadian border, but my first stop was is Crookston. There was a little food pantry there, but they were closed even though the website said they were open a little longer. No one was there to talk to about a donation, so it would be my backup plan if I didn’t find other good donation opportunities over the weekend. I’m ahead with donations, so it wasn’t crucial to make one today. As long as I was in town, Tula and I got out and walked about a mile and a half in the drizzle – it was chilly and windy and not very pleasant, but I just turned the heat on high when I got back in the van.

I drove up to Red Lake, where Tula and I started on another walk, but we only covered a little over a half mile – the rain started coming down harder and it wasn’t nice out. I drove up to Thief River Falls, which was one of the towns I wanted to see in this part of the state. Even though it was still drizzling/misting, I got out for a couple hours and covered about 6 miles. Tula came with me for part of the time, but I put her back in the van before she got totally drenched. I walked along the river walk and the river had a layer of ice on it – it was pretty chilly out. I walked through the downtown area and out into the adjoining neighborhoods. I was kind of a soggy mess when I got back to the van and I turned the heat up high again.

 

I continued heading north, and the drizzly mess turned into snow, and the driving got a bit slow. I stopped in the town of Roseau for a snowy half mile walk with Tula. It was dark, but the little downtown area had a number of people out and about. Roseau was a former Hudson Bay Fur Trading post, but I didn’t really see anything about fur trading in my short walk through town. It’s now a big snowmobiling town and the home of Polaris Industries, where they make a lot of snowmobiles. In the winter, there are many miles of snowmobile trails connecting some of these northern towns, and Lake of the Woods is nearby too. I’m sure the snowmobilers  are happy to see the snow!

 

From Roseau I continued another half hour up to Warroad where I stopped for the night. Warroad is the only U.S. town on the enormous Lake of the Woods – most of the lake towns are in Canada. Chippewa Indians used to live in the area, and there were many battles between them and the Sioux Indians over the rice fields in the lake, and that’s how the town of Warroad got its name.

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