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Sunday, April 22, 2012


Across the highway from SPIA is this convenience store KWIK TRIP. This morning, I stepped inside to check my Debit Card on their ATM. What I found amazed me. Kwik Trip has selections to rival supermarkets with prices MUCH lower...bananas @ $0.38 per pound...Ham and Egg Croissant sandwich $1.99; coffee $0.89. I had seen this store along my route for the past couple is efficiency and service far above any I have encountered in the entire USA.

Supermarket where SPIA parked overnight. I wanted to purchase Avocado, but they were old, wilted, and soft. I looked no further. Thank you, however, for allowing SPIA to park.

At 6:30 am, walked north out of Chatsfield, Minnesota on US 52 for 13 miles and returned to SPIA, arriving at 1:00 pm. Purchased a deep-fried chicken breast to go with my banana, avocado, and coleslaw with honey mustard - all of which I purchased a couple days ago, and enjoyed a lunch fit for a King accompanied by a glass of Merlot.

Chosen Valley: the valley of Chatsfield, Minnesota, which I walked from end to end...this morning climbed the 2.5 mile hill leading north until reaching the plains about 500 feet above.

I walked enough to reach the large city of Rochester, Minnesota, plus another 8 miles to take me beyond the city...which I do not like or wish to walk through.

Wide berms continue through Chosen Valley and northward...apparently for the Amish carriages; however, I have not seen any today.

The black strip in front of the red & green cottage is some of the most fertile soil I have seen in the mid-west.

Walking along the Mississippi8, it was stated that the barges carried coal, grain, and scrap metal.

Many 18-wheelers have passed me in the past couple weeks fully loaded with scrap metal.

The image above is a private home/business with a trailer partially loaded with scrap metal.

I am told the scrap metal is transported to New Orleans for shipment overseas.

I ask: are USA steel mills wo without need of raw materials that we must sell our scrap metal off shore?

Returning to SPIA, came across this cloud of smoke blowing across US 52.

Please say HELLO to Ray Johnson and his girl friend Theresa.

It is they who are - under state burning permit - burning dead grass alongside US 52 and their ranch property.

Having recently moved to Ray's 72 acres, they live temporarily in a motor home parked on the property. A spring-fed stream runs through the property; Ray has granted an easement allowing the local sports club to riprap the stream and tend the trout living in it. This allows anyone access to the stream and the right to take the trout. Way to go, Ray.

Please, again, say HELLO to Ray Johnson...a bit out of focus in my Panasonic, but very much all together in real life.

Enjoyed our conversation, Ray; and, wish you and Theresa the best.

Ray's ranch property.

Ray's trout stream...fed by three artisan springs, bubbling out of the ground at a steady 48 F.

A woodcarver greeting passersby.

This is a quite unusual fence. The four layers are plastic pipe covered cables (or perhaps barbed wire inside. Protects the wire from the elements and looks really nice.

That red dot in the distant left side, is one of those high tech lawn mowers. This fellow is mowing his "lawn", which is at least 5 acres...not unusual along my walk...seems the latest "toy" is the high-tech lawn mower. Certainly improves the images of farms along the highways as nearly every farm has a neatly manicured lawn of some immense size.

Above is a quarry in the middle of the ranchers field. Not certain what it is, but looks to be pure stuff.

Hundreds of square miles of corn fields and above is the first corn cob mailbox.

Rochester was 18 miles from Chatsfield. I walked 26 miles this morning so I would not have to walk through Chatsfield. Instead, SPIA carried us into and out again on Highway US 14, to the town of Dodge Center, where we are parked for the night in a truck service yard...about 15 feet from the railroad track !!

After parking SPIA, I walked BACK on County Road 34 which parallels US 14 for about 10 miles to make up the part driven went of Rochester.

Residential street in Dodge Center, Minnesota.

This Dodge Center church gave out bell chimes as I walked past. It also chimed the hour(s).

In the morning, SPIA stays put while I walk West on US 14. We have chosen US 14 because US 52 into and through Minneapolis is "freeway" which is not suitable for walking safely. We will walk to the west of Minneapolis, meeting back up with US 52 when we near the border of North Dakota.

We will then follow US 52 the rest of the way into the town of Minot, Minnesota where we will pick up Highway US 2 which will take us home to Bellingham.

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