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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

POST 610; 04/25/12: NICOLLET - GAYLORD - WINTHROP, MINNESOTA

Please help me.

The above and below images were taken pre-Sun rise seconds apart from the same spot.

The only difference is that I added a skosh (pidgin Korean for a little bit) brightness to the lower one. The upper one is "camera-natural"; i.e., default settings.

Which is the way I should go with future shots?


Walking today consisted of three legs:

Leg # 1: 3.5 hours (12 + miles) from Nicollete, Minnesota on Highway 111/22 toward the village of Gaylord.

Leg #2: 3.0 hours (11 + miles) walking BACK on 111/22 toward Nicollete.

Leg #3: 2.5 hours (10 + miles) walking West on Highway 19 from Gaylord toward Winthrop.

OK...that totals 9 hours = 33 miles. No excessive pain, but some left leg soreness.

Started out walking a bit slowly, increasing my stride and pace as the day wore on...Leg #3 was at a near jog pace...but, still walking.

Have tried many walking options; i.e., 2 hour legs, 4 hour legs, 5 hour legs, and 7 hour legs. Believe 3 hour legs are the better option...keeps me close to SPIA, and allows a 1/2 hour or so rest between legs. Going for the longer legs is do-able, but I am much too far away from SPIA in the event of injury...and my legs are about bled out when I stumble back into SPIA.


Minnesota = The Land Of 10,000 Lakes.

In fact, there are many water-filled fields between the unending corn fields. Canals such as above are common along my walk.


This part of Minnesota is FLAT.

In fact, ever since exiting the Allegheny Mountains at the Ohio River, the lands I have walked through Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, (exception for the Mississippi River Valley, which is hilly and undulating), Iowa, and now Minnesota...the entire Mid West - so called by those living East of the Hudson River - is F L A T.

Corn fields have been unending...I mean hundreds of miles of corn fields without end. Two years ago while walking the Colorado Great Plains, I thought I had seen lots of corn fields...it seems the entire Central United States is one gigantic corn field.

The gas stations now offer 85 % Ethanol gasoline...at a much reduced price from the more normal 10% Ethanol added to normal gas. At this rate, we will not require Oil for making gasoline in the near future.

Of course, that means a potential shortage of Corn On The Cob for the back yard barbeque.





Gaylord is more fortunate than many small villages I have visited. Most small villages have been bypassed by new highway construction, leaving the town with no means of income.

Gaylord, however, has two highways still passing through the center of town...i.e.; there is more business than in the villages which have been bypassed.

If I were to make a single observation regarding small rural villages, it would be that we are seeing the end of a cultural phenomena, in that many such villages are becoming ghost towns. One recent town indicated that they are losing 20% of their population at each census.

The $$ and wealth of America seems to be concentrating in major population centers; in the hands of a relative few of the population; and no indication that the tight fists that control that wealth will anytime soon let it "dribble" down to the rural villages.

I have more observations on this subject, but they (observations) smack of political...which I have intentionally avoided in this blog.

I mention the above only to give recognition to the many folks with whom I have come in contact...folks with an empty look on their faces...folks with an apparent empty future if something is not done - and done quickly - to reverse this process.



Please say HELLO to Liz and Craig, of GAYLORD HUB PUBLISHING.

Their publishing business happens to also be the town newspaper. Craig is writing up a column on SAM & ME for possible inclusion in the next issue.

The printing press in front of Liz and Craig is 1940's vintage, built in the "American Zone" of WWII Germany.

Behind them stands a much older printing press with wooden mounted type. Craig says he has many much older Printing Presses - some hundreds of years old - and is on the lookout to add to his collection...so, the word is: anyone have leads for Craig, please contact him at:

TIN CAN VALLEY PRINTING; 507-327-5079; www.tincanvalley.com.

Craig is not the owner of Gaylord Hub Publishing, but his boss is considerate to help Craig in his pursuit of his effort to gather historic Printing Presses in the course of his regular work.


Now, I took a few images of these two light hearted young folks...trying to capture LIz in a less than stoic moment...


Craig reminds me of Marlon Brando...smiling; in total control; letting the world pass without any change in expression.



Leaving Liz and Craig, SPIA and I drove the 7 miles to the village of Winthrop, where SPIA has secured a spot under some big elms on a side street, where we will spend the night.




I took some moments to walk around the small (4 blocks or so down town) village to seek out parking options. The side street turned out to be the preferred spot...recommended by Sam, the young man running the local CENEX Gas Station and Convenience Store.

In the morning, I plan to walk out some 6 hours toward the town of Hutchinson, Minnesota, the next town on our continuing saga...this time on Highway 15. Towns are becoming farther apart, which is going to impact my desired walking methodology.

Received an offer from a impetuous young lady working in the local DQ dairy bar where I bought and consumed a LARGE double chocolate BLIZZARD. She wanted to drive to meet me in Hutchinson in the morning so I would not have to walk back to fetch SPIA...I did not say NO.

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