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Thursday, April 26, 2012

POST 611: 04/26/12: WINTHROP - HUTCHINSON, MINNESOTA

Please say HELLO to Grant.

Walking north on highway 15 toward the town of Hutchinson, Minnesota early this morning, Grant was scooting about on his ATV, taking measurements of his field. He took a moment to drive on over to where I was walking, where we had a short conversation about my walk and his fields.

I asked Grant about the black richness of the soil...it is because of the ORGANICS, he says...but is only about this thick (holding out his hands about a foot apart)...underneath the layer of organic soil it is all clay.

Grant and I exchanged photo taking...he excusing himself...as I am quite in a rush to complete this work...and he was away back out into his field.


My shadow got in the way, but out yonder is Grant's field.


...and another view...the black organic soil a bit more visible.


A bit further on was this unique tractor (built by CASE) pulling a "tiller" over that beautiful soil. Please look closely (click click) to see the dozens of tiny wire tillers which are breaking up any clods of soil, resulting is silky smooth finish.

Have a feeling that planting is about to begin.


A narrow walkway between two buildings in the town of Winthrop...taken after walking back to SPIA after the first 5.5 hour (20 mile) leg of the day.

We then drove to the larger town of Hutchinson, where SPIA is parked for the night again in WAL-MART.

Second leg of walking was BACK toward Winthrop for 2+ hours (8 miles).

A third 1-hour (4 miles) leg was made north of Hutchinson toward the town of Litchfield, our initial destination for tomorrow.


More fields of the inky black loamy soil.

I first noticed this soil at the border of Iowa and Minnesota, about 100 miles back. It is interesting in that it seems to be somewhat localized (will know more as we walk North and West in the next few days).


Another of the many drainage canals found throughout this corn-belt area.

Looking at the map of this part of Minnesota, one finds the multitude of the 10,000 Lakes Of Minnesota starting about 30 miles to the north. This area looks all the world like an old post Ice-Age Lake (10,000 years old) which is still in the drying up stage...the "organic" black soil possibly resulting from the life/death cycle of prairie grasses.




Spring flowering has followed my walk all the way from North Carolina.

Corn field tending cycle has also tended to follow my walk north from the Ohio River through Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa and now Minnesota. Wonder if it continues on into North Dakota.


Baby chicks about 4 days old, for sale at $2.19 each. Salesman told me they sold over 25,000 chicks, ducks, and geese (all a couple days old) last year.


Please say HELLO to Fritz.

Yes her name is really Fritz. Fritz works for J.C. Penny where I stopped in after my third walking leg today. I found - with Fritz' help - a new pair of walking shoes, which I desperately need as another pair of my Brooks has come apart - tops rotting away from the sole.


Please say HELLO to Caleb Scholze.

Caleb is a final year student at Virginia Tech, looking forward to starting up his own business.

He and I were dining partners in the local APPLEBYS where I enjoyed a full plate of Baby Back Ribs...and a rather lengthy (two hours or so) conversation with Caleb.


Please say HELLO to Laurie and Caleb.

Laurie was our congenial waitress, who tended us like the special guys we obviously are (got my fingers crossed !! ).


Threesome after a nourishing dinner...and a glass of St Michelle Chardonnay on the house...

Thank you Laurie.

Wish you good fortune, Caleb with your final year at VT and starting up your own business.


The Sun slipping behind WAL-MART as SPIA sleepily awaits my return from Applebys.

A good day all in all. Certainly pleasurable to meet so many new friends.

Tomorrow, we do it all over again.

Nite Nite...

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