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Sunday, April 29, 2012

POST 614: 04/29/12: BENSON - CLONTARF - HANCOCK - MORRIS, MINNESOTA

It was cold...not a breath of wind...fog hovering at ground level as I set out at daylight this morning from Benson, Mississippi, bound for Morris, 25 miles distant.

Made three legs today: 14 miles; 8 miles; and 8 miles.

The wind suddenly picked up while returning to SPIA on leg #1, causing me to miss a step resulting in hyper extending my left knee...a potential moderate injury which requires some rest...nonetheless, I continued to walk on it all day. Climbed onto SPIA's roof to repair a leak that developed a couple days ago...also not good for that knee.

Weather forecast calls for rain and thunderstorms the next 72 hours...



Initial image above is the Chippewa River rushing under the railroad trestle (bridge).


Last evening, Reed told me that the CASE (farm machinery manufacturer) Company has moved its COMBINE (Harvesting Machine for grains - wheat, corn, etc) to the town of Benson. They are in need of a couple hundred employees, but cannot find them locally. A second company is also looking for employees...a scarcity here in Benson, Minnesota.


Our initial walk took us to and beyond the village of Clontarf, Minnesota, about 6 miles distant from Benson.

Returning to SPIA, we drove to the town of Hancock, Minnesota - 15 miles distant -, where we parked SPIA as I walked BACK toward Clontarf for 2 + hours.


Along the way, two freight trains passed, ghosting through the thick fog which did not dissipate until well after noon.

The above image clearly shows the train head lights...one above and two down low...all trains in America have this headlight arrangement.



We are only 55 miles from reaching the border of North Dakota.

Above is a full scale North Dakota map with our planned route drawn in orange.

We will cross into North Dakota Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday morning.


Larger detail of the first few miles of our North Dakota route....the orange line in the blue at bottom right is still in Minnesota.



Leaving Hancock after completing another 8 miles, we drove the 10 miles to Morris, where SPIA has found a safe overnight parking spot next to the local McDonalds...where I bought lunch:

Big Mac + Fries + Med. Chocolate Shake = $7.50...outrageous. Must do better or our $$ will be gone by mid-month.

Morris is another of the smallish villages that is losing residents.


Main street - Highway 9 - on a Sunday afternoon.


I checked in with a local Policeman; he was pleased I did so and will let his colleagues know of my passing through.


One of the more interesting business buildings...


OLD NO 1 BAR AND GRILL


This fellow looks serious.


Please say HELLO to Donny.

Donny interrupted his penal work to explain that half the town doesn't even know what his business does...it is quite dark on his street at night, so he is in the process of installing a bigger pole to install a Lighted Digital Sign...in the hopes it will improve his business at OLD NO 1 BAR AND GRILL.


...and, please say HELLO to Amy, Donny's charming wife and partner.

Amy tells me she is checking City Regulations to see how far from the Building & Street Donny can install his new sign. Hope Donny's hole is in the correct place.

Amy also shared that her 6 year old daughter is at the moment out in the woods next to their home trying to find and catch the Fawn (baby deer) that has been coming into their yard...she caught a rabbit which was encouraging, but is determined to get her Fawn.

Knee should heal by morning; must keep moving to reach the Peace Arch by July 15.

Am somewhat reluctant about US 2...checking the maps, there are many long stretches of desolate country...taking 2 or 3 days to reach the next town. Guess we will find what kind of meddle we are made of...not the first such challenge we have faced during our quest.

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