Well…today was one of those good news and bad news days. We got up about 0500 for coffee and waking up and after making a couple of wraps for lunch headed off about 0720 for our day’s activities. First stop was the Ford dealership in Plymouth a couple miles south of here to get an oil change for BAT. Everything else was still fine on the standard inspection although we’re getting towards time for a scheduled transmission flush and fluid replacement…but we’re leaving that for this winter after the trip to Alaska. It takes a couple of hours and we didn’t have enough time for that today.
After that it was time for Fun Stuff™ as opposed to Fun Stuff© which was our former designation. Connie and Neil were talking about it today and since copyright is generally for text you write and trademark is generally for a slogan or logo or whatever that using ™ was more appropriate. Just wanted to answer any burning questions you may have had when you noticed the change.
Anyways…on to Fun Stuff™. First stop was the town of Hastings MN about 25 miles southeast of here right on the Mississippi river…it’s a quaint little midwest town that was supposed to have shops and other cool stuff to see. We had to wend our way through traffic a bit as it was 0930 or so when we were headed that way and it was still the end of rush hour. We got there, found a place to park and wandered around the historic/restored part of town…but quickly found out it was about 3 blocks long on both sides of one street. There’s supposed to be 60something buildings in town on the National Register of Historic Buildings…but mostly it was a bunch of antique shops and empty storefronts. We did get a few shots of the historic buildings that were cool and wandered over and got a few shots of the Mississippi as it flowed by.
A guy paddling his canoe downstream for some fishin’. I hope he has a trolling motor in the bottom to get home as the current was running 5 or 6 knots and it would be no fun paddling upstream.
We headed next to Vermillion Falls Park which contains…naturally enough…Vermillion Falls and is about 3 miles from downtown Hastings. Got a nice shot of the waterfall which is in a side channel next to a hydro electric plant on a tributary to the Mississippi. You can just see the brick wall on the lower right that is where the plant is…and you can see where the top cascade has been reconstructed a bit to add a lip to prevent erosion of the falls. The larger cascade you can see appears to still be a natural flow.
We were getting hungry by this time but it wasn’t lunchtime yet…so we stopped for a Blizzard (Neil) and milkshake (Connie) from a DQ we passed. Good thing we saw it as they were really good and we were running out of gas…we ended up missing breakfast this morning before we headed out.
Second stop was at Hidden Falls Park a bit north and west from Hastings on the Mississippi. Unfortunately the road down to the falls was closed for construction vehicles only so we didn’t get anything from there. We did get a short video of the fast current in the Mississippi River at St. Paul MN.
Our third stop was another 2 or so miles north from Hidden Falls…Shadow Falls State Park. Again, right on a side creek flowing into the Mississippi and while it appeared to be a nicer falls than Hidden Falls would have been…Connie declined to either hike down the path in her street shoes or change into her hiking shoes to go down. So instead we sat up at the top of the bluff and had our wraps for lunch, then took a couple photos of the WWI Memorial to the county citizens that died during the war and the flowers in a small garden nearby.
Finally; we headed home and on the way out of the residential area along the river we happened across Cretin Avenue. Since we’ve long thought that most people are cretins we thought this was appropriate.
From there we had a 30 or so minute drive home then we had a short nap. Woke up and it was getting warm inside as the high today is supposed to hit 90…so we fired up the A/C unit. We can only run one at a time as we only got a 30 amp site here at the KOA…we figured it would be June but it was MN and it wouldn’t be too hot. We can run one A/C fine and we’ll just run the living room one during the day and the bedroom one tonight if it doesn’t cool off.
For dinner we’re off to Mama G’s. It’s a local dive bar that has craft beers for $2.50 during happy hour and decent food according to the reviews. Our original idea was to go over to a place on Lake Minnetonka nearby named Maynard’s…but we decided that although it looked great and it was recommended because of both the food and the great views over the lake…it is 30 miles away and the allure of a 3/4 of a mile back home rather than 30 overcame our desire for the view. Hopefully the dinner will live up to what we had last night…Neil grilled some duck breasts that we needed to get rid of before we get to Canadia and made some maple/berry/balsamic/mustard sauce to go on it and Connie whipped up some mashed sweet ’taters with brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans. Quite yummy I’m tellin’ ya.
I also ran out and got a shot of our site here at the KOA…sorry I didn’t do it the last couple of places but we were sort of overwhelmed with the brake issues and Neil didn’t get around to taking one. I got on him about that…after all his iPhone is always, always in his pocket so how hard can it be to just take the darn photo already! Here’s site 43 here at the KOA Minneapolis NW…a nice little park albeit the sites are a bit tighter than we like.
Oh yeah…the good news was that Vermillion Falls was pretty neat and the bad was that Hidden and Shadow Falls turned out to be a bust. Oh well.