So this year has started with a good old fashioned road trip starting in the mid westeren state of Minnesota – land of 10,000 lakes ! My plans for this year changed dramatically when a long term position on a newly built catamaran was postponed. I was supposed to be sailing from Miami to the Bahamas, through the Caribbean and onto Panama – some trip !!
I had already bought flights to visit friends in Minnesota where i was going to spend the first couple of weeks of the trip. Now i had to decide what to do for the next few weeks unless another sailing trip turned up !!
Flying in over Greenland –
Minnesota in February is still very much winter with temperatures constantly below freezing. Snow was already piled up by the side of the roads although the skies were normally clear and blue. Within the first week there was two snow showers both of which dropped 6 inches plus of snow. Roads are cleared quickly by the snow ploughs and people clear their drives and pathways with snow blowers and shovels. All very efficient !!
First snow storm i witnessed – a steady six inches was dropped.
First thing to do is clear your drive before you can go to work !!
Decided to have breakfast on the balcony that morning –
On the first saturday we visited the nearby ski slope where you can do tubing, snowboarding, skiing. Also a good coffee and cookie for the adults around an open fire !!
Next stop was to witness the Polar Plunge which happens at various locations throughout winter. This is a charity event which raises money by sponsoring people to jump into the icy waters of local lakes. Crazy – but a fun worthwhile event !!
People were very relieved to get to the other end and get out !!The two and a half feet thick ice slabs removed from the lake –
Next stop was something to make me feel right at home during winter in Minnesota – ice fishing !! Fortunately my friends knew somebody that lived locally that had their own ice fishing hut that was already out on one of the lakes.
Home made ice fishing hut complete with gas central heating and most of the things you need (apart from a toilet!).
Dropping a line through a pre-drilled hole in the ice
Just have to have a beer and wait for the fish to bite !
After a hectic day of activities we hit the town. A pub crawl takes on a very different meaning here in Minnesota !!
After my first weekend i took a drive out to get use to the roads and see a bit of the surrounding area. I drove over to the Carver Park Reserve west of the twin cities, a small reserve compared to other ones in the Minnesota state. The snow was on the ground and the lakes were frozen but I had a nice drive through the area. Whilst driving back i saw a sign to ‘Carver Historic District‘ so swung by and parked up in town.
Old gas station converted to a sweet shop –
Original Post Office –
I like driving around and finding these small little old towns dotted around the place. The locals instantly know you’re from out of town and are always pleased to give you a nod and say hello !!
So a busy first few days in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with still lots more to do !!