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Forward across the Frontier - News - bespk

Forward across the Frontier

Posted on Saturday, 11th August 2012 by Eunice

From Dubuque we drove on to Rochester, famed for Mayo Medical clinic, with all the benefits that world fame brings: a large and thriving centre, to which people travel form all over the world.    We then drove along the Mississippi heading North and West towards Minneapolis, Minnesota.  We had an interesting tour around the outskirts of the city having taken a turn in the wrong direction.  We eventually arrived at the home of Guy's cousin and her husband, who made us incredibly welcome for two whole days of REST.  Guy managed to get some routine car maintenance done - he has been missing it so much.  We managed a whistle stop tour of the sights of the twin cities, (Minneapolis and St Paul), and then spent an extremely enjoyable day with their children and grandchildren.  It was so good to be part of a family and makes us realise how much we miss our own family and friends.  It was difficult to leave.

The countryside in this state is scattered with little lakes, many of which are surrounded by houses - reminded us a bit of On Golden Pond.  It is certainly very beautiful.  We had a day of encountering detours, until frustration persuaded us to brave the freeway.  The trucks here are enormous, some with as many as  6 axles, and when they fly past us the whole car wobbles and  it gets quite scary.

We enjoyed our second stay in a place called Alexandria,  not quite like the first.  Our journey continued in a North Westerly direction to Valley City, and then on Minot, North Dakota, driving up the beautiful James river valley.  Mostly, the scenery takes a long time to change and we have passed miles of vast fields.  The crops are different with maize giving way to sunflowers and wheat, but acreage increasing, so that the wheat is harvested by a team of combine harvesters, appearing like angry locusts as they devastate the crop.   

Oil is the new crop in Minot, which is now a mining city, full of all the machinery and bustle that goes with new found wealth.  The traffic on the roads heading into the city was very busy - loads of trucks and when we finally entered the town we were stopped by the police for going too slowly.  And we thought averaging about 38 miles per hour was jolly good.  

Today we have crossed the border into Canada, passing many nodding donkeys and open cast mines.  These have sculptured the landscape in an interesting way.  The machinery is vast and tears up the land creating dust everywhere.    Tonight we are staying in Estevan, Saskatanchewan, a smaller version of Minot.  We are abut to take a walk into town.  I wonder if the Canadians are more sympathetic to foot passengers!


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