Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Trip "Up North"

Going "up north" for us is anywhere from Alexandria and north - so when we went on an excursion to Thief River Falls, Roseau, Warroad and International Falls (all towns in Minnesota) this past weekend we went "up north" (do you know what the folks say from these areas when they come our way, they go "down south" of course) too funny!

It wasn't an intentional, planned weekend away but turned into one when my dear husband  (DH) fell off a forklift trying to hang a new Minnesota flag and tore a tendon in his right bicep.  The doctor in the ER said he should keep it still for a few days.  (He obviously doesn't know my DH!!)  The only way that we were going to keep him still was to put him in a car and go for a drive - so that is what we did!
Sorry if you're squeamish - this is what an arm looks like after a tear in a bicep!
(Yep - you guessed right - photo taken at a liquid courage center)

We left Friday afternoon for destinations unknown except that we were going "up north".  We even brought our passports along in case we decided to really go up north into Canada - aye!  We turned left onto Interstate 94 heading west.  It was than we decided that we would go to Thief River Falls and spend the night, get up the next morning and travel east across the top of Minnesota and see where we ended up the next night, hoping to get to International Falls.  I am truly sorry that I didn't take more pictures along the way which is no excuse except that in the haste of making sure that we got going, I stupidly forgot my good camera and only had my IPhone camera.  (Note to all:  I am going to create a packing list for "Unplanned Weekend Adventure" watch for it!)  My phone camera works fine but my good camera...sob...takes better..sob..... pictures.  I promise I got over it!

We drove through some very beautiful and productive farming country going "up north".  Did I take any photos - nope - really shouldn't take photos while driving and DH couldn't lift his arm to take any either.  You'll just have to take my word for it.  The area in the past hasn't been the best for planting corn or soybeans but in the last couple of years more and more of those crops are getting planted and the further north you go the more you will see.  Crazy!

The town of Thief River Falls has changed quite a bit from my younger days.  I used to go visit my relatives when they lived there some mere 30 plus years ago.  Their home was on the east side of town and the trees were small.  I couldn't recognize a thing driving through that same area with the growth of trees, new houses and commercial developments. I did recognize and even remembered how to get to the dam but my photos are pretty sad due to the fact it was pouring rain at the time!
Thief River Falls dam.  The information I could find says it was built in 1905?  Anyone know for sure?

Our excursion took us farther north and a bit west to the town of Roseau.  DH was super excited because he wanted to tour the Polaris plant and see if his snowmobile was built yet.  Well, it was the 4th of July weekend and they were closed.  (Note to tour people: if you aren't open for tours during a holiday weekend, exactly when are you open for tours?)  The fun little museum or experience as they called it was even closed.  Boo!  So onward we went, through the town of Warroad - couldn't tour Marvin Windows either - closed! Really?!?  We did however find the Lake of the Woods and Adrian's Resort that my DH and his family stayed at in the 70's.  He was thrilled that he remembered it and was even more thrilled that it hadn't changed much in all that time.

The same building for cleaning fish!

Same dock to get to the fishing boats!

Oh, some new docks put in for more fisher people to enjoy!
The late afternoon brought us into International Falls.  It is a really beautiful area.  The main industries here are the paper plant ( yep - tours were closed), tourism and border patroling.  There is a 24 hour gateway into Canada located in International Falls.  I have been into Canada before but never really noticed all the "duty-free" shops that are on the Minnesota side.  That was interesting!  We attended church services at First Lutheran where Pastor Irv Arnquist officiates.  (He was our home church pastor until he moved to the area about three years.) We spent the afternoon catching up, enjoying the scenery and lunch with him and his wonderful wife Marcia.

Piles of wood chips ready to be made into paper!

Beautiful view off one of the decks at Sha Sha Resort on Rainy Lake where we had lunch!

All in all, the weekend was great!  My DH was hurting a bit, but it was the best way to get his mind off his injury and keep him still.  The best part of all was that we did it all in our great state of Minnesota (quite appropriate we guessed since that was the flag DH was replacing...the irony!)

Minnesota Life is Good!   -Julie-

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