Back to Minnesota
The third week of January 2006 we took a trip back to Minnesota. Cori was to be in Minneapolis for business and Dale tagged along to see family and friends.
Over the weekend we stayed with "Cousin Joe" and Mona and they arranged a get together with friends from the Bayfield Yacht Club. Saturday afternoon included a winter hike.
Monday through Friday was taken up by work for Cori.
Dale on the other hand ran around town seeing some old friends and visiting co-workers at his previous job. There are a lot of co-workers gone from back in the old days but is was good to see those that are still there.
Tuesday was the day to drive "up north" to see family. "Home" is about 300 miles northwest of Minneapolis. The weather was a bit unsettled with some snow in the central part of the state and winds 20 - 40 mph. For those of you not familiar with these conditions, let me tall you that is is not a fun drive. The first two thirds of the trip are on interstate 94 then change over to state highways. After the first 90 miles the snow picked up and the road conditions deteriorated. From there to my turn off there was snow blowing and covering the traffic lanes. At several points I would lose sight of the semi-truck about 30 yards in front of me. There were numerous vehicles in the ditches. About 15 miles from my turn off the highway was closed. This is the point where you enter the Red River Valley which is the border of Minnesota and North Dakota. It is very flat and wide open to the elements. When the wind picks up any loose snow is blown around and starts drifting and any visibility is lost. In these conditions they shut down the highway until conditions improve.
Fortunately for me I know how to bypass this section and take several side roads to get to the highway that I want. Once onto the state highway it was about 120 miles to go at 45 mph top speed. It took a while but I finally made it to my Mothers in the late afternoon. Being a native of NW Minnesota all this was very familiar.
That evening we got together with my sister, her kids and grandchildren. I hadn't seen some these people since before we moved. We spent a nice evening catching up. I did bring a surprise for the youngest ones: sharks teeth. Earlier this fall Cori and I spent some time in the town of Aurora NC at the fossil museum and collected some fossilized shark teeth in their dig piles.
Thursday, after too short of a visit, I had to make the trip back to Minneapolis. This time the trip was uneventful.
Friday, Dale was volunteered to help with the tear-down at the trade show that Cori was working at and then it was back to Joe and Mona's for the weekend. This trip coincided with a local civic celebration that included hot air balloons. After watching the balloons take off it was time for breakfast then a trip to the local bar for a bloody mary. We spent the rest of the day with Mike and Jill and Barrett and Karon (aka Karebear) also from the Yacht Club.
That evening and Sunday morning it was snowing which delayed our flight out due to de-icing. We "just" made our connection in Charlotte but unfortunately our baggage didn't. Then it was back to Hi Flite and life as usual.