Tag Archives: minnesota

Solitude on the Road

I’ve always loved going for drives in the car, mostly as the passenger, but I’ll gladly do the driving if it means being alone and recharging for a bit and possibly doing some exploring. One thing I miss from Colorado is that feeling of remoteness that I often had. I didn’t live in a big town or even that near a big city so it was very easy to drive a short distance and feel like there weren’t a lot of people around. It’s been a little more difficult to find that here nearer a big city without having to drive too far.  So, I had the idea to take day and do a lot of driving on a weekend and Josh said, why not stay the night somewhere so you don’t have to do all that driving in one day?  Sold!

I think everyone needs to be on their own at times, but as an introvert it’s a necessity for me.  I do often get quiet time each day, but it doesn’t always feel like enough, especially when one or both kids has trouble sleeping and that time is interrupted. Also, as much as I love the cats, Uzi has somehow become even clingier and the second I relax, he’s on my lap. There are times when I am just touched out – by kids, by cats, by everyone and everything and even my own skin feels like it’s too much. So, this time away was very much needed and overdue.  I drove… and drove… I think I spent about 10 hours in the car total?  I went with the intention of looking for birds and did find some, though, not as many as I had hoped.  I didn’t take any amazing photos, but I did find a very funny squirrel and most of all I found space to breathe deeply and in silence.

I mentioned in a previous blog post that I accidentally left my really warm clothes at home, so without my big hat and gloves I wasn’t able to do much of the wandering by foot I had wanted to do. It was around zero outside, and with just a light knit hat and gloves I didn’t want to wander too far.  The snow was crunchy so I managed to scare a deer or two and some other birds, but once I got farther away from a road (with barely any traffic) I just stopped and it was… perfect. I could hear birds even if I couldn’t see them, many of which I had never heard before.  I could hear the scurry of squirrels and what I imagine was another deer or two as the crunch of the snow was louder, but more delicate than my own trudging.  It was in that moment that I knew when we got our own cabin it has to be more remote. I need a place to recharge on a more regular basis.  I need my place, you know? Now if we can just find that perfect spot near a lake for Josh. Granted, my ideal place would be in the mountains, but I’ll take what I can get.

State Fair

We arrived at the State Fair and were greeted with the smell of animal poo mixed with the glorious smell of every deep-fried food imaginable, and thousands of people. We had made it a goal to see as many animals as possible – particularly of the squishy and cuddly variety and to try as many fair foods as we could stomach, which due to wallet constraints turned out to be fewer than I had hoped (fair food is seriously over-priced).

We started things out at The Miracle of Birth Center where we got tried to manuever our way through crowds to see baby cows a day old, lambs a few hours old, and piglets in the process of being born, while a growing crowd waited to watch a cow who was supposed to give birth at some point during the day.


We then squeezed our way out and went to check out the bunnies, which was thankfully much less crowded, and boy were there ever a lot of bunnies – row upon row in fact. I think a part of me may have died from cuteness overload that day.


The horse barn was a bit difficult to navigate and many of the stalls were empty, or the horses were getting ready for various shows (we didn’t know what or where as we couldn’t get anyone to tell us). Talk about some huge horses!  The majority that we saw were Percherons, and they were a sight to behold. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such big horses, to be honest. (Granted, I haven’t been around that many horses). They really were stunning, though, even if we could only see many of their rear-ends.


We spent most of the day walking around and soon realized that it was going to be very difficult to find anywhere to sit down. Every available bench or table was in use, so we decided to head over to the colliseum and watch some cows get judged. As we looked around we wondered if other people were just there to get out of the sun as well, or if they actually knew what was going on, because we certainly didn’t. Cow judging is a lot like curling or Nascar or other sports that are boring to watch from the sidelines. I don’t know how or why I get drawn in, but the cow judging was the same way… granted, Josh and I had our own commentary going, which made it slightly more interesting.


I think it was shortly after that we decided to head home. We had had our fill of deep-fried twinkies and root beer floats, and struggling with crowds. I definitely did not enjoy the crowds – especially the high volume of rude shovers and pushers. Will we go again next year? Probably not, but now I can say I went.