This past weekend Laurel and I traveled to western Minnesota. Laurel was doing training at two vet clinics. She is doing freelance work for a dental radiography company teaching clinics how to use their new equipment. We left home Friday morning and met up with a veterinarian technician peer in Victoria Minnesota for lunch. We had good conversation with her catching up on her work life and family. We load back into the car and headed westward to Granite Falls Minnesota where our motel room awaited our arrival.
The trip across the state on U S Highway 212 went well. I marveled at the snow drifts created by the windbreaks around the farmsteads. They have had so much wind the fields had a shallow covering of snow and top soil covered the snow everywhere. Back home our fields are coved with 2 feet of snow. We arrived at our motel in Granite Falls and got checked in and to took a little down time before we head out to Cottonwood to the Lakeside Vet Clinic. Laurel grabbed her training supplies headed into the clinic. That left me with 3 1/2 to 4 hours of alone time.
Fear not, I had my camera with me and I had not been in southwest Minnesota in almost 19 years. The last time I was in Marshall Minnesota was when my brother got married. I did a little drive around Marshall and saw a large steeple on the far west end of Highway 19. I followed the landmark and I found the church where he was married. I noticed they added on to the front of the church covering the front steps. They did such a wonderful job of matching the brick the addition looked as though it had been there from the first days of construction. I took a few photos and headed to McDonalds for a little free internet time. I tweeted out I was in Marshall and got received a tweet back from CarolynCares who lives in the area. She wasn’t home but it would have been great to meet her. I follow her blog on WordPress and I really enjoyed her 30 Days of Thanksgiving she wrote in November. As the sun set in the west I took the back roads back to Cottonwood and photographed the prairie sunset of southwest Minnesota. For those of you wondering how flat is the land in the area. Well, I thought I could see Mt Rushmore silhouetted in the sunset 😉 As the sun faded below the horizon I made my way back to Cottonwood enjoying the quite of a small town on the prairie land of America. I headed back to the clinic and picked up my Valentine and made our way back to Granite Falls for dinner at Dallas II and a little shut eye.
The next morning we awoke with snow flurries and had a small detour. We headed up the road to Montevideo for a funeral. The funeral was for the mother of Laurel’s boss. As I read about her life and heard the story of her life, Montevideo has lost a great person in their town. We had to leave early because Laurel had to be in Olivia for Olivia Pet Clinic’s training.
Again I dropped her off and headed out exploring the area. I remembered a news story on Kare11 about a church that went thru a restoration project. I asked the clinic staff and they pointed me to the catholic church in town. So I drove over and found the church, St Aloysius Catholic Church. I drove around the building taking pictures. I saw a worker clearing snow from the sidewalks and asked about the church. He didn’t seem to know what I was talking about but he told me if I wanted to go in and take a look it was ok. He lead me to the sanctuary and opened the door. It was breath taking! I asked him if I could take some photos. Sure, and he said he would go and turn on the lights for me. I want back to the car and grabbed my camera. I found myself in awe of the beauty in the sanctuary.
I spent almost an hour photographing and trying to take in all the details of the restoration. If you find yourself traveling thru Minnesota on 212, stop in Olivia and enjoy the oasis of God beauty. I spent next few hours driving around town and down the road to Morton Minnesota. In Morton I stopped by the Lower Sioux Agency site. I told Laurel we will need to go back in the summer so we can walk the trails of the site and read its history. Laurel finished her training and we headed home. We chased the snow down Highway 212 to Minneapolis when we caught up to the snow just before we hit the cities. We made ourselves thru the cities and homeward with a dusting of snow. Good we didn’t any more, but today the snow is back. 4-7 inches by 3 pm I guess my butt will be caressed by the 8n seat tonight as I clear the driveway.