I didn’t know what to expect from our long weekend trip to Minneapolis, but for some reason I suspected that I would leave the city happy to have acquainted myself with the metropolis, but generally all right with just being pen pals. The sorts of pals that send each other greeting cards around the holidays and maybe check in on favored social media accounts around birthday times. Etc. Etc.
It’s a good thing to tour a new city. It’s a better thing to tour a new city with a good friend who knows where all the cool kids hang out.
Last weekend we spent a couple of days getting to know Minneapolis, Minnesota. The land of 10,000 lakes, if the state license plate is to be believed. Both of us have actually been to Minneapolis before, Dan for business and me on a family road trip many moons ago (I just crunched the numbers and “many moons” in this instance equals approximately 240 moons; now that’s a wowza for you). So for this trip we built in a few days to explore the metropolis and see what’s what in the fair city.
At the beginning of December I promised a look back at a couple of stories and photos I failed to get up here earlier in the year. Before we say farewell to 2015 and kick off shiny new 2016, here is one of those posts.
The last time we road tripped together, the windshield wipers provided a tempo to our travel. This time around, we mostly stewed in the hot desert sun longing for some rain. When the rain did eventually start — 1,097 miles into our trip as we drove north toward home — we cheered it along. Perhaps it would loosen some of the bug residue built up on the windshield that sheltered us.
A good chunk of my life has been spent driving across desert terrain. I grew up in Colorado, but my large extended family resided west in California. Being one of four, it usually made most sense to drive to visit them, my parents loading us into our old red Ford Aerostar van named Ruby and crossing Wyoming, Utah, Nevada and the northern slice of California to arrive in the Bay Area. We weren’t the rambling sort, instead opting to drive all of the nearly 1,300-mile journey in one stretch. Only a 17-hour trip if you really believe in yourself. At least once a year during the course of our childhood we would make this drive, waving to the likes of Cheyenne and Salt Lake City, reeling past Reno, and feeling our excitement grow as we crossed into the Sierra Nevadas for our final approach into San Francisco. We stopped only for gas, to use remote and sometimes alarming rest areas, and to eat 50-cent ice cream cones at Little America.
I believe this somewhat maniacal family habit still inspires our adult travel adventures. Which is why my sister and I found ourselves at the beginning of May attempting a tour of the southwestern part of the United States with only three days dedicated to the feat. Three days to leave Denver, jaunt through Moab, Arches National Park, the Grand Canyon, walk the avenues of Williams and Flagstaff, Ariz., and then tour the southern corner of Colorado. Three days. No problem.
Autumn is the greatest.
Hope to see you again soon.
⸰ ⸰ ⸰
Well, it was worth a shot, but of course there is more to be said! The day my remarks are that brief is probably a day without coffee. Which would be bad.
What is not bad is another edition of our monthly 10-on-10 collaborative project! Here are my fabulous colleagues:
Say hello and happy trails to the crew, and then we shall continue with my tale. Go ahead, I’ll wait….
A few weeks back we traveled through the mountains to Aspen. Our quest involved finding fall colors to photograph a fine, engaged couple standing in front of, among, and totally surrounded by the glory. It took a little more doing than you would expect when going to a place named for the exact trees which we sought (as you heard about a few days ago).
We spent our second day of the weekend rising before the sun to catch the sunrise. As one must do. We ventured to the Maroon Bells, an iconic mountain vista here in Colorado. Prior to this particular weekend adventure I had somehow never actually visited this famous and gorgeous place. I have been remiss as a Colorado native, they may revoke my birth certificate.
The pre-sun morning was 100 percent freezing. We’re talking icicles here, folks. And it being a famed destination, we were not the only photographers and visitors to make the trip.
A positive deluge greeted me as I ventured out of our hotel in St. Petersburg, Florida. My sandaled feet were soaked within about 12 seconds. The not-large-enough umbrella clutched above my head kept little below my torso dry. I wavered beside the hotel entrance for a minute, wondering if perhaps staying in the hotel with a “Back to the Future” marathon playing on television would be such a bad way to spend the morning. Then I steeled my resolve and set forth.
Fortunately for me, my destination, the Dali Museum, was only about 15 minutes away by foot. Truth be told, I’ve never quite understood the artistic triumphs that are the collected works of Salvador Dali. The surrealist movement is simply beyond my own tastes. But I wanted to try it on for size for a day. See if we couldn’t come to terms with each other.