This park is located about six miles northeast of Farmington, on Highway 32. Over the years it has been a favorite place of mine to hike. And you may be wondering about the name, what exactly does pickles have to do with a pool of water bubbling out of the ground? My same theory for street name works here; if a street's name does not make sense, then there is a person with that name. And there was a Mr. Pickles who owned Pickle Springs back in 1848, until the early 1860s. According to local legend he was shot by renegades sometime during the Civil War. Because of its permanent flow the spring was a critical source of water for local settlers during the dry summer months. In the picture below there is a waterfall and ledge, under which is located the spring. There are also other small waterfalls and a Pickle Creek which runs through the park.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
It has been close to forty years that I have been returning to Farmington for brief visits. It is where my husband John grew up, and he still has family there. This past week-end was a special time for the town. The high school had its homecoming festivities, and in conjunction with those events, there was a celebration by the alumni of the fifty years the present high school has been in existence. Mainly there was an emphasis on the history of football at the high school since 1919. We got there Friday afternoon, just in time for the parade which included current and past football players, cheerleaders, class homecoming floats, the high school band, to mention a few of the participants in the parade. I have here a picture of one of the floats which featured football players from the past.
Monday, September 20, 2010
Saturday was one of those strange days when we started the day not knowing how the rest of it would unfold. John's sister Carolyn and her husband Jim were visiting us from Farmington. Saturday morning we went with them to St.Louis Mills Mall and after that we returned to St.Charles. Coming home I think it was some highway sign which got John thinking about Calhoun County. He was surprised to find out that Carolyn and Jim had never seen the area. Before I knew it we were driving past where our home is parked and heading to Illinois! And it turned out to be a terrific day. In the past John and I would make the trip about once a year with our children over to Calhoun County to purchase apples and peaches, usually it was around the time of Labor Day. It is a great day trip driving over rolling river hills through fields of corn, peach and apple orchards. It is certainly a refreshing time away from the busyness of the big city. We took highway 94 east to Brussels Ferry. Brussels Ferry took us over the Illinois River into Calhoun County.
Friday, September 17, 2010
Saturday, September 11, 2010
We pulled into a county park outside of Cedar Falls yesterday. I knew that I was going to like this park when I saw the awesome weeping willow tree pictured below. It caught my eye immediately as we came into the entrance of the campground.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Labor Day was quite a cool windy day here in the twin cities. We did load everyone up in two cars to see the sculpture garden, as well as other sites in and around the cities of St.Paul and Minneapolis. The sculpture garden is an 11-acre urban garden that displays more than 40 sculptures, including the charming "Spoonbridge and Cherry". Isaac and Esther were kind enough to pose for me in front of that artwork. The sculpture was my favorite in the garden.
Monday, September 6, 2010
No reason for us not to attend the fair, as it is only one mile from our niece Kathy and her husband Doug's home in St.Paul. Kathy's sister Martha came from Iowa with her two children Friday night, so, with a total of five children, going to the fair seemed to be the right activity for the day. The day was sunny with a cool breeze, and that made the day perfect. The fair has been dubbed "the great Minnesota get-together" and I can understand why. I think everyone in the state also thought it was a great day for a fair! And it was a very large fair, there were many things to see and do. Below is a picture of our group trying to figure out which direction we wanted to go, whether to see the livestock or do the midway rides.
Friday, September 3, 2010
We are now in St.Paul, Minneapolis. A northwestern cold front moved through in the past twenty-four hours and it is feeling like fall is fast arriving. In the park we stayed at, in Fargo, many squirrels were dashing around with acorns in their mouths. That is also a sure sign that we are moving into the next season. It is time for John and I to head south. The botanical garden which we visited in Fargo still has a fair number of flowers in bloom. It is a small garden, taken care of by one man. In that small botanical garden there is a woodland section, a butterfly garden, a vegetable garden to feed the hungry of the community, and a garden with plants from "A to Z". The latter garden is a novel idea, and I think that all the plants representing the letters of the alphabet were there. Maybe there was a little cheating with the letter x. That letter was represented with xerescape plants, that is a category of plants which are drought resistant. An end of the summer flower which I like are gladiolas, and there is a patch of them in the garden.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Our rig is currently parked in Fargo, North Dakota, actually a few feet from the Red River. Today we got away from the subject of bison and cowboys, and went to Norway instead. The Historical and Cultural Society of Moorhead has on exhibit a full-scale replica of a stave church, and a replica of a viking ship. The church was the dream of a local chemist Guy Paulson. The original church was built in Norway in the 1100s when Scandinavia became Christianized and the Viking Age drew to a close. The Vikings in their travels had seen the stone cathedrals in Europe and wanted their country to have similar churches. They constructed theirs differently,however, by using wood and in the Gothic style rather than Romanesque. The portal of this church is adorned with carvings of lions with vines coming out of their mouths (both symbols of Christ) and the vines are devouring demons. Paulson copied all those intricate Norwegian designs from the original Hopperstad Church and carved them out himself. I mentioned earlier that it was a stave church. You can see those vertical posts in the picture I have below. You may also notice two altars. The lower one was for the people and for such rites of worship as baptism, and the higher one was for the priest. There is also a "leper's window" at the high altar which made it possible for the sick to attend church and receive communion. The churches in Norway were Catholic until the Lutheran Church later became the state church in Norway.