Canada/West 2022:
Day 6 - International Falls


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Canada 2022: [Day 1 - Holmen] [Day 2 - Trempealeau] [Day 3 - Coon Valley] [Day 4 - Viroqua] [Day 5 - Cloquet] [Day 6 - International Falls] [Day 7 - Winnipeg] [Day 8 - Winnipeg] [Day 9 - Regina] [Day 10 - Grasslands NP] [Day 11 - Taber] [Day 12 - Waterton Lakes NP] [Day 13 - Banff NP] [Day 14 - Edmonton] [Day 15 - Jasper NP] [Day 16 - Bay View] [Day 17 - Woodinville] [Day 18 - Woodinville] [Day 19 - Mt. Rainier NP] [Day 20 - Macks Creek Park] [Day 21 - Craters of the Moon] [Day 22 - Yellowstone NP] [Day 23 - Lewis and Clark SP] [Day 24 - Fargo] [Day 25 - Heading Home]

Monday, August 15, 2022: We awoke to a charming light fog. We got our stuff together and were out of the hotel by 8 AM, ...
... and found this New Hampshire-themed U-Haul parked in the hotel near our minivan.
Our first stop this foggy morning was at the Maple Grove Cemetery.
We spent forty minutes walking the grounds trying to locate the grave of Lorren Lindevig, one of Debbie's relatives and a member of the Polka Hall of Fame. Unfortunately, we were not able to locate it.
We left the cemetery and headed to nearby Jay Cooke State Park.
We found a place to park, ...
... and headed toward the bridge over the St. Louis River. Debbie had been here in 1986 with her cousin Kristina when she visited from Sweden.
The old swinging bridge was damaged by floods in 2012, and a new bridge was built in its place.
Let's take a look at the new bridge!
The views upstream and down are fantastic, ...
... but we were taken by the absolute carnage of thousands of dead and dying mayflies near the center of the bridge.
Many of these were dead, but there were still some wings beating. There must have been a tremendous swarm over the center of the river here recently.
We took in the gorgeous views upriver, carefully negotiated the mayfly carcasses, and returned to our van.
Here's the Thomson Dam as viewed from the bridge over the St. Louis River leading into the park.
After walking through the wet cemetery grass for nearly an hour, we treated ourselves to dry socks and shoes, and then decided to snack on a few more of Tom's peanut butter cookies.
Making our way back north, we passed this Delaware-themed U-Haul truck with a mural of a horseshoe crab on it.
We made a pit stop at the Anchor Lake rest area, ...
... and noticed that the squirrels in this area are smaller than the ones near our home. Check out this cute little guy.
There were signs pointing to an overlook that led up some stairs to the top of the building, and then off toward some woods. We followed the path for a while, but after walking for a while without any indication of how far away the overlook was, we gave up and headed back toward the van.
We saw this pretty orange and yellow flower on the way back to the van.
Score! We passed a U-Haul lot right off the road and got photos of this Massachusetts-themed truck with art depicting the Bunker Hill Bridge, ...
... and one with a Mississippi Sandhill Crane, ...
... and this one from Maryland depicting the Hubble Space Telescope, which is operated from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, ...
... and this one depicting what looks to be a catfish representing Virginia. By now, we had a collection and we will spare you, gentle reader, from every single one we found. Check out our U-Haul page to see them all.
There were several smaller trailers nearby including this one with artwork representing Wapakoneta, Ohio, the birthplace of Astronaut Neil Armstrong. We realized that the larger trucks have artwork representing states and the smaller trailers represent cities, but we decided not to try to collect all those.
We crossed the Virginia High Bridge near Virginia, MN, ...
... and decided to stop at a local grocery store, SuperOne.
We bought Diet Rite Zero and Diet Coke, but we paused at this Killebrew soda display. Harmon Killebrew had been an amazing baseball player and both of us remember him very fondly. We had visited his hometown and his grave during our travels last year.
Hey! Its Superior National Forest!
Apparently, we missed the actual Giant Bluegill. Sigh. This giant wooden carving of it will have to do.
We pulled into the Ash River Visitor Center for Voyageurs National Park just before 1 PM. This was the first time either of us had been here.
The visitor center had a lovely gift shop, and we purchased a insulated water bottle as a souvenir before heading outside.
Facing the water behind the visitor center were four red adironack chairs. We knew that the Canadian National Parks service had a tourist campaign that encouraged visitors to find red chairs throughout Canada, but we hadn't expected to find any here.
These two had a spectacular view of Kabetogama Lake.
Apparently, the walleye here are so large, they have saddles.
We headed west to the Lake Kabetogama Visitors Center.
They had a nice boat launch area and what looked like a brand new pier.
The grounds were lovely, with picnic tables and walkways all around the lake. We spent some time looking out over the water before saying farewell.
We saw this giant fisherman statue on the outskirts of ...
... International Falls, Minnesota. This city is always shown on weather maps as one of the coldest, if not THE coldest, spots in the continental United States. Even though it was mid-August, we were half-expecting snow on the ground.
We drove through the cute little town, parking near Smokey Bear Park to get out and take a look. The park has a nice peace pole.
There is a museum devoted to Bronko Nagurski, a professional football player who grew up in International Falls and played his entire professional career with the Chicago Bears.
This statue of Smokey and two cubs stands at the street corner entrance to Smokey Bear Park.
We had to get a picture of this Waters of the Dancing Sky Scenic Byway sign. We were going to head north from International Falls into Canada and we were really hoping to be able to see the northern lights when we were there.
We had time to kill before we could check into our hotel, so we headed east from International Falls looking for this giant voyageur statue. This is Big Vic, a 25-foot tall fiberglass representation of the people who transported furs and other trade goods by canoe through the interior of the continent from the early 1800s until the early 1900s.
That's Canada over there. Doesn't it look nice?
Near the bridge to Canada is Border Bob's, which bills itself as "The Last Building in the U.S."
Check out this cool bike rack.
It sits on the corner of the main street through International Falls, and behind it is a mural that runs the length of the building.
After several days of dirt roads through rural Wisconsin and Minnesota, we decided to treat our minivan to a carwash. This one used a multicolor foam that was very pretty as it oozed down the windshield.
At 3:30 PM, we arrived at The Nomad Motel, our home for the evening.
The hotel had been recently purchased and renovated, and it looked spectacular.
After we settled in, we enjoyed a treat of gluten free cauliflower crackers and Babybel cheese, which is always a favorite.
As we had our snack, Doug texted us to say that they had run into some of our fellow Lindevig reunion cousins (Luke, Bob, and Gloria) at the St. Paul airport before their flight home. Its a small world sometimes.

Day 7 >


Canada 2022: [Day 1 - Holmen] [Day 2 - Trempealeau] [Day 3 - Coon Valley] [Day 4 - Viroqua] [Day 5 - Cloquet] [Day 6 - International Falls] [Day 7 - Winnipeg] [Day 8 - Winnipeg] [Day 9 - Regina] [Day 10 - Grasslands NP] [Day 11 - Taber] [Day 12 - Waterton Lakes NP] [Day 13 - Banff NP] [Day 14 - Edmonton] [Day 15 - Jasper NP] [Day 16 - Bay View] [Day 17 - Woodinville] [Day 18 - Woodinville] [Day 19 - Mt. Rainier NP] [Day 20 - Macks Creek Park] [Day 21 - Craters of the Moon] [Day 22 - Yellowstone NP] [Day 23 - Lewis and Clark SP] [Day 24 - Fargo] [Day 25 - Heading Home]

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