Now that I am back in The Netherlands I have a bit of time to reflect on my trip last month to Minnesota. Once I finally dipped my kayak in the water at Big Marine Lake I spent the last few days I had of my visit exploring the areas around the Southern edge of the lake.
Besides catching a Minnesota trout, kayaking was the only other thing on my to “do list” this trip and so far the weather has been a huge hurdle.
The temperature hit 74F yesterday and the lake where we are staying had ice out a few days ago. Imagine the smile on my face at checkin when I knew I would be able to now get my kayak out of storage and onto the lake.
The weekend ended with me showing off the picture of my rainbow trout to anyone who would stand long enough to see it.
The temperature hit 70F (Obviously that is not today as a howling blizzard is going on outside the hotel window), I decided that I would start the day with a hike at William O’Brien State Park located along the St Croix River. Then follow the St Croix River to Hastings, Minnesota where the river finally enters the Mississippi River. I would find a couple of new treasures along the way.
So, I was off to hike the River trail yesterday at William O’Brien State Park. This two mile hike runs along the St Croix River. I have hiked this trail in the Spring and Summer before but never when the ice is flooding the river.
I had some time prior to my ACA conference to sight see. I got the feeling the entire time I was outside my normal element. Here are a few thoughts why.
-The ocean, it is on the wrong side. Really, I have been living in The Netherlands so long now that it seems like the ocean should always be at the sunset not at the sunrise.
– Things are slower in Isle of Palms, SC. The speed posted on the roads is 25- 35 miles per hour and over the bridge back into Mount Pleasant is 55 mph. It just seems sooooo slow.
– People seem openly more friendly. I had several conversations about almost nothing with people here. People seemed actually interested in where you come from maybe because it is a tourist town and maybe because everyone is from somewhere else.
– It is hard as heck to find things if you don’t have a gps. Not sure why other than they camouflage all signage here in SC. They also seem to hide signage in the trees making it hard for all the rest of us to find where the chain stores are located.
– Mostly while I have been here in the states I find that I feel very out of place with how I feel about the direction of our country and how many people feel about the current administration. The current politics of this country.
– I had two people here thank me for my service when they found out I served in the military. What is nice is being recognized as a woman veteran. I don’t get this often and when I do I come close to tears. It was incredibly hard to serve so many years and then when I got out I never know how people would react to my service. It hasn’t always been positive. On this weekend of honoring veterans it is nice to know that some people feel our service to our country is important and worthy.
Thank you to those of you who thank our veteran population no matter their gender.
On this Veteran’s Day weekend:
I think of my two children who are now deployed to the countries of Qatar and Kuwait.
The wonderful guys and gals I have had the honor to serve with over the years.
For those families of soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
As I kayak this weekend I will think of them…all of them.
Today is incredibly important for American’s. I personally flew all the way from Europe to vote.
As a military veteran, I fought for our rights of freedom and that includes our democratic right to vote.
For those of veteran’s who have died for this country, please go vote. For our children who will have to live with the laws produced by our Congress, please VOTE.