Friday, May 27, 2011

Travelogue: The Lakes

Min•ne•so•ta [min-uh-soh-tuh]

1. a state in the northern central United States: It is the chief US producer of iron ore. Capital: St. Paul. Abbreviation: MN (for use with zip code), Minn. Population: 5,059,375 according to a 2003 estimate. Area: 84,204 square miles.

2. a river flowing SE from the western border of Minnesota into the Mississippi near St. Paul. Length: 332 miles (535 km) long.

—Related forms
Min•ne•so•tan, adjective, noun

The name of the state is taken from the name of the river, from Dakota (Siouan) mnisota , lit. "cloudy water, milky water," from mni "river, stream" + sota "slightly clouded." Popular cultural references (specifically beer commercials for a local brewery) have rendered this translation as "sky-blue waters" as opposed to the less-appealing "cloudy" water translation.

No matter what you call it, this is a lovely state! The rolling green hills give way to farmland, which gives way to towns and villages, which give way to forests and fallow land, which give way to wetlands, which give way to the 10,000 lakes from which the state takes its nickname. (Though, I am sure that there was a bit if hedging on that number!) Whatever the actual number, the one drawback (other than the oppressively frigid winters that last about 3/4 of the year) is that all that water is the PERFECT breeding ground for biting insects.

There is an old joke here: Minnesota: Land of 10,000 lakes; 20,000,000 fishermen; 30,000,000,000 mosquitoes; and 4 fish!

Dad and Flo live along a chain of lakes, in a wooded dell off a state highway. It is a lovely, secluded spot. Very peaceful and relaxing, it's a wonderful place to unwind.

My folks get out and take a walk through the woods, along the lake each morning; down by the lake, skirting the fern stand, and back to the house. What a relaxing way to start the day! Too bad this part of the year last for such a small fraction of the year up here.

We were joking yesterday that perhaps The Rapture did occur this past weekend! It obviously had to – we're in paradise this week!

Wherever you are today, I hope that your surroundings are as pleasant!

Don Bergquist – May 27, 2011 – Kensington, Minnesota, USA

No comments: