15 September 2009

Royce Files Digest 2

It has been about 2 weeks since I last updated you on what's happening in my part of the world. With such a full August, September should be reserved for resting. It could be a great national mandate to go to a 25 hour work week. But, alas, the government is more interested in paying for our health care which mean we need to work, and work possibly more. A State Fair post is in the future. And the long promised finale to the bike adventure should go up soon. For now enjoy what I have to say in this digest.

In this digest- The Place Where Dylan Slept, BisonTurf Soccer, Melrose Place, Deal Update, Gardening.

The Place Where Dylan Slept
Big hole where the ore isBob probably slept many places in his journeys around the globe. Those of us in the northland know the place where he grew up was not Poughkeepsie but Hibbing, Minnesota. I last stopped in Hibbing over a decade ago and found it a decent place. Last month I had the opportunity to stop through the city on Minnesota's Iron Range a month ago. Although I sought the home of Dylan, I never found it. Instead I found myself at an enormous open pit mine. The Hull Rust Mine is quite a spectacle. It is like the Grand Canyon. Due to the staggering economic conditions, mining operations have ground to a halt in the mine. A lady told me about 500 miners were made redundant in the spring. Still the mine looked--well very large.

Originally the city of Hibbing was platted near the center of the present mine. When iron ore deposits were discovered under the city, the entire town, buildings and all, moved south. There are still a few remnants near the edge of the mine indicating a city once existed there.

A Hupmobile started Greyhound Lines
Moments before a storm arrived I hiked from the mine interpretive center to the Greyhound Origin Museum. This museum details the history of the famous bus company that got its start in Hibbing. Using Hupmobiles, the Mesaba Transportation Company ran lines between Hibbing and Alice, and Hibbing and Duluth. In 1929 after acquiring other regional bus lines, the company was incorporated as the Greyhound Corporation. The museum is home to numerous restored buses from Greyhound's past in addition to other articles from the bus line's history.

BisonTurf Soccer
It was an awful season for decent soccer. We were winless the entire season and had a few games get out of hand for discipline. This is all very sad because we actually had more practices than all the previous season put together. Not to be all down on it- there were a few good games. And we did enjoy a few post games at the Bison Turf. Still, at times it began to be less fun and more stressful. I enjoyed playing with the gang from work at Centennial School gym much more.
Melrose Place
En route to the Twin Cities for Labor Day weekend, I camped for a night at the Sauk River Park Campground in Melrose. The town is right on 94 and the park is situated about a mile from the freeway. The park has about a dozen campsites on the Sauk River- some with utilities and some without. It cost only $6 for tent camping. The bathrooms had running water. I pitched my Eureka Timberline and had a good night's rest. Nobody else camped there that night.
The next morning I saw a Great Blue Heron.

Deal Update
Leaving Melrose I headed into St. Cloud to check out Big Lots, Savers, and another thrift store, all in the same strip mall. I came out with plenty of deals which I will discuss in another post. Actually, most of my Big Lots purchases were of the edible and drinkable variety. I miss having a Big Lots in town.
In the afternoon I finally got to revisit Val's Rapid Serve, a popular independent quick serve burger joint. I attempted a visit a few months ago but was stymied by their hours. Val's closes at 7PM. This day, I arrived just at the peak of the rush hour lunch. The shanty sized place was crowded but fortunately they had A/C. I placed a typical order at one of the computer terminals and waited for my order. I was not disappointed. The Food Network show Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives needs to cover this place.

After lunch I stopped through Albertville in search of Crocs but found none to my liking. I purchased nothing at any of the outlets. I am saddened that Keen shoes never plunge into the sub $50 level. I proceeded to Maple Grove to stop at REI, Guitar, Center, Dick's Sporting Goods, and Marshall's. I almost bought a Silvertone guitar for $50 but passed on it. Before making it to Lehigh I stopped at the Maplewood Savers and Marshall's. I picked up some cheap golf clubs at the thrift, including a pitching wedge that has eluded me. Next door at Marshall's I bought an odd tasting gourmet cookie amongst other things.

Gardening

I've been working in a community garden during the week. Harvest time came late this year. Usually one could expect to be harvesting in mid-July. The cooler summer has moved ripening back almost a month. Broccoli and cabbage lasted into well into July. Sweet corn didn't mature until nearly the last week in August. Cukes did not fare good at all. There were plenty of yellow squash and peppers but zucchini bit the dust early.

At the Lehigh gardens it was just as bad if not worse. Maturity was later than usual. Cukes and squash failed. However, there was surprisingly good crop of sweet corn. When at Lehigh that weekend I harvested many onions and salvaged what I anticipated to be lost potatoes. The potatoes were OK. Onions were of average size. Red onions were smaller than average. Then there is a number of pumpkins in the back field which are doing well.

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