Sunday, November 18, 2012

Walking in St. Cloud

Even though I wrote a blog earlier saying summer was over, maybe it's not. The weather forecast for today spoke about temperatures in the high 50s - 60 (maybe 15 in Celsius). A day like that shouldn't be wasted. I decided to do the walk in St. Cloud. It is one of the year around walks and the drive is only about a bit more than an hour. I chose to do the 5 K walk. This takes me to 100K since the first part of September!

The start point was the reception desk at the Kelly Inn- Best Western in St. Cloud. I'm always amazed that I walk up to places like this and someone knows what I want when I ask for the walk box.

I've lived in Minnesota for years and often had to go to work associated meetings in St. Cloud, but this is the first time I've really walked around the city. I took a wrong turn and good thing. I found this strange sculpture.

There was no signage here -- no name, no artist, no explanation!

The walk continued down the street by the Stearns County Courthouse.
 Then it was down by the police station where I found a time capsule.

I have obviously heard of time capsules, but this is the first time I've seen one.

The walk went down to a bakery -- on the route because some walkers keep track of walks that go by family owned bakeries.

Then the route cut across Minnesota Highway 23 to Lake George, a tiny lake. I got to wondering why how the lake was named George. I dug out my copy of the Minnesota Geographic Names. I found it is named after George Kraemer, one of the pioneer settlers of St. Cloud. And while I'm on the topic I learned St. Cloud gets its name for the strong attraction John Wilson, considered the founder of the city, had for the name St. Cloud after reading a biography of Napoleon I and learning that Empress Josephine spent much time at the magnificent palace of St. Cloud.

Approaching Lake George one first sees the Viet Nam Memorial.

Then the route map said to walk two times around Lake George.

I noticed a bird sculpture.

Again no name, no artist, no information. Also a puzzle. The front of the work faces the lake. This is a puzzle because there are signs that say no swimming, no boating in this lake, so how does anyone really see the sculpture from the front?

Near the bottom of the lake the walk goes between the lake and a little pond. At the end of the pond is a little house -- maybe about 5 feet high and 4 feet wide.

Again no sign, no explanation.

The bottom of the lake was full of geese.

I also disturbed some ducks.

After the second time around the lake I headed back to the start point and the parking lot where I had left my car.

Found another mysterious sculpture.

Again no sign, no artist -- as you can see from the close up above, it is a blue and green mosaic. I wondered if it was sky, trees, and the river.

I stopped for lunch at the Green Mill that adjoins the hotel. Then I wandered back into the hotel and took a photos out of the window in the lobby.

This is how the Mississippi River looks in November. November isn't a very scenic month in Minnesota, but any day without snow is a good one!

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