Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Walking in Elbow Lake

I woke in Fergus Falls to wind and clouds. Should I go do another walk or simply go home? The Weather Channel forecasts said the day would be sunny, but the outdoors really said something different. Well Elbow Lake is only a 20 minute drive away and not much out of the way for going home so I decided to give it a try.

On the way down -- down is how we express going south -- I drove by many lakes. Sometimes there was one on the left, sometimes one on the right, and sometimes one on both sides of the road. 

Elbow Lake is named after a nearby lake which looks like an arm bent at the elbow. It is smaller town yet, with a population of about 1170. It is the county seat of Grant County, named after Ulysses S. Grant.

The walk started from a small motel. I found the door marked Office and a black cat came running and went in ahead of me. I noticed a bell marked Ring for Help and thought I'd ask if the cat should be inside. I turned around and noticed the walk box sitting on a table, and decided I didn't need to bother anyone -- but did need to bother the cat. It thought sitting on my jacket and backpack to be a perfect place.

I found the directions for the 5K walk, picked up the cat, and was on my way. I thought I should make tracks just in case those clouds blew up some rain. I wore my raincoat just in case, and actually it proved to be a very good wind break. The temperature was not quite 60 (15C).

It was hard to follow the route because of how the streets are named in this town. There are avenues with numbers such as 1, 2, and 3, crossed by streets with the same numbers with the addition of direction such as SE or NE. I spent a lot of time looking at the route map and looking at street signs.

I kept seeing the same house, too. -- Well, not the same house, but the same model of house.

 This square house with the little windows on the second floor appeared several times. Cookie cutter homes are not new! I estimate these homes were build perhaps in the 1920s.

Then I hit the street construction which necessitated doing a detour, too.

But here are some views. Pisa may have its Leaning Tower, but Elbow Lake has a leaning barn.

After walking by this barn I ended up walking on a gravel road along the very edge of the town.

I came by a road giving me a view of a lake, but it's hard to see in the weather of the day.

I rounded the corner by where the eagle is.

I have seen many statutes of eagles, but this is the first one I've ever seen that has a nest, too.

Up the hill I found a house that was of a different style.
After this the route directed me through a street area lined with farm equipment and no street signs.

I walked in circles for awhile, ending up on some streets that were at the start of the route. I finally gave up and made my way back to the car. I know I walked 5K, just not 1K at the end that matched the map.

I drove back to Alexandria and had lunch there and then continued on my way back to St. Paul. I still have two walks to do out in this area of Minnesota, but will try to do them with day trips.

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