Saturday, September 6, 2014

Walking in Clara City

With jet lag just about conquered, I decided yesterday to go do the walk in Clara City, MN. It was a day when I didn't have any commitments so could do a long drive and walk.

Clara City is a small town; its 2010 census population was 1360. Clara City was founded in 1887, in conjunction with the first railroad line through this part of Minnesota with the interesting name of Rhinelander and Stoneham. There is a still a big railroad track through this city, but unlike others were I've walked in the area west of the Twin Cities, not a single train passed through town while I was there. Clara City is named after the wife of Theodore Koch, who was buying up farmland on behalf of a Holland syndicate; the idea was to form colonies of immigrants in this area.

Clara City is located in Chippewa County. It is named Chippewa for the Ojibway Indians by the Dakota who formerly lived in the area and called the area in the Dakota language, Manya Wakan, meaning beautiful waters.

I arrived at the start point for the walk about 9:30 AM and the cashier knew immediately where to find the Walk Box. This always amazes me-- the organizers for the walk do a very good job of establishing relationships with start points. The cashier pointed out a table where I could do the paperwork. I was # 39 to do this walk.

While driving out I had planned to stop somewhere for some breakfast, but didn't find anything in the small towns through which I passed except for fast food restaurants which didn't open until 11 AM. So after getting organized for the walk I had a "nutritious snack"--a coffee and a Snickers Bar.

Then I was off. The walk took me along a street parallel to the railroad tracks. I was following the directions to walk along this street until crossing a bridge for a creek. Then I was to walk along the creek through a park .

The view definitely made me think autumn is in the wind.

The walk then took me along the very western edge of the town and then back into the town. Truthfully this is a place with not much there, "there." And a lot of the town was dug up for a what appeared to be a water main project.

Then I was directed to walk north to the northern edge of the town.

In other words, on this walk I saw a lot of corn fields too. Finally I turned to the south and back into the town. I was pleased to find a little park that had a bench swing. I was ready to rest a bit because I have been having a bit of foot problem since mid-summer in Poland.

Then I walked along the street that had churches and the library.

More signs that the autumn season is upon us.

I'm doing a Volksmarch book about water towers. And this walk counted for that.

I was happy to see a sign that said Coffee Shop. I really wanted something more to eat and thought coffee and a pastry would work OK until I get find something else on my way home. But the Coffee Shop brought a surprise. It has a Friday lunch special.

For slightly less than seven dollars I had a nice hamburger, French Fries, vegetables -- that truly tasted like they had come from someone's garden, a brownie, and a drink. What a deal!

After lunch it was a short two blocks to where I had parked the car and I started home, of course hitting the Twin Cities freeways at rush hour -- a rush hour that now seems to start as early as 3:00 PM.

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