Monday, September 29, 2014

Walking in Kimball

On Friday I left early in the morning and went to my auto dealer for an oil change on my car. When that was done, I went for a late breakfast and then headed towards Kimball, MN to do the walk there. I wanted to do this one primarily to mark off a K city for my Walking Minnesota Cities A-Z.

Its original name was Kimball Prairie when it was established as a railroad village. As the city's web site says, the coming of the railroad was a make or break action. It made Kimball Prairie and killed nearby Maine Prairie. Today the city's population is about 770 persons. It is a very pleasant community. My guess it is a "bedroom" town for those who work in nearby St. Cloud or perhaps even the Twin Cities.

The walk information directed me to the walk box at the Kimball Golf Club. I didn't quite know what I was going to see when I walked through the door. It turned out to be a small snack bar area, and the person at the desk knew exactly what I wanted when I asked for the walk box. But a funny thing happened while I was reviewing the route map and getting organized for the walk. A man walked up to me and asked, "Are you doing payroll?" I assured him I had a different agenda in mind.

From the Golf Club I was directed to back track to the high school and park there in the parking lot. I thought how different this was from some of the schools in this country that are being turned into police zones complete with military equipment. 

I walked along Spruce Street for a bit and then used a marked cross walk to cross over Minnesota Highway 15. From there I continued along Spruce for a bit.

I spotted a red house.

This is a infrequent color for a house in Minnesota. I think it looks great in autumn, but haven't seen one in the spring to see how it blends with colors for that season.

I walked to street that was a major west-east street and then turned to walk on Hazel. Shortly I walked by the elementary school where I also got a good view of the city water tower.

Hazel was a up to Highway 55 and then back to the cross street where I turned left and walked to Linden.

Here the map directed me to find an animal in a stone as a checkpoint -- a checkpoint being a report to prove one was at the place during the walk. Wondered how I would find this and it turned out to be very obvious!

It was up to Highway 55 and then back as well on Linden. By this point the day was getting very warm and I was looking for a place to stop for a bit of break and dig out my water bottle. This street didn't have a sidewalk so I tried stepping into the grass on the side only to discover this was very wet for some reason. Finally at the end of Linden I found a electric terminal box that turned out to be a good place to sit for a minute and enjoy some cold water.

From here it was only a short walk to Main Street where I turned left. An interesting thing was the Diva Salon. It has a great mural on the side of the building.

And here's the diva herself.

Now I had to wait for one of the North Dakota oil trains to roar through town. The oil boom is bringing a lot of money and social problems to North Dakota. What we see in Minnesota are these trains which have an unusual rate of derailing and bringing chaos to little towns.

Willow Park was the next destination. Here I found an amazing baseball field.

A sign explained this field was funded by the Minnesota Twins with additional funding from Toro and Land o Lakes.

The route map directed me towards a veterans' memorial.

From there the route map said to walk around the grassy knoll.

Then it was back to Main Street where I went by the historic City Hall.

The city hall was built in 1908 and today at least holds the public library for Kimball, plus perhaps other offices. The building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

From here it was a short walk back to Spruce Street and then the high school parking lot where I left my car.

This was a great walk to do on wonderful autumn day.

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