From Ashby and The Central Lakes Trail, it was just a short hop to the city park in Melrose, Minnesota. This was a really nice spot right on the Sauk River and adjacent to the trail… we are getting spoiled!
The kitties liked it here too. Astrid came out and got more used to being out on the string. She has resisted it forever and would just run in the bus and sulk when we leashed her up. But she was starting to go further afield and rules are rules. Somebody walking a dog made them stick close.
The Lake Wobegon Trail stretches 46 miles from West Vales to St. Joseph, Minnesota. We try to go to the middle of the trail so we can cover both directions.
All the little communities, population about 600-1000 have a great big brick Catholic church, many with a large school and cemetery. The cemetery in Freeport probably had more people in it than live in the town. The martin house matches the church!
And the cemetery was shady and peaceful. I like cemeteries and wandered around this one. When I saw the smaller section in back I first thought, “Oh that’s where the poor people are.” But it was the children’s section; compelling and sad.
Many of the children didn’t make it but some people lived to be almost 100! Germans are tough.
Between Albany and Sauk Centre, more churches.
In Albany… And in Freeport there is a cafe where Garrison Keillor came to listen to the locals for material for Tales from Lake Wobegon. Someone in Melrose told me that he also had a restaurant in Avon but we didn’t check that out since it was off the trail.
Sauk Centre was the home of Sinclair Lewis who wrote Main Street about the main street in Sauk Centre. They are understandably proud.
We did stay over an extra day to eat at the highly recommended Mexican restaurant in Melrose, El Portal. It was well worth the extra stay. We got in about 80 miles on this trail; it is a real treasure in central Minnesota. The section between Freeport and Melrose had little encouraging signs like “Exercise can be fun” and Exercise prevents disease.” My favorite; a shout-out to Michelle Obama, “Let’s move!”
And in just the few days we were here, the sumac really started to change colors.
Winter is coming…