Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Travel Gear: Rain Jacket

The rain was torrential.

"You look funny" commented some miserable-looking middle-aged woman as she stumbled towards us on the Wainwright Coast-to-Coast hike across England.

I gurgled something to show I was glad I had added to her happiness on that grey day. I suspected this was her first and last long distance walk.

We certainly looked unusual. This was probably her first encounter with rain jackets with humps to accommodate backpacks. Fewer than 200 are sold each year.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Our State Fair

The Minnesota State Fair is a big deal. It runs for 10 days through Labor Day with a total attendance around 1.8 million.

This morning, I was one of those attendees.

I'm not one for crowds, or food on a stick, or animal competitions. But I do like to drop in on the Fair every few years to check out some of my old favorites.

It's the strong continuity with the past that gets me. On today's visit, I was seeing the same things I had seen on my first visit, a third of a century ago.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Travel Gear: Trekking Pole

I often hike with one trekking pole. Some hikers prefer two poles: I don't have enough hands to carry two while operating my GPS, or grabbing tree limbs.

It's largely about balance, but I suspect my knees are grateful when I lean on the pole while climbing.

Unfortunately, a trekking pole makes air travel more complicated.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Nagasaki/Saint Paul

Nagasaki aesthetics, Como Park, St. Paul, MN.
Minneapolis and St. Paul are twins; Nagasaki and St. Paul are sisters.

In March 2014, I got to meet St. Paul's sister.

I decided not to stay at the Hotel Saint Paul Nagasaki, its name designed to attract my compatriots. I had not come all this way to overhear their comments in the breakfast room.

It was the Nagasaki of 1800 that drew me here, but I first needed to pay my respects to the victims of the atomic bomb.