Thursday, August 6, 2015

Minnesota 2015 - Hibbing and Points West

Hibbing is the childhood home, from the age of 6 on, of Bob Dylan. He moved to Minneapolis to attend college in 1959. His legacy is memorialized by Bob Dylan Drive, which seemed to run for only 2 blocks. It is also home to one of several regional airports in the upper part of Minnesota. A new building, which, from it's stage of construction I witnessed, looked as if would, when finished, be quite nice, stands next to the present airport, which resembles, and very well could be, a Quonset hut.

As we flew over Minnesota during our descent and I gazed out the plane window taking in the tableau of field and forests beneath me one word came to Green, green, green, green. I tried to come up with an alternative but found it extremely difficult to do so.

My travel buddy picked me up and we drove to Hibbing's historic town center. A lovely courthouse graces one block. Nearby the town "main drag" appeared vibrant. Nearly every storefront was occupied, unlike the decay sometimes found in county seats fading from local poverty, disuse and disinterest. We lunched at a sports bar/restaurant then briefly took in the street fair taking place that day. We stopped at a local antique shop then drove off over 2 lane roads lined with verdant wilderness the likes of which I would become increasingly familiar with over the next few days.

We turned onto a narrow, packed dirt road. The convertible top was down giving us a beautiful perspective of the trees that towered over us on each side. We turned onto the packed dirt driveway leading up to my travel buddy's cabin. Prior to leaving Chicago I had joked that, from the photos I had seen, the cabin looked like the setting of a slasher movie where a group of weekending teenagers with raging hormones are picked off one by one by a hockey mask wearing maniac. I need to keep a vigilant eye out for anyone sporting sporting equipment and wielding a chainsaw. In truth it is a comfortable, commodious space of pine paneled walls and cabinets, a stunning lake view and the homey air of a placed owned, lived in and cherished by members of the same family for over 40 years. A small, steep stairway leads off a large deck to a dock where a 12 foot aluminum fishing boat is housed.

The quiet is remarkable, almost unnerving to one like myself accustomed to the unending din of city life. Waterlilies, an unexpected delight, occasionally grace the shallows which abut the shorelines of the thousands of lakes the state is noted for. We relax, drink scotch, whiskey and Drambuie served from bottles last used so long ago we had to wash the dust off of them first and have dinner, listening to the sound of the approaching thunderstorms. I anticipate a peaceful sleep that night accompanied by the soft patter of rain on the roof above me. 

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