This is the view from the guesthouse room where I am staying at St. John’s Abbey this evening. I see someone out on the lake in a canoe. It is chilly, but the sun is shining and the grass is definitely green! Today I saw a swan on one small lake and of course lots of ducks. I love driving through the lake country around Fergus Falls and Alexandria. Also the fields still have lots of water from the melted snow.
My windshield time today was 300+ miles from Bismarck to St. John’s so I was ready to quit when I got here. About half an hour and then I can go to the cafeteria and have some supper. Sounds good! As usual more traffic the further east I came. It is almost mesmerizing and one has to be a little careful and not get trance-like and not aware of your surroundings.
As I always do when I travel I got to thinking about traveling throughout history and how people have always been on the move. Each one in their own little cocoon and traveling for different purposes. Whether it was Persian messengers along the ancient roads of the empire or a stagecoach rolling into Dodge City. The first words as the passengers climb out of the stagecoach are always “Where is the hotel or a boarding house?” Someone has always needed and someone has always provided.
Since I am staying at the Abbey I think of the monasteries in ancient times. Travelers always went from one to the next and tried to travel together. The Benedictines then as well as now were known for their hospitality. They provided hospitals and places to eat as well as sleep for a small offering. Of course motels and hotels all come from that same source. The inn keepers always had a bed for a lonely, footsore traveler and something hot to eat.
We think of it as a huge business today and it is, but it is also a necessity when you are on the road. Interesting to think about.
Sitting here on Easter Monday, I see a number of college students biking and jogging and just walking around the lake. Beautiful day to be out. Minnesota gets the heat and humidity so they enjoy the milder days just as we do at home.
As I was driving along I kept thinking something was missing. It finally dawned on me it was the sunflowers I usually see all across North Dakota. Too early for them as yet. As I got closer to St. Cloud I saw signs for the "Lake Wobegon Trail". If I had more time would be fun to take that. I remember my first trip into Minnesota. I was intrigued with silos on farms and also the pristine country churches that looked like calendar pictures. I also remember wondering if the ground was wet around Fargo and east, but the folks informed us it was the black, rich soil of the Red River Valley. It was a wonder to my eyes accustomed to the bleached soil of Eastern Montana. Farmers were out with their equipment today, working the ground.