My Blue Mounds State Park Photo Essay

Look at me add photos to my blog! (Let’s see whether they actually show up or whether I screw up the look of the blog in the process…) I’ve been meaning to try and figure this out for quite a while…

At any rate, I’m back! Yesterday was a LONG day. I spoke all morning, had a quick lunch on my way out of town, then drove all the way home (stopping by to see my dad for an hour and a half along the way…originally I wasn’t going to. I told him on Monday that I wouldn’t stop because it was a long drive and I wanted to get home on Wednesday. But driving the 2-lane road to Armstrong and then across to I-35 rather than driving I-90 really only adds about another 30 minutes to the trip. I figured it was worth it.)

I think the coolest thing about this visit to Luverne was I DIDN’T USE A MICROPHONE THE WHOLE TIME!!! I don’t normally use a microphone when I’m just in a classroom, but I’ve never gone without one in larger groups (these groups were around 100 each). I’ve been at a school where I was told I wouldn’t need one (despite the fact I warned them ahead of time that I have a soft voice), but then five minutes into my presentation they set me up with one. But everyone said they could hear me this time. No one went to get a microphone. SO either I’m louder than I think I am or I’m finally learning to project my voice!

Anyway…here are my pictures from my hike through Blue Mounds State Park after I spoke on Monday.

As you’re leaving Luverne (heading north), this is the view heading out of town:

The road out of Luverne (going north)

That’s Blue Mounds State Park. Like I said on Monday, I have no idea why they call it BLUE Mounds…the “mound” (and I think it’s only ONE mound, so I don’t know why it’s Blue MoundS park, either) is RED quartzite, which you don’t find many places. Maybe I’d know why if the “interpretive center” had been open?

Here’s a closer look once you’re actually in the park. I climbed this…but not right here:

Red quartzite cliff at Blue Mounds State Park

I took this path instead:

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I never saw another soul the entire time I was out here. I was missing my friend, L. She and I went hiking together last fall. But on Monday I kept coming to a new place to climb higher and I’d think, “Well, if L. were here with me, I could take this path. But since I’m by myself, I have no cell phone service (and nobody to call even if I did have service) and I could lose my footing, and NOBODY knows where I am right now, I’d better find a safer path.”

But I did eventually make my way to the top, and this is what I saw when I got there:

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After I safely made my way back down again, I drove around to the other side of the park where the bison were. I loved this sign:

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It would be SO like me to “enter the grazing area” and “annoy the bison.”

See the little blobs way in the distance on this picture? Those are the bison. I was pretty far away, so I don’t think they were too annoyed by my presence.

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Since I had driven around to the other side of the park, I ended up coming back into town a different way. Which was nice, because that road took me past this wayside chapel:

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Isn’t it cute? Take a look at the door (in proportion to the rest of the building). And it’s a small door, too. That’ll give you an idea of just how SMALL this chapel was! You wouldn’t be able to stand up in there.

I’m kicking myself for not actually checking the door to see if it was locked. I assumed it was, but you know…this was a town where NOBODY took credit cards, but they took an out of town check (out of STATE check) and didn’t even ask to see any ID! It was possible the door was unlocked…I wonder what’s inside that chapel??? Miniature pews?

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