It is stormy and green here in the cheese state, but gorgeous.
Since my last post, I spent a peaceful night by the lake at Split Rock Creek State Campground just east of the Minnesota border – the best site for a night in Ramsey ever.
About 15 minutes up the road, I toured Pipestone National Monument, where American Indians have mined the red stone used for peace pipes for as long as their oral tradition remembers. The red stone is thought to contain the blood of their ancestors, hence a very spiritual stone.
This reproduction of a painting by George Caitlin shows the mines in the middle of the prairie in the mid 1800s.
Then I dashed through corn field after corn field to St Paul on the other side of Minnesota to visit my third-cousin-once-removed, Leila. She turns 94 this Thursday. I spent two nights in a real bed.
On Saturday, we toured Grand Hill, where her side of our family lived for four generations, and where my paternal grandmother spent her childhood. The current owner of 501 Grand let us look around.
This morning, more of my third cousins gathered for breakfast. Here are four generations of Ameses.
Next destination, Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio. I must drive through Illinois and Indiana first. I’m due in Vermont for the wedding festivities for my niece on Friday.