Thursday, February 27, 2014

A Fun Week! Winona, Rochester, Alexandria and Hastings.

Despite the cold and awful winter weather, I had a fun week touring parts of Minnesota and giving talks about my book and the Red River trails. A week ago on Wednesday, I started out giving a talk at the Winona Historical Society - they have quite a nice new building - and from there went to the Olmsted County History Center in Rochester to give a talk. Reports were coming in of bad weather for the next day, but the drive home that evening went fine (although for some reason the door to my car's gas cap became stuck shut, so I had to pry it open with a screwdriver).

Thursday, I drove up to Alexandria's Runestone Museum to give two talks - one to a group of about 50 eighth and ninth graders, and then one to a group of adults. The weather was still okay, but had started to snow by the time I was leaving. I'd heard reports of school already closing for the next day in parts farther south in Minnesota. The drive out of Alexandria started fine, but about halfway home, things started getting a little hairy, and speeds on the highway slowed from 70 to 50 to 40 to the time I was near home, most (sensible) people were driving at about 20 mph. Still, only three miles from home, I skidded out of control and ended up on the side of the rode perpendicular to the highway. Luckily I didn't hit anyone or get hit, and all was fine. Well, except I had to be pulled back onto the highway by a tow truck, since my wheels didn't want to do anything but spin.

Friday here in Savage was a snow day. I stayed home, too, with my kids, and we held down the fort.

Sunday it was on to Hastings where I gave a talk at the Le Duc Estate - a beautiful old house. It was a sunny, yet cold day, and the roads were still icy in places, but the drive went fine. 

One thing I gotta say is that the people who work at these places have all been so kind. They went out of their way to make me feel welcome and comfortable. And the audiences, too...I always seem to learn something new from them. One of my favorite things about giving talks is the questions they asks and the anecdotes they often tell.

March will be another busy month for this author, so get ready to hear more about those squeaky wheels and well-rutted trails!