Well here I am in Minnesota, the state with more than 10,000 lakes and at least 10 billion-trillion mosquitoes. The bus did well pulling two 12-hour stints to go 1700 miles.
Why am I here? Part of the reason is the photo below. The Minnesota United FC soccer team. Not to see the game. That was played on the road Saturday against Tampa Bay, but to be here for the celebration. You see, that handsome looking dude on the right is my son, Nicholas Rogers, president of Minnesota United, affectionately known as the Loons after Minnesota's state bird. He has been working hard these past two years to make the Loons a success, on the field and at the box office and concession stand.
By playing Tampa Bay to a 3-3 draw, the Loons finished the spring season on the North American Soccer League with 20 points, one ahead of New York, and took the championship.
|Minnesota United celebrates after winning the NASL spring championship|
Excuse me for bragging just a little but here are Daniel and Nicholas, left and right.
Seeing my sons was not the only reason for the trek north. I drove with a friend, George "Jeff" Loftus, also from Truth or Consequences, who also has family in Minneapolis -- two brothers and a sister. And a cabin on Lake Mille Lacs, a prize 132,000-acre body of fresh water scarcely 40 deep at the most. It is Minnesota's premier fishing lake, so I am told, and a lake the creates its own weather — storms for above the shallow lake and come racing into shore spawning typhoon-like water tornadoes. But for most of the while, and while we were there, it was peaceful, save for the bugs that come out at night in blankets.
Two views of Lake Mille Lacs — by day and at sunset.
We spent a delightful day and night at the cabin, grilling burgers and watching the sun set. Jeff stayed behind while I returned to spend time with my sons.
What one becomes aware of when one does a trip like this is how great and vast is the country.
We left the rolling desert hills of southern New Mexico, scooted through bustling Albuquerque, into the high mountains around Santa Fe and then to Denver, turned right and headed east on I-76 to Omaha. On the way we camped at a small state prk, Lake Jackson, in Colorado, and on the second day, by driving until almost two in the morning, reached camp at Lake Benton in Minnesota.
Miles roll by outside — towns and cities and farms and vast stretches of almost nothing. The bus engine hums and the little refrigerator purrs in our self-contained travel unit.
Yet the stars that shine down on all this are timeless and all the same.