The Walk

I’m not sure why I decided that today, when the temperature is a cool 54 degrees and the wind is blowing more than 20 mph, would be the day I took my first Minnesota “long” walk. As my custom was in Seattle, I picked the closest place to my house where I could get a cup of hot chocolate — Dunn Brothers. I allowed 1 hour for this walk of 2.75 miles — Mapquest said it would take me an hour and 6 minutes.

The roads are fairly flat in Minnesota, or so I thought. Driving in a car is much different than walking. I hadn’t noticed all of the small upward slopes in my neighborhood and the roads seem long with bare trees snugging up to them.

A neighbor is ready for the fall season.


The corn fields have already been harvested and everything looks quite bare.

Turning onto the next road, I wonder if I made the right decision — walking when the winds are over 20 mph. Decision time … should I walk with traffic or walk towards the ongoing traffic? I’m sure there’s a rule about this somewhere. My decision is based on the question that pops into my head “Do I want to see a car hit me or be surprised?” I decide to be surprised and walk with traffic.

No sidewalks here — only me, the road and a few cars that pass me by.

The silence is broken as I walk past an overpass — Interstate 694.

Interstate 694 in Oakdale, MN

And — civilization seems to be straight ahead.

There are signs of winter approaching …

And signs that summer wants to hold on …

Although I lamented that I hadn’t brought my iPod, at the end of my journey I was glad that I had time to reflect — time to be in silence. Those moments are few in this busy world.

My destination was reached in exactly 58 minutes. Not bad for my first long walk in Minnesota.

Dunn Brothers Coffee, Oakdale, MN

And their hot chocolate is not too bad.





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