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Thursday, June 26, 2014


Carousels have always fascinated me. When I was growing up we had a permanent amusement park in the town where I lived. It had a skating rink, carousel, dodge cars, a caterpillar ( a covered roller coaster), a gypsy fortune teller and acres to walk on. I got to go occasionally and always rode the carousel. We always called them merry-go-rounds. I will ride one now if allowed to.

                                                      The Prairie Rose Carousel

 So, when the opportunity arose to go to Wahpeton, North Dakota and see the Prairie Rose Carousel, we took it.It was part of a fun-filled rainy day that included a trip to the headwaters of the Red River of the North, a battle field and an a old fort.
The Prairie Rose is an antique restored carousel. And it is gorgeous.

The carousel was found and bought by  Roger Jensen and Jim Oliver of Wahpeton. They had wanted to find and restore a carousel, and had about given up when they found one in nearby Minnesota. It was in restoreable shape. All the horses were there along with the machinery. After the removal of 20 plus coats of paint, they were brought to Lonnie Halverson and Delores Berg to get new paint. Tails, legs, teeth, saddles, etc. were re-carved and replaced. The woodwork was an estimated 60-80 hours for each horse. After Lonnie was done with them, they were taken to Delores for paint. She gave each of them a different personality and flare, spending as much as 50 hours on each one.

They are now housed in a climate controlled building where they can be ridden every day despite the weather.

The horses are each named for sponsors or named by a sponsor. It was a real treat to see the horses ride again and hear the music.

We were wanting a special kind of day, and we got it. If you are ever in Wahpeton, ND take time to visit the Prairie Rose Carousel.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


Birds are always a big draw when we go for our Minnesota visits. Wildlife in general is what we seek out and find along the road, preferably alive.
 Bald eagles, herons, swans and ducks of all kinds come out to see us on the back roads we travel.
Oh, wait. Those are Pelicans. I have always loved Ogden Nash's poetry and his poem about the pelican is a favorite:" the pelican, a bird whose beak can hold more than his belly can." Minnesota has many pelicans. We found some.

We came across this crow. If you have to eat crow, let us hope it isn't this much.
There were other animals, including family, that we were with on this outing of two weeks. So, keep coming back and see what else we encountered on our adventure.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Alpaca Antics

When we go to Minnesota, we always spend our time with my husband's aunt Ida and her daughter, Kathie.
His aunt is 94 and his cousin is our age. ( Not wanting to tell things that cousin might not want told).

Kathie is our trip planner and list maker. She always finds cool things to do and this year was no exception.

On a Sunday, we had nothing on the agenda, since we had done a church service on Wednesday. So, on Saturday, we asked the planner what we were going to do Sunday.

When she came to her mom's she told us to load up the van and we would take off. She didn't tell us where.

Like kids on a Sunday drive we wanted to know where we were going and when would we get there.

When you are the rider, you really don't want to hear, " Ooops. Was that my road?" However, when you are with cousin you always hear, " Was THAT my road?". So, we didn't get too excited.

Then we arrived.

At the Alpaca farm.

When we got there, we went into the barn where the owners had gathered the alpacas and we heard this strange sound. They were humming. They were shuffling and pushing each other. And humming.

We found out that they were upset by something out of the ordinary...US.

They hum to communicate. They gather together when they sense something out of the ordinary.
This is a mama and her year-old baby. Baby thought we were going to do something to mama.

There was a lot to say.

There were strangers here and what did they want. We got to feed them and that settled the matter as to whether we could stay.

We could.

Their upper teeth are actually a soft palate that they use with their bottom teeth to pull off the grass. They are curious and some are hams. They like to have their picture taken and we had one that would pose. The above mama and baby liked to watch us and let us take their picture without a problem.

The reason they look funny is because they had sheared them about a month before we got there. They do not shear heads or limbs. Mama had had a traumatic year and did not have a heavy fleece coat, so they were letting her wait till next year for shearing. Baby had been sheared.

Thanks for joining us on the Alpaca farm.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

A to Z things

I have been trying to come up with a theme to write to. The A to Z Challenge was such fun and made me think in different directions and topics.
Now, I have to come up with my own.
While we were on vacation, I talked with a cousin about my writing and while chatting came up with an idea to write to.
It is an alphabet log of my vacation travels and activities.

Before I start this, I will tell you we did a road trip to Northern Minnesota. This year, June was not the month to have a SUMMER vacation. A FALL one, perhaps. The first three days were summer, after that we went back to Fall, possibly early spring. It was jeans and jackets time.

I will start my A B C trip on Monday. Stop back by and see where we go and what we do.