So this single post is going to be split into two sections: I continue to get mailed to the middle of nowhere, and, spring is FINALLY here and it’s fabulous.
For whatever reason, I continue to get mailed to the middle of nowhere. I’ve had an opportunity to visit areas near Bay City, MI (for work), Black Hills (for fun), and, Ashboro, NC (for work) since my last update. These places are in the middle of nowhere and take a bit of effort to get to since major airports are near but not close. I always love going to new places for work and I am usually visiting a factory of some sort. I am always floored with the places I visit: the visit near Bay City brought me into a factory making extremely large and high precision machined components for pipelines and the visit to Ashboro brought me into a factory which is very important for the golf cart industry. Whenever I visit these places I always wonder “how the f— did this place get here and why is it still here?” I can generally figure out why the business started where it did but I am generally unable to figure out why the businesses stay in these rural areas.
What’s neat is I usually have a bit of downtime to explore the areas I visit. Since my last post I have had the opportunity to hike around the Appalachians in North Carolina and along the shore of the Bay of Saginaw – NOT Lake Huron as I found out for the locals. Each area has it’s own quirks and I feel lucky to visit each. For example:
– I had a chance to hike in the recently burned forests north of the northern Charlotte, NC, suburbs and it smelled delicious due to the burned hickory; it was wonderful.
– I learned there are a lot of creatures creating shells in Lake Huron (sorry locals) and I thought quite a bit about whether I’d ever eat freshwater shellfish creatures.
– All the smallish / ruralish areas I visit have similar themes where the locals seem to deeply value the current state of their community. The communities I visit don’t really have outsiders moving in and generally have a hard time keeping the youth since there are more and generally better opportunities in larger urban areas. Some of the folks I chat with still wonder if Minneapolis is on fire from the riots in 2020 and even more wonder how I can live in a large urban center. It’s fun to chat with these folks.
In general, each rural place I visit is a fabulous place to visit where the locals are warm and inviting. It’s always neat to visit customers and it’s especially great to visit places that are filled with kind individuals.
As far as spring in Minnesota: it’s about F*#$*) time. It took long enough for the nice weather to finally set in and the dumb weather to stop. Ever wonder what constitutes dumb weather? How about 90 degree weather when there is still 1-2ft of snow on the ground so all the snow melts and causes flooding along with a unseasonably dryspell which causes elevated fire risk. It’s absolutely dumb to have dealt with flooding at the same time as fire.
One of the photos shows an an incredible amount of water going over St. Anthony Falls – it’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Last fall the water levels were so low the energy dissipaters were visible and only slightly moved the very low and gentle streams of water coming down the falls. Fall 2022 is not so similar to spring 2023.
Once again, spring 2023 didn’t disappoint with respect to my fellow Minnesotans. Just like every year, the scowels, frowns, negative nellies, and other downers disappear entirely once the weather improves. This year in particular has brought out an extra level of happiness probably because the early spring was actually late winter.
This spring I became really good at making cupcakes for the April birthday season – After 240 or so cupcakes I have become good at making whipped cream frosting cupcakes entirely from scratch.
Otherwise, that’s about it.
Enjoy the photos!