Terry and I set out at 9am this morning to begin our road adventure from Winnipeg to Minneapolis.
We are headed to Minneapolis because last year I found a 5km obstacle course that is zombie themed, I promised myself that I would be apart of this run, and now here we are, one day away!!
Besides the obvious clothing and toiletries we also packed a first aid kit, a car emergency bag (jumper cables, flashlight etc), a cooler with bottled water and some snacks. Because we are crossing the boarder we only brought per-packaged foods.
I planned most of our trip using Google maps and an app called “Road Trippers”. Google maps was great for plotting the general route and providing directions with detailed steps.
I used the Road Trippers app to accentuate the road trip with neat little stops along the route that I had no idea were there, museums, walking tours, restaurants etc.
Even with all the construction on just about every road we made really good time…most likely because its difficult to gauge miles/hour on a Canadian vehicle, sooo we may have been going a little fast…
When we got to the boarder point there was a massive line to get into the USA, thankfully it only took 15 mins, surprisingly they let us through hassle free. Those of you who have heard of my previous trips to the states know what I’m talking about.
An hour past the boarder we stopped at Grand Forks to buy some fruits and veggies, we also picked up lunch at the Subway that was INSIDE the Walmart… weird American Walmart’s also have hair salons AND nail salons….next time I will have to allot more time to get my nails done hahaha.
Another hour and a bit out we stopped at Fargo to gas up the car.
Our first road trip side adventure was to visit Rothsay’s giant “Booming” Prairie Chicken. I had printed directions to the statue but some how both the driver (Terry) and the navigator (myself) didn’t see the massive chicken RIGHT BESIDE the highway and ended up getting lost in the very small town of Rothsay. Honestly, google, Siri and maps could not hold a candle to the effectiveness of asking a local for directions.
Our next stop was the Rune Stone Museum in the city of Alexandria. Admission was $8.00/person. We were a little disappointed to find that the Rune stone museum which boasts about its tablet of stone featuring carvings of Norse runes was one of two displays about Vikings. The second display was a 3/4 replica of an original Viking merchant longboat. From the webpage I believed the museum to be about Vikings and Viking culture, the rest of the museum , however, was filled with heritage displays of the first fort to be built by settlers in Alexandria. The displays were what you would expect from a small town museum, I appreciated the history behind the displays but I was expecting a lot more about the Vikings. It certainly was nice to get out of the car for 45mins but I’m not sure I would recommend this as a “must-see”.
Once in Minneapolis we headed straight for our hotel, we had an online booking at the Best Western Plus right across from the Mall of America. However, when we tried to check in the hotel had not received our reservation, after a few minutes of detective work one of the employees managed to find it. Initially we were concerned about this, especially since we had pre-paid for the room and didn’t want to lose any money. In the end it all worked out, I had a copy of the reservation as a back up, and it came in handy.
The last two times I was in Minneapolis my traveling party and I dined at Famous Dave’s in the Mall of America, as per tradition this is where we headed for dinner. Terry got to see the mall for the first time, though we didn’t have a lot of time to wander all of it in its enormity, I think you would need at least two full days to see every thing. I think my favorite part of dinner was ordering a cocktail after a long day of driving, I had ‘Big Mama’s Sweet Punch’.
Some thing Terry and I noticed was that a lot of the food we encountered in the states was overly sugary or overly salty. I had picked up one of those carrot and ranch dip packs for lunch bags, but the ranch dip was so sweet you could hardly identify it as ranch. The flavored coffee’s we had purchased at a gas station were so sweet I couldn’t even finish mine, which is saying something.
When we finally got back to the hotel for the night we were exhausted but before we could rest I prepared a time line for the next days activities.
We made really good time through out the trip so I thought I would post a time line of the day:
9:15 Depart Winnipeg
10:45 Arrive at the boarder, 15 min wait
12:00 Arrive in Grand Forks, 50 min stop to buy gas and lunch
2:00 Arrive in Fargo
2:45 Arrive in Rothsay, 15 mins getting lost and finding the prairie chicken statue
3:55 Arrive in Alexandria, 1 hour for the museum and buy gas
7:15 Arrive in Minneapolis