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Midwest Meetup! (Pix Heavy)

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xl_target
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Midwest Meetup! (Pix Heavy)

Postby xl_target » Sun Aug 25, 2013 9:05 am

Wednesday 21st August, 2013

I went up to Minneapolis/St Paul airport and picked up a special guest who flew down from Richmond, British Columbia, Canada.

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Here he is enjoying himself in sunny Minnesota; dimpled cheeks, Dimple bottle and all

The main reason CK Kalyan came down here was to attend this:

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more to follow..........

.


“Never give in, never give in, never; never; never; never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense” — Winston Churchill, Oct 29, 1941

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Re: Midwest Meetup! (Pix Heavy)

Postby ckkalyan » Sun Aug 25, 2013 10:24 am

Wed the 21st of Aug 2013

I woke up bright and early at 5 am on Wed the 21st of Aug very excited about my trip to Minnesota and my planned meet up with xl_target. My aim was to spend a few pleasant days with him and visit Ahlman’s Shooters Roundup in Morristown, MN taking place on Sat the 24th and Sun 25th of August.

I instantly went into high gear and frenetic activity, time was short and there was much to be done – packing etc, getting ready to leave in just two hours. I managed to get all the seemingly impossible things done just in time to take off from home, as planned at 7 am sharp. The drive to the US border in my Honda Civic took me an hour surprisingly; there was more traffic than expected and it took me a further 45 minutes to clear immigration. After that it was a simple matter of breezing into Bellingham WA, Airport’s parking lot.

It took me a good fifteen minutes to find a vacant parking spot; looks like everybody is on holiday!!! 10 dollars a day for parking, in the wide open?? :roll:

However, I discovered that I had made it in good time and with online checking-in and prepaid fare for my bag I was quickly through security. I then took a deep breath and realized that I was FINALLY on my long awaited holiday in N America. I decided to celebrate at Scotty Browns Lounge at the boarding area with a substantial breakfast. I elected for and chose a delicious breakfast of……..give me moment here – ouch, I forget what I had for breakfast, and I’ll tell why in just a bit! :lol:

You must excuse me, it really was thirsty weather and the first day of my holiday - I boldly asked the sweet young thing to get me a double CaesaR (made up of 2oz of Svedka vodka, horseradish infused Clamato juice garnished with beans) their signature cocktail. 9 something am!?! While I was polishing off the last of the Caesar I found myself still thirsty and ordered a bottle of Bud Lite. I finished off my kingly repast perfectly in time to stagger aboard the Frontier Airlines to Denver CO….and a then later, much later……a quick transfer to a larger A320 Frontier Airlines plane brought me closer to my final destination.

I got on and promptly fell asleep (that is the gist of most of my flying hours), the next sight I saw was the plane banking over what seemed to be very regular square patches of green surrounded by footpaths and many, many blobs of blue water bodies and a cloudless sky, landed at St Paul’s Airport Minneapolis MN.

Disembarked, met up with xl_target at the baggage carousel – my bag, amazingly was there much before me! Hearty handshakes and few levels of searching the huge parking lot later brought us to XL’s trusty Dodge Intrepid.

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We set off immediately on the journey to Lake Crystal via Mankato. A pleasant hour and a half drive through, seemingly endless rolling plains of green-gold, head-high corn and grey-green soybean crop at a lower level brought us to our supper at where else - The Taj Mahal Indian Restaurant where XL very considerately arranged for me to have a sip, and a taste of India. My first authentic experience since Aug 2011! Thank you XL!

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Kingfisher Beer in the original 650 ml Brown Bottles, and Lamb Shish Kebabs, Garlic Naan, Basmathi Rice and Beef Rogan Josh - XL and I happily piled into the magnificent feast. When we were done, we both pronounced ourselves as ‘completely satisfied’. We took off to Lake Crystal (POP 2,500), a short distance away reached home about 10:30 pm tired but happy. What an introduction to the great State of Minnesota!

More work in progress…


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Re: Midwest Meetup! (Pix Heavy)

Postby xl_target » Mon Aug 26, 2013 6:47 am

Thursday 23rd August, 2013

In the afternoon, I took Kalyan shopping for clothes. After the unfortunate fire at his home, he lost everything so he waited till he came here to shop for clothes. Apparently, they are cheaper here than in Canada and there is no tax on clothes.

In the afternoon, my friend Chuck came an picked us up and took us to St James (about 30 miles away). We spent the evening at my train Club and then came home.


more to come...


“Never give in, never give in, never; never; never; never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense” — Winston Churchill, Oct 29, 1941

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Re: Midwest Meetup! (Pix Heavy)

Postby Moin. » Mon Aug 26, 2013 9:12 am

Fantastic guys. Just how many kms did you travel for the show Kalyansahib. And what's with the fire incident. All well?

Regards
Moin.


In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer. Camus

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Re: Midwest Meetup! (Pix Heavy)

Postby ckkalyan » Mon Aug 26, 2013 10:07 am

Hi Moin,

I travelled roughly 4,500 miles by air...seems like a lot doesn't it? But it is all well worth the while :D I am truly enjoying my time here with XL.

I actually met a guy in Vancouver a few months ago who drove his brother's car all the way from Minnesota to Vancouver :shock:

I am doing good bro, starting afresh, with a great wide grin - thanks for asking!


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Re: Midwest Meetup! (Pix Heavy)

Postby ckkalyan » Mon Aug 26, 2013 10:12 am

Thu the 22nd – Shopping Walmart, Red Wing Shoe Store, Mankato and The Railroad Model Club AND the Railroad Depot Museum in St James, MN

The night of the Wed, we picked up some seriously needed lubrication (since XL and his wife Jo don’t drink - alcohol) a large 5 liter pack of Cabernet Sauvignon, 18 Cans of Bud Lite and just to be safe a bottle of Dimple Pinch Scotch and a few bottles of Club Soda, was deemed good enough for me!!! We were all set! :roll:

We reached back and were out in XL’s backyard in a jiffy, where we lit up his fire pit, sprayed what seemed like gallons of bug spray, I settled back with a Dimple Scotch & Soda and XL with his 357 Magnum Strawberry/Watermelon water mix. We got to talking and boy – did time fly…we gradually wandered over to his garage which he opened up and XL showed me the finer points of his vintage two wheeler collection. Discussions galore, restoration pros and cons, parts availability etc.,

* Honda PA50 Moped
* Honda C70 Moped
* Honda CM 450A – Automatic
* Yamaha XS-1100

My fast favourite was of course the Yamaha XS-1100, what a monster!

Our conversation went on and on and we finally realized that it was 2 am and XL had to go to work in the morning. So we disciplined ourselves and shifted off to barracks and bed.

I woke up naturally on Thu, from a wonderful night’s rest around 11 am. I had deliberately refrained from setting the alarm; I was on holiday and intended to make it memorable. :D I got ready in due course and when I went down I found XL was back from work. He had very generously arranged to work only half days during my visit. Wow!

XL had already made firm activity plans for all the days of my visit. Today, we headed off first to the Walmart and Red Wing Shoe Store in Mankato where XL helped me pick up some essential items of clothing and a pair of shoes. His assistance made this chore a much easier task; you know how it is – impromptu advice on fashion, value for money, practicality, design and then finally colour! :lol:

We then went back to XL’s place where his wife Jo had kindly prepared Enchiladas, Cucumber Salad, accompanied by Taco Sauce. The deliciously satisfying meal over we then moved on to visit The Railroad Model Club and then the close by Railroad Depot Museum in St James, MN.

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XL is a founding member at The Railroad Model Club and since I have always had a fascination for model Steam Engines since my childhood - it was a perfect choice. XL explained the history of the Club and how it was founded in 1989, all the troubles and tribulations they faced - moved the entire location, took six years to make the building habitable and then a few more years to make it what it is today. What struck me was the terrific commitment, passion, zeal and a ‘never say die’ attitude of the members. I was honoured to meet several of the members like Chuck, Larry, Bill, Barry and Roger. Lovely people who made me welcome to their club and Minnesota.

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The detail and painstaking effort that the club members put into creating a complete scenario left me speechless. The planning, schematics, scale, electronics, electrics and mechanics of the track and beautiful locomotives themselves astounded me!

More information on the club is here http://roundhouseinc.org

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We then took a short walk to the Railroad Depot Museum. XL explained to me that the whole building was trucked to where it stands now, complete with a red caboose on a short track.

Link to a write up on the Museum is here http://mankatofreepress.com/local/x4933 ... lroad-Days

Some Excerpts:

The depot was built in 1894 in Amboy and was moved to St. James in 1973 to serve as a railroad museum. The town's working depot, located downtown, is still a hub of activity as crews switch shifts there for the daily trainloads of ethanol moving from the Lake Crystal ethanol plant to South Dakota.

Bill Nordgren volunteers at the old depot, welcoming visitors. He worked as railroad clerk for 10 years beginning at age 19. Mike Lenzen, of Omaha, stopped in the depot to help Nordgren over the weekend during the busy St. James Railroad Days celebration. His dad, William, was a railroad agent in St. James from 1954 to 1986 and Mike worked as a manager for railroads for 41 years, moving all over the country.


Anyway, after all the viewing we were ready to get back home by 7 pm. That’s when we walked into XL’s ‘gun room’ (man cave actually) :mrgreen:

We first examined all his treasures one by one with a quick snapshot of the pros and cons of each weapon, which included rifles, shot guns and handguns. We then got into a serious discussion about reloading, types of cartridges, brass, prep, process & finishing.

I was fascinated by his tiny Beretta Mod 950 .22 Short, pocket pistol and the tip-up barrel (such a lovely convenience feature) in superb condition, I practically drooled over this one so much so that XL had to drag me away from it, grab a huge handful of J-Cloth and wipe the little beauty off! :(

We carried on chatting for so long that we forgot that father time existed – we reluctantly hit the sack about 12:45 am

More coming…
Last edited by ckkalyan on Tue Aug 27, 2013 11:37 am, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: Midwest Meetup! (Pix Heavy)

Postby xl_target » Tue Aug 27, 2013 7:51 am

Friday, 23rd August, 2013

After packing the car with camping gear, we went and picked up some lunch, then we went over to a nearby State Park to eat lunch. Before we did this, we went to our campsite and pitched our tent so we wouldn't have to do that in the dark.

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CK setting up the tent

This State Park sports a couple of waterfalls, normally. I say "normally" because this year has been extremely dry and the water has reduced to a trickle. I think a good kitchen faucet could outdo it. I wanted CK to see it but I guess he will just have to do with the photos that I posted in July in my State Parks thread

So we went over to Minneopa State Park

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the entrance to the park

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eating a picnic lunch by the falls.

After we were done eating, we went down to the base of the falls. It was approachable because of the paucity of water at this time. Here CK attempted to... ahem... "catch some fish" :). We then followed one of the trails and walked around a bit before leaving the Falls area to visit some of the other attractions of the park.

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CK "fishing"

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Walking some of the trails

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CK doing some Mountain "climbing"

Then we moved over to another part of the park. Here was a wind powered grist mill called the Seppman Mill. To get there we had to drive through several miles of original Prairie slowing down occasionally to avoid running over the various Gophers and Rabbits that darted across the road in front of our car.

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some original Prairie


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The Seppman Mill

The mill was on a hill and allowed a view of the Prairie and the river valley. Here I climbed on the bench and grandly told CK to "Go West, Young Man" conveniently forgetting that he already lives out on the western edge of Canada.

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"Go West Young Man". I'm not sure if that was west

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The Panoramic view

By this time the sun was on its way down, so we headed out towards our campsite.


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Our home for the night


more to come........


“Never give in, never give in, never; never; never; never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense” — Winston Churchill, Oct 29, 1941

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Re: Midwest Meetup! (Pix Heavy)

Postby timmy » Tue Aug 27, 2013 8:00 am

That sure looks like a great time, guys! I know there are many things to see there in Minnesota (ja, sure!) and you both are enjoying some of them, by golly!

Keep the pics coming! Make me even more jealous!


Regards,
tim

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Re: Midwest Meetup! (Pix Heavy)

Postby ckkalyan » Tue Aug 27, 2013 10:56 am

Fri, 23rd visit to Minneopa Falls and overnight Camping at Minneopa State Park

Re Lunch – I happily discovered that both XL and I liked SubWay and ordered our ‘foot long’ choices for sustenance. XL had his specific Wheat Bread, Spicy Italian with his particular toppings while I decided to experiment with the New Applewood Pulled Pork with my hit or miss, choice of toppings. Pangs of hunger satisfied….

We moved on to explore the area by the falls, since there was not much water ‘falling.’ We walked around several paths surrounding the falls, across a wooden bridge, up some steep and narrow stairs in the hills (mostly sandstone), eroded by nature into intriguing shapes. Of course, young tourists had taken the opportunity to inscribe their names in the soft surface! Some of the work done by the Works Projects Administration as far back as the 1930’s during the great depression was truly impressive, all hand made, e.g. the washroom building. We discovered some of the paths were closed off with warning signs – erosion caused by washouts! It was overall, an interesting hike.

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...not much water falling



We headed off to The Seppman Mill and Granary a few kilometres away – what an interesting building! We marvelled at the fine construction and the rounded top and wondered at the skill of the maker Seppman of long ago. Of course there were no vanes of the windmill remaining they were torn off by a storm in 1890.

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The Seppman Mill and Granary

Louis Seppman was born in Westphalia, Germany in 1835 and migrated to the United States at age 17. He settled in Blue Earth County, Minnesota, five years later, in 1857. He made his living as a stonemason. In 1862 he used his earnings to begin constructing a wind-powered gristmill on his own land. Seppman was only somewhat familiar with windmills from his homeland, but drew on his "considerable natural talent for mechanics and invention.

In a good wind the mill could grind 150 bushels of wheat in a day, producing fairly good quality flour. Farmers came from as far 30 miles (48 km) away to have their grain milled.

Source-Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seppman_Mill

We then looked out at the vast prairies across from the valley by the mill and read the signs about how the glaciers had receded over time leaving behind the Minnesota River. Nature is truly amazing. After wandering about a bit more, the sky darkening, we decided to head back to home camp in Minneopa Park.

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Splitting wood for the campfire

We immediately got busy with camp chores like splitting wood for the fire-pit, unpacking and arranging supplies, spraying ourselves with bug spray, we also walked around the trails to make sure we understood critical locations around us like the washrooms and water points. Then it was time relax by the still unlit fire, slumped in camp chairs, with a cold drink in hand we commenced to talk. In what seemed a very short time it began to get dark.

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Getting ready to roll out the sleeping pads and the sleeping bags

We lit up the fire with some difficulty; it simply refused to start until XL thought of using some handy paper. The paper was our map of the camp area! :D Once the fire finally got going we continued our weighty discussions on guns, cars, ham radio, guns and more guns :mrgreen: and in general about the whole wide world. It was quite late when we decided that it was time for a snack. Talking sure is hungry work. :lol:

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The famous Johnsonville Brats

We pulled out the pack of Johsonville Beer’n Bratwurst and heated them up over the now low embers of the once magnificent fire, on purpose bought long, forked tongs. We patiently ensured that they were done well and the aromatic juices were sputtering and hissing on the embers. Once they were done, we toasted some buns on the grill added some mustard and boy, were those hotdogs delicious, yummy!

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Cooking the brats

We hit the sack soon after in the two-man tent

To be continued….
Last edited by ckkalyan on Tue Aug 27, 2013 11:18 am, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: Midwest Meetup! (Pix Heavy)

Postby ckkalyan » Tue Aug 27, 2013 11:03 am

timmy wrote:That sure looks like a great time, guys! I know there are many things to see there in Minnesota (ja, sure!) and you both are enjoying some of them, by golly!

Keep the pics coming! Make me even more jealous!


Many thanks timmy glad you enjoyed it

Ja Sure we are having a great time and oh boy, are we clicking away furiously we still have reports coming on till the 27th of Aug


When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns!

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Re: Midwest Meetup! (Pix Heavy)

Postby brihacharan » Tue Aug 27, 2013 11:05 am

Hi Kalyan / xl_target,
> The Awesome Twosome seems to have left a trail which many of us would love to tread :D
> Great going guys - Loved the write-ups and the eye-catching pics :D
> BTW - CKK's opening pic says it all - That grin spread ear to ear while holding "Pinch" - Looks like you had a good couple of Pinches before the pic was taken :lol:
> Way to go guys!
Briha



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Vikram
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Re: Midwest Meetup! (Pix Heavy)

Postby Vikram » Tue Aug 27, 2013 4:19 pm

Kalyan and XL,

That is a fantastic report, very well written and gives as many details as possible about the places you are visiting without leaning too heavily on mere facts. I am very pleased to see the great fun you gents are having. Few things come closer to the pleasure of the company of good friends.I am thoroughly relishing the photos and the narration. Please keep them coming.

Thank you for the photos. :cheers:

Best-
Vikram

Pee S: Kalyan, do you realise that you look a lot fitter than in your previous photos?


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xl_target
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Re: Midwest Meetup! (Pix Heavy)

Postby xl_target » Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:06 am

Saturday 24th, August, 2013

On Saturday, we woke up and I made breakfast - scrambled eggs with sauteed mushrooms and onions. This was followed by a good strong cup of Sumatran coffee. Thus fortified, we broke camp, packed and loaded the car and went back to my place. After performing our ablutions; scrubbed fresh and clean, we headed out to the nearby town of New Ulm. New Ulm, among other things is home to the Schell's brewery. We hoped to take a brewery tour but unfortunately, their tours were all sold out. So we headed out to another State Park; Ft. Ridgely, driving along the Minnesota River Road which is a beautiful tree lined road that winds in an out of the countryside as it follows the path of the Minnesota River.

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Ft. Ridgely State Park

Ft Ridgely featured in the 1862 Dakota war, where the Dakota Sioux went on the warpath. Burning and looting the countryside and in overwhelming force they attacked Ft. Ridgely. Judiciously placed cannon and the fortitude of the riflemen kept them from achieving their goal. Some artifacts from that time are displayed in what used to be the commissary. The Historic site is located on one side of the 1000 plus acre park.

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Ft Ridgely Historic Site

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The Ft. Ridgely Monument to the soldiers who died in the 1862 Dakota War.
It is located in the center of what used to be the parade Ground.


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There are interpretive signs all over the grounds of the fort so you can take a self guided tour.

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A display showing some of the weapons used by the defenders of the fort along with a period US Army saddle.

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CK doesn't think the army saddle will be very comfortable.

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CK in period clothes, by a Tepee.

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Call out the Big Guns!

Keep checking back on the earlier posts. More pics added all the time.

...... More to come.


“Never give in, never give in, never; never; never; never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense” — Winston Churchill, Oct 29, 1941

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Re: Midwest Meetup! (Pix Heavy)

Postby brihacharan » Wed Aug 28, 2013 11:03 am

Hi xl-target,
> Wonderfully documented & written - It's almost like a conducted tour :D
> CKK looks like a Professor conducting a Lec-Dem :lol:
> A couple of pics with you alongside CKK would've been nice!
> Great going guys :D
Briha



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dev
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Re: Midwest Meetup! (Pix Heavy)

Postby dev » Wed Aug 28, 2013 11:32 am

One thing I know now, is that I like what Xl makes for brekker .What a nice post by both of you.
Really nice pics of CK and the one liners below...such dry humour ;-).

Thanks,

Dev


To ride, to speak up, to shoot straight.


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