Off the beaten path...

  That's where we live, appreciably far off the beaten path the rest of the 21st century takes. Having returned from another walk with the Orlin Ostby family of Gatzke, Minnesota who are reenacting in part, a 420 mile walk along portions of the Pembina Trail with ox and two-wheeled cart undertaken by Delmar Hagen in 1958 for Minnesota's 100th birthday, for Minnesota's 150th birthday this year, I return home thankful to live out of everyone else's way. Oofdah for traffic! Where is everyone going all in a rush? Four dollar a gallon gasoline hasn't stopped them all...
  It may be dull here in comparison to all the hubbub of the urban areas but it's always been my great retreat, this opportunity to step out of the mainstream, to savor silence (though I admit, in increasingly rarer moments even around here), to acknowledge the seeming closeness of the Milky Way overhead after I get home from work, witness the northern lights, recognize the melody of a meadow lark or the clanging disruptive calls of Sandhill Cranes and know I live there. 

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