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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Leaving Home: My Trip from Country to City

Leaving Home: My Trip from Country to CityUntil today, Winnipeg had been my place of adventure. We had ventured into Saskatchewan and taken vacation at Disney World, but today Sheri and I crossed the border alone. I thought I’d be back for more than a visit. Road trips have a way of changing our plans.
 
“Yes, sir.” “No, sir.” We learned quickly how to avoid extra questions at the port of entry between Emerson, Manitoba and Pembina, North Dakota. And then we were in America.




Five great questions of life: Life * Love * Learning * Labor * Leadership

Learning: What's My Worldview?

Leaving Home: My Trip from Country to City

By Evan Nehring
 
My road trip began on a gravel driveway in rural southern Manitoba. My first summer after high school grad was complete. Class of ’86, baby! Sheri and I were leaving for college in Minneapolis. The wood sidewall ’78 AMC Hornet was packed, the family was hugged, and we backed out before ascending the Pelican Lake hillside en route to Highway 23.
 
Road from Manhattan Beach Camp to Hwy 23
Road from Manhattan Beach Camp to Hwy 23
 
What I could never have realized at that moment was that I would never live in Canada again. Outside of a few weeks of summer work after freshman year, this was my moment to leave the country of my family forever.
 

Country to City

It was a clear day on the prairie. Maturing crops of blue flax and golden canola waved goodbye like ripples crossing a lake. Baldur, Mariapolis and Saint Alphonse (the twin cities of southern Manitoba), Somerset, Miami: each village breathed the August warmth between the patchwork of grains, creeks and windbreaks. Slowing down to pass through Roland and Lowe Farm, we arrived at Morris (home of Canada’s second largest rodeo) and turned south for the border. The road widened to four lanes of separated highway as we joined the trail of Winnipegers heading down highway 75 for the states.
 
Until today, Winnipeg had been my place of adventure. We had ventured into Saskatchewan and taken vacation at Disney World, but today Sheri and I crossed the border alone. I thought I’d be back for more than a visit. Road trips have a way of changing our plans.
 
“Yes, sir.” “No, sir.” We learned quickly how to avoid extra questions at the port of entry between Emerson, Manitoba and Pembina, North Dakota. And then we were in America.
 
We kept our bearing, I-29 south alongside the Red River to Grand Forks and on to Fargo before turning east on Interstate 94. We crossed over the Red into Moorhead, Minnesota. Two years earlier, this was the only state to stand for Walter Mondale in the 49-state Ronald Reagan presidential re-election landslide.
 
We chuckled at the giant prairie chicken on the Rothsay exit as we rolled across the rolling hills of the land of 10,000 lakes.
 
Prairie meadow rollicks today
 
Waltzing grasses wave in the wind
Wildflowers woo
Birch and poplar shimmer sage and silver
Snowy sandhill slides from palest blue to wispy white
Now gliding, now beating sure
Earthen ruts carve crop's edge
 
Ponds swell lakishly into the lowlands
Oak and maple tiptoe, lifting only branches above the tide's advance
Starling chases starling 'round swaying cattails, over shallow whitecaps
Bison browse, breathing more damp than dust
 
Prairie meadow rollicks today
- Evan Nehring

Fergus Falls, Alexandria, Sauk Centre (are they French?), St. Cloud, and then the big city pulled us in like a Star Wars tractor beam. I-94 bent south after Brooklyn Park. The IDS Tower emerged from the wetlands, anchoring the skyline and signaling the end of our journey to the city.
 
Photo Credit: By AlexiusHoratius (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
Approaching Downtown Minneapolis
 
Downtown happened in a flash. Highway tunnels, exit ramps, emergency sirens, congested lanes, hurried, harried, all-business, stop, go, stop, go, bricks, signs, color, and then…the campus.
 
The day’s adventure was complete. I was on my own. My road trip had begun.

 

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