Also known as the week when I got more mosquito bites than I’ve had in ten years. Aside from that, and stifling humidity, it was great! I got to see friends and family, went mountain biking, kayaking, drank some beer, and went out on a boat.

Notice the signs and brush past them, that’s where the shore normally is

Didn’t do much day 1, just got styled into my dad’s place, drank some beer, talked some bullshit. The net in the photo is what qualifies as a craft beer in my hometown! It was fine. Flavor? It has flavor, but it isn’t exactly what you’d call full, strong, or overpowering. It was smooth though.

Der glockenspiel, New Ulm, MN

Ran around town a little on the bike, waved at some people I know and they responded by looking at me like an alien! Oh I got a kick out of that. Keep in mind this is a town of 800 people in the middle of nowhere where people only ride Harleys and they don’t wear helmets. That’s just the way it is. So I’m sure I did look like an alien to them! But then I took my helmet off and was greeted with open arms and huge smiles. Just like coming home should be (alien looks or open arms, I was just lucky to get both!)

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Tater tot hotdish! On a menu in a decent restaurant!

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Loon!

Stopped and saw some cats who happen to love with a couple good friends from back in high school. They happened to just have another child recently, the friends, not the cats. Haven’t seen them in over ten years so that was fun.

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Spent some time with my mom up at her lake cabin. She’s got a pontoon and we took that out for a little while. Then a friend I’ve known since pre school stopped by and we caught up. Rode two hours after that to hang out with my grandma and tell her all about my trip so far. She was absolutely enamored with all my armored gear and kept punching my knees!

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Got lost trying to find my aunt’s place because of road construction. But found it eventually. Stayed the night there. The next morning we went mountain biking at which point the combination of heat and humidity tried their best to kill me. They came close.

After returning the loaner bike (brand new off the shelf carbon frame giant!) to her favorite bike shop (loaner because this rad place didn’t charge me for it! Tonka cycle and ski!), We went back to her place and changed into water friendly clothes and went kayaking.

Now this was something I haven’t done in probably 20 years, which would’ve made me about 12, and even then the equipment was probably crap and it was on a calm lake. Needless to say, I had low expectations. However, we went down minnehaha creek, which thanks to all the recent rain, was flowing quite nicely (so much so they almost didn’t rent me a kayak!) But if you ask me, it was perfect! Speed was good and there were even some little rapids!

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As we were pulling the kayaks out though, we heard a very loud crashing noise, followed seconds later by the sound of terrified, screaming children! I bolted toward the noise towards a part of the creek about a hundred yards away, though some trees and just about fell down a steep embankment trying to get there to help. But I had managed to grab a tree and regain my bearings when I looked up and saw the family standing in knee deep water with a life jacket floating away and the canoe on its side half filled with water. The kids were scared and the parents were trying to laugh it off. All was fine! So I helped them right the canoe and they were on their way!

After a much needed shower, I hit the road again. Down to another Minneapolis suburb. This time for drinks and dinner with two other old friends, one I’ve known since as far back as my memory will take me. The restaurant this time had some great choices. Solid Minnesotan choices. Tater tot hotdish!? On a menu!? Well I got the 10,000 lakes pot pie and it was delicious. Great beer too! Then we stayed up too late drinking and one of my friends was late for work. Oops! Sorry Jen!

The next day was a big party at my dad’s place, where I saw some more friends and family. And got more mosquito bites.

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And the final day was a get together for my mom’s side of the family. Which was also pretty great. We even played football! I dropped the ball of course. Oh well! And of course, more rain after that.

That night my dad and I went up to the bar in my hometown and killed the night there. A handful of high school friends were there playing darts and beer pong, so that was a hell of a throwback!

And that was that for my time in Minnesota!

Or so I thought. Minnesota had other plans! This is getting long winded already, so tune in next time for more adventures on the AdvMonster with AMGtech!