St Croix River Road Ramblings

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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

All Rambled Out

Well, another River Road Ramble is rambled over.  The weather was perfect for the 10th annual Ramble, there were about 30 Ramble stops, and even though we were about 2 weeks early for peak fall color, we had a great turnout of folks taking the 4th Saturday in September loop tour of the River Road and Hwy 87.  

Grantsburg got involved this year with tours and activities at the Grantsburg museum buildings.  Brother Marv and a few of his grandchildren stopped and took the tour and had their photos taken in old time garb--a fun activity for kids and adults.  

At the farm we had our usual large turnout of folks stopping to check out the farm produce, apples , pumpkins, squash and maple syrup as well as some of the garage sale items.  Probably sold about 1/4 of what we had.  The rest of October we continue selling the produce until it is gone.  Pumpkins went fastest and apples the slowest.  Too warm and early to think about preparing for the upcoming winter when an apple, carefully wrapped in tissue and stored in the root cellar will taste good.  
There goes 7 pumpkins, great grandma's old rocker, grandma's plant stand, and Margo's unused planters from the Geraniums by Margo business she had 15 years ago.  

Our neighbors at the 1904 Bass Lake School house had an open house to show their progress in restoration and conversion to weekend personal resort.  Down to the cement blocks and ceiling joist with the metal ceiling panels and maple floor being restored. 
The west windows were blocked early as schools were told to have light only from one side -- so the light comes over the left shoulder and makes perfect lighting for a right hander to write on his or her desk. The windows will be restored to original condition --so left handers will feel at home too.

New this year -- RRR Royalty and Float!  Great addition and publicity for the 10th annual Ramble


Moon struck, I burned a dozen rolls of kodachrome trying to get a decent view of the super blood moon eclipse.  (in the old days I would have taken maybe 20 photos with film and probably only one or two turned out.  With digital I took well over 100 and experimented with lens openings, times, etc with no worry about developing costs!)

With the Ramble done, we mostly close down the Sterling Eureka and Laketown Historical Society until Memorial Day with a wrapup meeting on Oct 15th at the Museum in Cushing to celebrate another year of success, plan a Christmas party, turn down the heat and think about painting the ceiling.

The Ramble left me exhausted as it always does -- harvesting the garden vegetables (a ton or more of pumpkins and squash, apples, bottling syrup etc) and this year parting with items from the farm and home trying to clear out the clutter.  I marked the price on my old flexible flyer runner sled at $20 hoping it wouldn't sell (it didn't as it is in tough shape).  

I do less of the Ramble preparations each year as son Scott takes over the farm market.  However it takes less effort to tire me out.  I pushed the local historical society (SELHS) into doing this 10 years ago, and each year I worry that it will flop--and I feel responsible.  However, after talking to brother Marv, who hit most of the stops and sales, he tells me there was a good turnout with lots of traffic and parking difficulties along the stops.  His only complaint was that at some of the garage sales they didn't have enough new things from last year.  I suppose that means here on the farm we will have to dig deeper in the barn and sheds to find something different -- maybe I will offer my refurbished sled for $200 next fall...

A few things you know you should get rid of, but in the end it is hard to part with.   Childhood memories of iced tracks on the hillside with shelf-snow-ice jumps and years of thrills coasting far into the old cranberry bog below the steep hill east of the yard.  I was probably about 8 when I got my own sled, 60 years ago.  I think it will go into my wood shop to be refurbished, as brother Ev did with his. 
A sled much like mine, but in much better condition.  Mine has everything there, but a grayish weather beaten look with red rusty rather than red pained runners.  However, a little TLC and maybe in January I will ice some tracks and let the nephews and nieces try my newly restored sled on the hill.  (I think this is called a pipe dream).