Saturday, August 15, 2009
3745.7 (179.1) Miles to Saint Paul, Minnesota
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Driving out of Winona, I headed north on 61 towards Saint Paul. As I approached Wabasha, I saw a sign for the National Eagle Center. Not knowing what it was, and with my curiosity piqued, I decided to drive into town and check it out. The National Eagle Center is an educational and care center for and about eagles, specifically bald eagles. I saw a number of the birds who are being cared for. I also saw one of them getting fed. They are truly impressive and majestic creatures. Much more fitting as the national symbol than the turkey (sorry Mr. Franklin). To see these birds with their wings fully extended is a sight to see. I'm not sure if Angel (the eagle's name) was trying to get away, or was just trying to impress us (i.e. scare us), but she did a pretty dramatic leap-flip-spin thing that I couldn't catch on video and can't really describe well.
Thanks to the work of the National Eagle Center and other organizations like it, bald eagle nests nationally have jumped from less than 200 in the late 1950s to around 1600 in Minnesota alone. Each of the great 48 and DC have at least one nest for the first time in history. The bald eagle is alive and well, and will be around for a long time for all to see.
After arriving in the Twin Cities, I ended up crashing the wedding reception for some friends of the person I'm staying with here in Saint Paul. The ceremony was the day before, but the celebration was a very casual affair in a park at one of Minnesota's 10,000 lakes. I did feel a little awkward going randomnly to this wedding, but it was insisted over and over that it wasn't a problem. Not willing to go empty handed, I picked up a bottle of scotch for the happy couple and made my way out into the Twin Cities suburbs. Turns out that knowing one person coming only put me behind by 5 or 6 for some people, and I quickly made up the difference meeting people. Very nice people up here in Minnesota. Didn't feel like an outsider at all, and had a great time.
Today staying in the Twin Cities and seeing Rebelution (another friend's band) play. Then doing a little exploring in the city before heading south to Iowa, west to Nebraska, and up into South Dakota.
Pictures are Eagles from the National Eagle Center in Wabasha, Minnesota.
Posted by Alan at 8:50 AM