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Day 7 of 11: Saying good-bye and heading home

Posted by joeabbott on July 5, 2014

imageI know I said “home” would always be Minnesota but it was time to head back to where I live, which is Seattle; so today was about saying farewell and getting that foot out the door.

The Plan

Today was not about travel, not about vacation: today was burying a great man and taking leave of my family for a long journey back to Seattle. While it would be hard, it was also time: my Uncle had passed away in April after a long illness and we’d parted a while back … today would just be closure; and after seven days on the road, I was looking forward to getting back to my home, my routines, the life I’d chosen.

Scenes from the day

While the day had a somber tone, a loving family always finds time to eat, laugh, connect; and we did. The service was brief and we gathered for a few final farewells at the family house before Suzy and I started to south. It was somewhere between 2-3PM and we had a long way to go.


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Pipestone is a National Monument site, a quarry for Native American peoples and while we were getting in too late for an official tour, we walked the paths until it was unsafe before continuing our journey south.

In my words

Where I went to bed earlier than I’d hoped, I arose later than I was accustomed – but loved it. Felt like a good long drink. Refreshed both the body and the spirit.

We chatted and chatted, whiling away the morning … we split up to tour what we wished. Suzy and I went to Menards (gift card), Target (Diet Mt. Dew), and then Cane Lakes (chocolates!). At Cane Lakes we met many family members …

After the meal we met Mom at the cemetery and held UJ’s graveside service. It was brief and it was closure. We said good-bye yet again.

But Suzy and I had to leave and we started on our trip to Sioux Falls. It would be over 7-hours driving and so we headed out. First to Hinkley … then south to Pipestone.

We stopped just before Pipestone to have dinner (Dairy Queen), then at Pipestone we quickly walked the paths. It was getting dark and by the time we got back to the car, it was completely night out.

Tomorrow will be more driving but we decided to add Sioux Falls Falls (or “water park”) to our itinerary.

Looking forward to it: something new and unexpected added to our schedule. Jay had recommended it. Should be very fine.


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