DAY 14

Shortly after setting out we stopped to see the ‘statues’ of Paul Bunyon and his ox Babe, legendary figure of the hardworking spirit that went into the founding of the State of Minnesota. Ian Young, busy as ever, took a group photo in -9 degree C so he had to be quick.
During the journey we crossed and re-crossed the Mississippi which steadily increased in size on its 2000+ miles to the sea.
Topographical variation is scarcely a feature of the landscape: for that read ‘flat’. Some people were ice-fishing on a lake.
At St Paul Curling Club we were welcomed by Tim McMahon, President who gave us insights into the long history of his Club. The clubhouse is within the city, and is substantial and very comfortable. In the lounge there are several old curling stones, one weighing 120 lbs. All in all, the welcome here enhanced the feeling that US curlers are excellent hosts.
In the evening Dick and Nancy Nicholson hosted us and perhaps forty St Paul curlers to dinner in the ballroom of their most remarkable, historical home.For more information on this feature of St Paul go to saintpaulhistorical.com and look for Louis Hill house. On each table there was a large curling trophy, some dating back to the early 1900s. These were filled by our hosts and passed around for us to share: it took some practice to do that without spilling any which would have been a shame to say the least. Everything about the house and dinner was classic in the best sense: lets say the experience can’t easily be expressed in words. Our delightful hostess Nancy introduced Chris Coleman who was clearly in favour of developing exchanges of ideas and information across the world such as is being done through our Tour.
Malcolm MacAskill sang Scots Wha Hae to the delight of our hosts. Alan Roe ‘did’ his own poem “Why the Skip in The Head is always Shouting at Me”: it hit the spot with the diners. Alan gave host Dick Nicholson a copy of the History of the Herries Maxwell Trophy.
On Tour, no one day is the same as the one before – or the next, except that they seems to get longer as the Tour goes on. Some brave Tourists re-joined St Paul CC curlers back at their clubhouse after dinner, but can’t be faulted for that as they were on the coach in the next morning.

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