Tarmac ribbons criss-crossing the landscape, dusty back roads twisting between the cool shadows of ancient pines, and less traveled pathways connecting present to past, all I wander, seeking, seeing, with my keyboard and camera capturing scenes and stories to share with you.

Now in its seventh year, this venue has become an important part of my life, a place where I can express my thoughts and feelings about the things I see and do, hoping the process brings me a bit closer to friends and family who enjoy sharing my sometimes chaotic and often nonlinear observations and ideas. A journal, I suppose, but one with which I find pleasure in thinking others are alongside me on my journey.

Comments, thoughts, or just a friendly chat, use the response box below or email me at patrickgroleau@gmail.com.

March 25, 2013

2013 WANDER-ABOUT: DAY 5


OLYMPUS E-P1 PROJECT
... this was our chicago weather ... brisk wind, but not cold enough to require mittens or boots ... considering that in fargo, north dakota, right now it's only 20°f with a wind chill factor below zero and what looks like a foot of snow on the ground, i'd say that we had great weather while we visited the windy city ...

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... we walked over five miles exploring chicago, so yesterday's drive to fargo was a welcome break to our tired legs ...

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... our first stop after chicago was a very, very famous place, where we enjoyed a great breakfast at a local diner ... a nice treat'll be the prize for the first person to identify this location ... hint:  if you can't think of it, wait until tomorrow and try again ...

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... a bit off the route, but well worth the time it took to make a visit ...

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... there were hundreds and hundreds of mustards from all over the world ... i knew there was both yellow and brown mustard, but did you know there's also a variety of black mustard ... difficult to process, the seeds are rarely used ... adrien doesn't eat mustard, but i sampled dozens of different styles ... one tablespoon is 5% of a day's protein requirement, so i suppose you could say i ate healthy ...

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... then it was on to the "mall of america" ... not being much a fan of malls, i expected to be if not actually disappointed at least unimpressed ... needless, to say, i was wrong ... what a fantastic place ... clean, bright, fun ... the only problem, of course, is that i can't even imagine how a "normal" family can afford to visit this place ... this picture shows the center of the mall, what i figure to be only 10% or so of the structure ... 

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... perhaps indicative of the mall's clientele, i'm not sure, here's a store where a little girl (i try not to be sexist, but the name of the place is "the american girl") can bring her doll in for a hair styling, facial, or, if necessary, an appointment with a professional doll doctor ...

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... pure coincidence, but the gps took us to this section of the parking garage ...

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... ten o'clock at night, about an hour outside of fargo, we stopped to visit another important geographic spot ... along the highway a giant surveyor's tripod marks the great divide ... any water on the other side of the structure will eventually end up in the atlantic ocean via the st. lawrence river or streams flowing to the far north, any water falling in the foreground will wind its way down the mississippi to the gulf of mexico ... give adrien a gold star for courage, the wind chill when we took this was well below zero, and she had to carefully negotiate a narrow snowmobile track in order to keep from sinking up to her waist in snow (i won't show the picture, but i didn't do so good) ...

... wish us luck, today we are going to drive across the state of north dakota in sub-freezing windy conditions ... those of you who have driven here know that in this state "drifting snow" has an entirely different meaning than it does elsewhere ...






2013 WANDER-ABOUT: DAYS 2-4 - PART 2

OLYMPUS E-P1 PROJECT
... after the navy pier we walked back to the park to see the giant chrome jelly bean in the daylight ... our route was via the underground road tunnel that runs along the edge of the lake ... needless to say, we found that, yes, indeed, chicago has its share of people living in cardboard boxes ...

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... opinions as to its nature as art i'll leave for another discussion, but the giant chrome jelly bean is clearly great fun and a most effective crowd attractor ... odd, but in this sense it actually reminds me of the lincoln memorial in washington d.c. ...

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... like the great arch in st. louis, the giant chrome jelly bean is one of those places where the slightest movement can bring about profoundly unexpected changes in perspective, thus defining it as a photographer's delight ... 

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... walking beneath the giant chrome jelly bean is to enter a cathedral of the surreal ... 

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... adrien, it seems, clearly inherited at least a bit of pa's genetic code, for she has the ability to find those little historical tidbits which're overlooked by most ...

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... of course, always of the mind the we should be paying attention to the historical nature of the places we visit, adrien and i searched out the very beginnings of the city of chicago (ojibwa "place of the bad smell") ... nothing left from those times, seems that some time ago there was a bit of a fire in the city that burned up everything from the olden days ...

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... we explored a store/museum that specializes in the prints of john james audubon ... we saw many full-sized prints, some of them valued in excess of $400,000 ... like many people, most of my life i've been familiar with a coffee table edition of his book, "birds of america," but to see the life-sized hand colored engravings was a most impressive treat ... we were allowed to "browse" the shop for free, and, since we couldn't afford to purchase anything, the nice lady at the desk was kind enough to give us some bookmarks ...

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... not quite the end of our time in chicago, here adrien contemplates a scene from the t.v. series "e.r." ...