An antique sterling shuttle! I have only seen these a couple of times in antique stores, and for about $100 or so. The store owner wasn't too sure about how to price it, so I waited for him to decide what to charge.
Let's just say I still can't contain myself. It's mine :) Oh yeah - we did get directions to a cafe for lunch too.
On to the state park. Both of us have pretty much lived in Minnesota all our lives, but neither of us have been to this western part of the state. Lac Qui Parle State Park is about 50 miles from the South Dakota border, and is more prairie and grassland than where we live. We've never gone this direction because we thought the land would be boring, flat and just grass and cornfields. Well, most of the way it is just that, but the park was a pleasant surprise with beautiful views like this:
Even though it was chilly, we enjoyed hiking around and learning a bit about the history of the area. Lac Qui Parle Lake is actually part of the Minnesota River that is created by a dam built to control flooding. This is an area full of Native American history as well. This replica of the mission that was here was interesting to hike around and read about the attempts to teach the Dakota tribe English and convert them to Christianity. While walking, we could just imagine the Native Americans and fur traders walking the same land.
We hiked to "the" Cottonwood tree - the most massive tree I have ever seen. Supposedly, this is the largest cottonwood in the state. The picture doesn't really show the sheer magnitude of this tree!