Friday, August 12, 2011

Crazy for Quilts

Remember that I told you I had gone to the annual family camping trip last weekend?

Do you also remember that I told you that it was HOT and HUMID?


This didn't seem to bother some relatives. In fact, they seemed to THRIVE in the heat.

They went on long bike rides (17-25 miles!) I would have loved to have gone, too, but the thought of getting even more sweaty then what I was from just sitting there?

Uh, no.

Now if it were a cooler, less humid day? Maybe I would have given it a try.

So we talked about things we could do from our air-conditioned car.

I know, pathetic, right?

We talked about taking an Amish tour. You could purchase a $28 CD, and take the self tour. (I'm not sure why we didn't do this......I would have loved to do that!)

We, (Jim, oldest son Jeff, granddaughter Lauren, and me) decided to drive into the next town to the pie shop for lunch and pie.

Jim and I shared a chicken salad sandwich on homemade bread....delish! And we both had a cup of wild rice soup. I have to admit, my SIL Karen's soup is better.

But the pies....OH MY!!

So many pies, so little time.

I don't know why I didn't take pictures.

Maybe I was drooling too much.

While we were munching our lunch, I kept my eyes peeled to the people walking by with their pieces of pie.

Which should I pick? Hmmm......

Jim got pecan ala mode, I got strawberry rhubarb with whip cream, Lauren got Elvis peanut butter pie, and Jeff got raspberry creme.

I didn't taste Jeff's, but I can vouch for the other three pies.


In fact, Lauren said hers was "too peanut buttery".

Is there even such a thing?

So I thought it was a SIN - a SIN I TELL YA - to let that piece of pie go to waste.

So I ate it up. Every last morsel. And then when I was finished, I curled my lip and did my best Elvis imitation and said, "Thank you. Thank you very much!"

Gosh! I just crack myself up!

We piled back in the car and Jeff said, "Now what?"

"Well, we COULD go see the quilted barns," I piped up from the back seat.

I had perused the tour book of the county earlier that morning and found that the town of Caledonia (about 28 miles away) had over three dozen barns that displayed quilts.

If you are not familiar with quilted barns, they are 8 foot by 8 foot pieces of plywood that are painted with a quilted pattern. You can read about the history here and here. It is a very interesting read. In fact, if you just Google "barn quilts" you'll be amazed at what information will come up. Try it.

So we drove to Caledonia and picked up a map of where the barns were located. We actually only drove to about 10 of them; but we stumbled across some along the way before the town, AND there were a few in IL/WI along the way to Minnesota to the camping trip.

Remember, some of these are located down a LONG driveway. I didn't have my long lens, so I cropped the photos the best I could. Click to enlarge any photo.

IL or WI barn
A COW! IL/WI barn
Another side of the "cow" barn, IL/WI barn
IL/WI barn
IL/WI barn (I like how this one is tilted)

The following barns are all from the Caledonia, MN area.

To see all the barns on the Caledonia tour, click here.

What was cool, besides driving on the country roads and finding the quilt barns, was the beautiful scenery and coming across surprising things like bison:

or long-horn cattle

Yeah that cow is peeing-seems like every photo I took some animal was peeing or poohing.I must bring out the best in them!

Driving back we saw an Amish buggy approaching us. I quickly took a photo.

and right after I snapped the picture, the man saw my camera and bent way low so I couldn't get his face. (I didn't know this...Jeff told me.) I felt bad, but not bad enough to delete the photo! Besides, he's wearing a hat and sunglasses so he's pretty incognito!

There was a blurb in the tour book about the "Million Dollar Bridge". It was on our way home if we took a different route, and I'm always looking for photo ops of bridges to contribute to Sunday Bridges so Jim navigated us to the site.

Jeff knew I was excited so he played along. "Okay," he said as we headed down a sharp decline," it's just around this curve!"

We drove past rocks embedded in the earth, as if the road had been cut out of the dirt.

We came upon another curve and we were still heading down.

"It should be close!" Jeff said again.

"I hope there's room to pull off so I can get a photo!" I said.

And then,

and then,

there was the bridge.

It was like any other concrete bridge. NOTHING spectacular.

What the???

Jim and Jeff just laughed and laughed.

I pouted.

Why make such a big deal in the tour book about a regular bridge?

I don't get it.

So I didn't get a photo of it.

But don't worry.

You didn't miss anything.


Rita said...

The quilt barns are really cool! I grew up in Minnesota and never knew about them. Probably have seen a couple and paid no attention to them. Sad, but true.

I don't think anyone was peeing or pooping in the second cow pic...or the buffalo pic--LOL!

Too bad about the concrete bridge. Love the buggy. Saw even more of them in Wisconsin. Love all the pics and glad you liked the peanut butter pie. ;)

Sunny said...

Wow! What a fun trip! The barn quilts are really great. There are a few on barns around here but nothing like those.
I can hear your Elvis impression in my head and I'm smiling!
☼ Sunny
LOVE your header, by the way :)

Gail said...

Caledonia was one of my aunts middle name. I guess from the song.

Beautiful photos, love the barn quilts.

I could use directions on how to watermark a photo...and quick tips?

Teresa - in the Middle Side of Life said...

great pictures (as usual!). Loved the quilt barns. those are just too cool. too bad about the bridge, but the pie sounds awesome.

Anonymous said...

what beautiful barns....and I LOVE your new header pic...I always wonder the stories behind houses that are just left...

The Cello Strings said...

love your field shots, the barn is darling to look at.

Bless your august.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

We have a seasonal kamper here who is into quilting. There is a power station on their site and the back of it faces the road. She is going to paint a quilt on it!

I love the header shot ofthat lonely abandoned house. I would like to go there and hide today!

labbie1 said...

I just love the header picture. All the queen anne's lace is so pretty in front of it.

I have never seen barns with quilts! Cool! In PA they have hex signs--a PA Dutch thing!

Thanks for taking us along! The pie sounds delish! There is a place one exit west of us that has homemade cobbler and pie that is really quite tasty and the people are very friendly as well.

I always enjoy your adventures...sorry about the let down with the bridge.

Chip "Rocket Man" Allen said...

So that's what they are! We see them all the time when we're out shooting photos but neither my wife or I had any idea what they were. Thanks!

Brian Miller said...

those are some wicked cool quilts on those bright and vibrant...that is awesome...and i will take any kind of berry pie...please!!!!

McGuffy Ann said...

When Bill & I were first married, we traveled in a van for three months, through 13 states. I would love to do what you are doing. How, why, did you come to do it? I love your blog and am a fan now!

Lynda said...

You found some beautiful quilt photos. I like the architecture of the barns with the curved arch roof.
It sounds like you have had a great family camping trip.

Carletta said...

Great quilt barn photos!
I had hoped to do one myself for our two story detached barn garage this summer but it hasn't happened - yet. :)