In search of
No Rush
by Peter Kohlsaat

Brown’s Valley, MN, JULY 22-

On October 9, 1933 William H Jensen, an amateur archeologist, uncovered the badly broken skeleton of a man in a gravel pit on a plateau about mile south of the present town of Brown’s Valley. The plateau was formed as an island in the ancient River Warren, an outlet of Glacial Lake Agassiz.

From spear flint points found in the grave and from surrounding geological evidence, University of Minnesota archeologists estimated that the burial dated about 6000 BC.

The skull of the BVM, reconstructed and measured at the university was that of a 25-40 year old male, who possessed many of the characteristics of the North American Indian. No additional traces of his culture have been discovered n the immediate area.

The skeleton disappeared some time after it was returned to Jensen, deepening the mystery surrounding the BVM. It was rediscovered by the Jensen family in 1987. Radiocarbon dating has now dated the skeleton to 9000 years ago. This made the skeleton one of the earliest ever found in the new world.

It has always been an ominous conjecture of mine that there is possibly no place in America where a person can go to escape Rush Limbaugh on the airwaves. So, with that quest in mind Travels With Zelda has set about to document the existence of such far-flung bastions of innocence. The Rush To Nowhere Report will inform viewers of places safe from the rantings of America’s most ubiquitous talk-show host.

It’s just like the sign says. The road passes along the eastern edge of Big Stone Lake offering many splendid views. This lake is a very cool body of water. 26 miles long, averaging a depth of six feet, with the deepest hole being 11 feet. Surrounded by groves of cottonwood. Walleye fishing: "excellent!" according to the woman at the Mallard Resort and Inn.

To date: Nowhere on the entire length of Hwy 12, from Minneapolis/St. Paul west to the South Dakota border can one escape Rush. KSTP, 1500 AM from the Twin Cities and KDJS, 1590 AM from Wilmar- live: 11-2 PM CDT. Then….delayed broadcast on 730 AM from somewhere. 2-5 PM. It’s a great country.

Travel Update:

Sisseton, South Dakota

Dread. That is the overwhelming feeling I have at the beginning of a trip like this. Guilt.

I am overcome by a feeling of uneasiness. Being irresponsible. It begins to pass as I get my rhythm.

My confidence slowly begins to return as I reassure myself that I can fulfill all the requirements of earning a living while on the road. I don’t need the office. My van is the office, or in this case, a picnic table amongst a city park full of kids hitting golf balls and teeter-tottering in Sisseton, South Dakota.

After being enlightened rather tersely by the cashier of the Dairy Mart in Dassel, Minnesota, that the town is a "dry town", I noted this sign in a window directly across the street. I assume there is also a curfew.

You gotta love such a practical vehicle
Last night in Big Stone Lake State Park the mosquitoes were overpowering. And the gnats. Biting. Blood everywhere. Through my sweat-soaked t-shirt. My ears. The backs of my hands. It was time to drag out the tent and escape. HAH! I forgot the tent. Amazing.(I once forgot the paddles on a canoe trip.) I was forced to depend on the mosquito coils. They were inadequate. I cowered beneath a flannel sheet all night. Sweating. Clouds of frustrated mosquitoes. Each with their own individual whine inches away. I settled in for a fitful sleep. Unconvinced the coils were not affecting some sort of repellence, I changed them sometime around two. But I did manage to eke out some sort of Zen rest.

This morning in Sisseton, I searched for a large piece of mosquito netting or cheese cloth. Nothing. I will construct a tropical mosquito tent if possible.

The first couple days of traveling, besides discovering what was forgotten, is spent verifying my operating systems. The 12 volt converter, (converting 12 volts to 110) which I had planned on allowing me to use my computer and scanner in the van, on the road, only works with the engine running. It was SUCH a great idea. So much for the quiet of the wilderness, the singing of the birds, the babbling of a mountain stream being my office environment. So no hooking up a nice, big, clamp-on reading light. It’s appearing to be more like camping all the time.


The North/South Continental Divide

Here on the western border of Minnesota is the exact point where the Red River flows north to Hudson Bay and the Minnesota River south to the Mississippi. I want to know:

Is there anywhere else on Earth where from one body of fresh water rivers flow to different oceans? Readers? Do you imagine when the French fur traders, after paddling for weeks upstream on the Red River were able to say, "Just a little longer, men…then it’s all downstream." as they neared the Minnesota River?


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