Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Autumn, Campground Expansion & Ducks

Wednesday, September 16, 2009. We're in the last half of September. It still doesn't look or feel much like autumn, but the signs are there.

The lilac flowers, months later. Another cycle is ending. September 15, 2009.

Down by Sauk Lake, trees are still green, but a few leaves have fallen. And the campground isn't as full as it was earlier in the year.

Like the sign say: "open." It wasn't this quiet earlier, and it's likely enough that the place will be filled next year, too. September 15, 2009.

Those speed bumps encourage a slow-and-easy driving style. And things are still likely to pop off trailers and boats. September 15, 2009.

I see in this week's Sauk Centre Herald that the Sinclair Lewis Campground is expanding. The city would have added more camping spots west of the existing area before, but neighbors - reasonably enough - weren't all that keen on looking at a campground from their front yards. A row of pine trees has grown up now, making it hard to see the houses - and, presumably, hard to see the campground, too.

There's $20,000 of campground planned for this spot. The city figures it'll pay for itself in about two years. They're probably right: the existing sites fill early and stay that way each summer. September 15, 2009.

The Sinclair Lewis Campground is near the Sinclair Lewis Park, a couple blocks south of Sinclair Lewis Avenue and the Sinclair Lewis Boyhood Home: open and available for people who didn't get enough of Sinclair Lewis at the Sinclair Lewis Interpretive Center down by the Interstate. We're not likely to forget that Sinclair Lewis came from Sauk Centre.

Ducks are still around. A dozen or so filed across the campground road while I was taking photos. This was no milling crowd: rather, a purposeful procession, with a mallard and attendants in the lead.

Ducks journeying through shadows and across asphalt. September 15, 2009.

This is it: the promised lawn. September 15, 2009.

Sinclair Lewis Park, down by the lake? It's still there: band shell ("Sauk Centre Bowl" it's called), playgrounds, picnic
tables and all. And trees. Lots of trees. I didn't check out the east end, so the 'umbrella fountain' may be down for the season.

Sinclair Lewis Park: a pretty nice place, actually.

And, there's the less nostalgic-seeming sign of autumn's advent: revving engines and squealing tires, just after 3:00 in the afternoon, Monday through Friday, here at the corner of Ash and South 9th Street. It makes for a real change of pace from the usual view of yards, trees, light traffic, folks out walking, and intermittent hummingbirds.

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