Monday, June 29, 2020

Mississippi National River and Recreation Area: I let the river do the running for once!

Day 4 of our road trip got us crossing the famous Mississippi, another of Agnès' dreams. We did it through the Twin Cities, Minneapolis and Saint Paul, in Minnesota. While not really a National Park, we stopped by the headquarters of the Mississippi National River and Recreational Area, close enough. Indeed, like the National Mall in DC, it is managed by the National Park Service. After a big storm all night, it was still pouring rain in the morning. With 6 more hours of driving after our stop and no opportunity to shower, I didn't run this time, just walked the trails of Harriett Island Regional Park, in St. Paul.
What I find ironic is that the Mississippi is only the second longest river in the US but the longest, the Missouri, actually flows into the Mississippi. The two plus many key rivers make for an amazing water drainage system, yet only second to the Hudson Bay.
Picture by Shannon1 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Speaking of saints with St. Paul, I didn't realize our Cloud business had a patron saint!

St. Cloud, MN, is located about 100 kilometers Northwest of the Twin Cities.

Never thought of pronouncing the name of this Merovingian Catholic Saint, or our Parisian suburb, Saint-Cloud, like the weather or IT word. I also learned that his original name was Clodoald. I also realize I don't know anyone with Cloud (or Clodoald!) as their first name. And, yet, according to (?), the popularity peaked the past two years at 60 babies per million. The proud parents must work at Amazon, Microsoft, Google or... IBM! Because, yes, never mind the reluctance of journalists to admit it, IBM is also a key Cloud player!

Back to the pronunciation, here is what I found:

  1. It would be useful to note how the name of this city is pronounced. Is it some approximation to the French original [san'klu] or pronounced as though it is the English words "saint" and "cloud" [seɪnt'klaʊd]? [--Macrakis]
  2. I'm from the area and I've always heard it pronounced the same way as any English speaker would pronounce "saint" and "cloud".[--Daveswagon]
  3. [san'klu] is occasionally used by people being obtuse. I've heard it maybe 2-3x in my life. [-Ravedave]

Pun intended, if it's pronounced klaʊd, sounds like this could be used as the patron saint for our IT cloud concept after all...

By the way, 5 US States have their own St. Cloud: Florida, Minnesota, Missouri, West Virginia and Wisconsin!

And, out of a rather lack of distinctive of downtown character, it was odd to find a Catholic Cathedral (St Mary's) emerging with this attempt to mimic the Romanesque architecture, with bricks! (Including this mention for my dad who is a specialist and wrote three books on this architecture style across Europe.)

See more about the city of St. Cloud, MN in Wikipedia.

That was for Wisconsin early morning, and Minnesota mid day. We are now in North Dakota, a first for both of us, and, after crossing the Continental Divide this afternoon, set to explore the South part of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park tomorrow morning. Progress!

PS: a few additional pictures.

A large water drainage system calls for... a lot of rain!
Seen on the Plaza de Honor, two quotes from President Franklin D. Roosevelt, so appropriate today... "The principle on which the country was founded... is that Americanism is a matter of mind and heart."
And... "Americanism is not and never was a matter of race or ancestry." --FDR, 1943

 A very artistic playground!

 Majestic tree.
 A paddle share system!
 It rains so much here, they keep boats under cover!

 Thank you, Rotary!
 A piece of wind mill hard to move around!
 When the engine calls (Native American female driver)...
 Never ending trains.

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