Gearhead Grrrl’s Thanksgiving SOP has been a pre thanksgiving roasting of the numerous corporate turkeys who have done stupid stuff that ticked off if not totally enraged gear heads in the past year. Grievences having been aired, there follows a Black Friday shopper’s guide for gear heads. The turkey roast has been suspended for this year as many of the habitual offenders deserve credit for just surviving this year of plague. Said plague has pretty much put off in person shopping if not outright killed it, and any retailer that expected me to crowd into their premises today in search of a dubious deal is on the short list for the turkey roast when that ritual is restored.

Give REI Co-op credit for the “Opt-Out”, inspiring me by giving their workers Black Friday off to enjoy the outdoors, and in this pandemic there’s no place safer. What better excuse to bring back the day trip, a day off pastime I picked up when you could drive all day on $10 worth of diesel in your VW. On the TDI Club forum we joked about spending more on fast food than fuel, despite using tricks like 12 volt powered heaters to keep Arby’s 5 for $5 sandwiches warm all day.

Minnesota’s great state parks got on the Opt Out bandwagon too by offering free admission, but not much of anyone out here in rural western Minnesota was taking them up on the offer… Except the other TDI driver I met at the next state park. I had this one to myself…

But there had been some wild life goin’ on. I found every state park well maintained but damn near devoid of humans, a shame given todays clear skies with temps rising into the low 40s.

No, this ain’t Minnesota’s famous North Shore… This is our West Shore!

Couple hours of sunlight left, time to head home. Goodbye to Big Stone Lake, source of the Minnesota River AKS glacial river Warren (something had to dig out that huge valley!)

More prairie but still plenty of water downriver at Lac qui Parle state park.

Amazing how safely you can have so much fun out here, only time I got within the standard 6 feet of anyone was when I stopped for soda and a slice of pizza at Casey’s in Ortonville and a couple maskless CovIdiots wandered in. The outhouses at the state parks were pretty decent and will be open all winter, next time I’ll just bring more food with and avoid the self appointed super spreaders. Damn good way to pass a fall day, and warm enough to ride tomorrow!