Rutabee and Road Work: My Minnesota Training Adventure

My trip by the numbers to the land of 10k (10,000) lakes.  There is a bunch of photographic evidence on my flickr.  The training photo SlideShow.

998.2  miles – I logged almost 1,000 miles in my wonderful rental. I started with a Jeep Liberty from Hertz.   I drove it around the loop at Duluth International and was reminded of my old Toyota Camry’s front seat.  Small. And without the requisite room for all of the stuff I would need to carry.    So I tried to exchange it for another car.  I casually mentioned that I would be returning the car to Minneapolis not Duluth and the clerk reached for “the book.” It was going to cost another $700 more to return my car to MSP.  Ouch.  Since Duluth’s airport is “cozy, ” I went to the other rental agencies to see who could help me out.  Alamo/Nationwide stepped up and I ended up with a wonderful Toyota Highlander.  And it cost pretty much what the person in Duluth said it would.  Nice.

120 (or so) participants. Great workshop participants who did not mind getting their hands dirty installing software, playing rock band, capturing the event and having a little fun while learning a lot.   They were the key to the whole thing.

61 I passed through some small, and yes I mean under pop 500 small, towns on my travels through MN but the town of Cobden, MN was the smallest with a pop 61 sign announcing the town as you passed at 65 mph.  Too small to have a speed trap.

30 – Number of Coke Zeros and Arizona Diet Green Tea consumed to keep me going those almost 1000 miles and five workshops. 

16 things each region is getting.   Yes, each region in MN, all 13 of them, got Wii’s,  Flip and Digital Cameras, GPS Unit, IPod Touch, MP3 player and boom box, and assorted things.

15 minutes My cart ride through the Lindbergh Terminal from my 45 minute late plane from Chicago to my small tube to Duluth.  Yes, I said 15 minute cart ride from my arriving gate to my departure gate.  And I had 14 minutes to get there.   Having your name announced as the door is being closed is NOT the way to travel.  And a special thanks to the NorthWest gate attendant who would not call ahead letting them know I was on my way.  And told me oh..that is a long way away.  And you don’t have much time to get there.  Thanks for that bit of info.  I was thinking about that when we were circling the airport for 45 minutes.   I hope you get stranded someday on a desert island sweetie.

10 Minnesota regional systems represented by participants at the training locations.

5 Great Hosting Regions and Libraries and Meeting Rooms: Arrowhead, East Central, SELCO, Plum Creek and Traverse Sioux Library Systems.  And their hosts: Rebecca, Nick and Andy, Molly and Aurora, Chris and Lori, and Patty and the staff of Traverse Sioux.  All five of the libraries had fantastic meeting room spaces.  I was a lucky trainer in that regard.

Five Hours: The longest someone had to travel to get to one of the workshops.  In Minnesota, “just around the corner”  is an hour.  Or more.

Two – Seasons in Minnesota.  Winter and Road Work.  And there was no snow on the ground. And they take road work very, very seriously.

One order of Chicken Pastie.  Created by combining rutabee, chicken, beef, onions, celery and gravy in a whole wheat pastry.  A taste treat.

One lost bag that did not make it on my smaller than a Greyhound bus plane to Duluth.  Got it delivered much later that day to my hotel.   Glad I had back up clothes on my carry on.

And finally  ONE BIG THANKS to everyone who made my time in Minnesota a rocking good time training and teaching folks about technology.

I hope to get back there to see folks and train once again.


About (almost) Bald Trainer

A trainer in Maryland
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