Monday, October 11, 2004


Here are some pics from our trip to Alexandria and the Clergy Cottage. I'll try to get the pics from the past weekend with Mom & Dad as soon as I can!

View of Lake Geneva from our B&B on the water in Alexandria.

Mazen pretending to crawl on the grass in front of Lake Geneva.

This one's for you Jon! It was at the museum we went to in Alexandria.

Michael preaching at the Pioneer Church at the Museum. Doesn't he look just like a preacher!

The fireplace at the cottage.

The living room and kitchen. (Look at all the baby stuff!)

A giant turtle (or is it tortoise?) we saw on the side of the road. It was as big as Booboo!

Daddy helping the turtle go up the curb (just like he helps Pokey!)

Proof the Vikings were in Minnesota!

The runestone the Vikings left behind in Alexandria over a thousand years ago. It tells a story of who was there and what they did and why they left. The translation is:

"8 Goths and 22 Norwegians on exploration journey from Vinland over the west
We had camp by skerries one days journey north from this stone
After we came home found 10 men red with blood and dead
Ave Maria
Save from evil
Year 1362"

Close Up of the Runestone. (I think this stuff is so interesting! If you're bored, just skip it!)

The story behind the stone is:

Ohman, a Swedish immigrant, was clearing his farmland near Kensington 106 years ago. When he found a 202-pound inscribed stone tablet wrapped in the roots. In the ancient Scandinavian language known as runes, it describes a massacre of 10 members of an exploration party of Swedes and Norwegians in 1362 in what's now central Minnesota. Ever since, Minnesotans have been intrigued by, and feuding about, the stone. In 1910 he emphatically denied making the inscription, and he also insisted that he didn't have the ability to carve it if he had wanted.

Scott Wolter, a St. Paul geologist was hired four years ago by the Kensington Runestone Museum in Alexandria to study the stone. He says he began his research as an impartial scientist and since has become certain that weathering of mica on the stone's inscription proves that it is more than 200 years old. Therefore, Wolter insists, Ohman and his friends didn't do it.

About six runic characters on the rock hadn't been seen in Scandinavia or anywhere else in recent times - until this year, proponents said. Critics assumed they were made up by Ohman. However, Richard Nielsen, 70, of Texas has been studying the runestone for 20 years and said he has found proof that some of them were used in the 1360s, when the stone supposedly was carved.

People who have known the Ohmans insisted at the Kensington meeting that Olof Ohman was not the carver. Einar Bakke, 92, a family friend who still lives near Kensington, fiercely denied that Ohman was a prankster, as he often is described by doubters. Bakke said: "No, he would not pull a practical joke on anybody, no way! ... To think he'd sit down and scratch a rock like that" when he had six children, 80 acres to farm and lots of stumps to pull is "ridiculous."

Other Viking artifacts have also been found - axehead, iron spearhead, firemetal, etc.

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