Winona – January 2015 Entry 1

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Does it count as a trip to head home to visit family? Even if they live in the same state as me?

Well I think so. I only get to do it once or twice a year after all. So with that in mind, my first journey of the new year was to Winona, Minnesota. This is a town that I grew up in, so I’ve got almost eighteen years of experience wondering around the place. But this trip was about catching up with family and reacquainting myself with my hometown.

Winona is nestled on the southeastern edge of the state of Minnesota, separated from Wisconsin by the natural border of the Mississippi river on one side, and hugged by bluffs on the other side. The population sits right around 27,000, and the city has three colleges; Winona State University, St Mary’s University, and Winona Technical College, which swells the town’s population for ¾ of the year, and makes it seem a bit emptier during the summer breaks. Winona is part small town charm, part outdoor enthusiast’s dream come true, and part college town.

Of course I was also visiting in January so, needless to say, was cold.

Actually my visit fell right on a super cold front, with temperatures falling to -30 degree windchill.  Lots of blowing snow and people holing themselves up inside their homes.  The gray skies and blowing snow don’t make Winona it’s most photogenic, but that’s all part of life in Minnesota.

Sugar Loaf

Sugar Loaf, an iconic scenic marker of Winona.

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