Mel and I woke up hankering for a new adventure, so after doing a little bit of internet sleuthing, we decided that we should check out one of the Stearns County Parks called Quarry Park and Nature Preserve. It was totally badass. As the name suggests, it’s an old rock quarry that’s been converted into a park. There are giant piles of rectangular chunks of granite hanging out all over the park – sometimes neatly stacked in rows, but usually just thrown into giant heaps. The best attraction is that all the old quarry pits are now filled with water.
Mel and I were mostly interested in what the web page referred to as “Scientific and Natural Areas.” Here’s a photo tour of what we found:
The Quarry was awesome. I definitely recommend you check it out. @garciasn had warned that it can turn into a drunken-college-kid-fest at times, but it was totally family friendly while we were there on a Saturday mid-afternoon that was a little overcast. But I can see how on a super-hot day the place would be swarming with college kids and the park rangers would be unable to enforce the “no alcohol” rule. I would definitely be there more often if it was closer to home.
After we left the park, @emoeby recommended we stop at lunch in St. Cloud at Val’s Hamburgers, and it was definitely an experience. The whole restaurant could fit on my front porch, and it’s take-out only. Mel and I both agreed that the burgers and fries looked and tasted exactly like McDonald’s (I’ll let you decide if that’s good or bad).
We didn’t stick around to see any more of St. Cloud, since it looked like what was once a cool little town had been sufficiently ravaged by “progress”, although we did stop at Eastman Park long enough to eat our burgers and found it to be quite pleasant.