United States 6 July: Ortonville, MN - Willmar, MN

Marvelous Minnesota

Instead of holding a Torch and a banner here Nayaja and Kshema had to do some important laundry duty last night as they hold the laundry soap and a bag of towels almost as big as Kshema. This is just one of the duties the runners have to do besides running with the Peace Torch every day.

Another duty is making the meals. One of our fastest runners, Atul, from India, is also one of our best chefs here on the Peace Run. With his apron intact he really likes to look the part as well.

We always appreciate greatly the generosity of the the wonderful accommodations offered to us by some of the motels and hotels. Super 8 has been quite generous to us lately.

This kind woman happened to be staying here at the Super 8 traveling and taking interesting photos on her journey. She stopped to take our picture here so we thought it would be nice for her to be in our photo and offer her goodwill with the Peace Torch.

At the Chamber of Commerce and other city offices in Milbank, Minnesota, we were greeted by some wonderful staff members this morning. From right to left: Jason Kelly, City Administrator, Tyler from the Waste Water Plant division, Laura the Event and Tourism Manager, Bobbie the Executive Director of the Development Corporation, Brandy of the City Offices and Tom a local Homeowner here. It takes many people to work together as a team to run a town, small or large, peacefully and successfully. We are so grateful to meet these people who effect the lives of many citizens with their daily responsibilities and conscientious care.

It also takes many people to run an event as large as the Peace Run. As we start our runs each day we think of and wish to thank the many people behind the scenes who make it possible to carry the Peace Torch with the idea of sharing peace with everyone we meet.

We met people from many walks of life today who, by coming out and sharing the symbol of Peace with us, also become part of the Peace Run, without even running a step.

Bev from the Kerkhoven Banner News in Kerkhoven went out of her way to take some photos of our runners with the Torch as they passed through town. Sharing the Torch with Atul she also did a short interview with him for the local newspaper there.

These two kind Minnesotans from Starbuck (not the coffee shop), stopped to offer us a cold bottle of water (not coffee).

Surankhuu from Mongolia runs with the morning team to do his usual 10 miles or more.

Banshidhar, originally from Maui, Hawaii, is greeted by a local man as he finishes his run for the day.

Perfect timing as our team pulls up in the RV camper just as the first team finishes their morning miles. We made lunch, so now they will take the RV and go ahead to make dinner for everyone.

Atul is excited as we approach the team with the delicious lunch we prepared for them.

Meanwhile Putu from Bali and the women's team are also on the road running and meeting some friendly locals and travelers.

Kshema runs past miles of cornfields that we have been passing for days.

The corn in these fields is almost as tall as she is and will grow even larger by the time we leave the endless farmlands of the midwest.

Putu and Mananya meet another long distance runner, Jay, who has done a 200 mile relay and was delighted to run into our team here.

Reed, a local reporter also stopped to take some photos and share the torch with our women's team.

Nayaja from Italy is happy after she finishes her run for the day.

Mananya, among the thousands and thousands of newly grown corn which is not a common sight in cities like Boston where she hails from.

Lots of small streams and lakes reflect the abundance of water here in this state of 10,000 lakes.

Some of the women cool down at Robbin's Island Lake nearby after a long, hot day on the road.

The lifeguards at this small beach were happy to meet our women's team and share the Peace Torch with them.

Meanwhile another master chef at work cooking tonight's dinner. Forgot what it was called but it was delicious.

Enjoying tonight's motorhome cooked meal in the parking lot of the Days Inn where we settled into for the night in the nice town of Willmar, Minnesota.

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