Rhubarb! Rhubarb and Ibsen! They drew the MinnClan to Lanesboro, MN on the first weekend in June. As a bonus, we also got Noel Coward.

We arrived at our meeting place, the Green Gable Inn, Friday afternoon. Julie fed us a delicious Portuguese Kale Soup for our first dinner and then we went to the historic Commonweal Theater for a production of Ibsen's play, A Doll's House. The actress who played Nora was especially strong. The program invited us to wonder whether Ibsen was a feminist or a humanist, as he preferred to style himself.

Unlike in previous years, we were not able to rent an entire house or cabin in which the MinnClan could gather. Instead we obtained five rooms in the Green Gable Inn. This worked out fine despite there not being an adequate kitchen for our use. We could all gather around tables in the courtyard. In addition, the rooms occupied by the Bowers and the Holms shared a little "balcony" we could all squeeze onto. And the rooms themselves were large enough that we all could fit into one of them as we did Sunday evening and for Monday morning breakfast.


A view of the Green Gable Inn from the street.
Maija and Gail are returning from a fine breakfast at the Chat & Chew Restaurant
Here we are enjoying snacks and beverages in the courtyard
That region had had a lot of rain and we had more heavy rain Friday night. The swollen Root River carried loads of dirt towards the sea. Where the river poured over the top of the dam in Lanesboro, it looked like a river of milk chocolate.

Fortunately the weather was ideal for all of the MinnClan events. Julie did a great job of scheduling!


Saturday's entertainment, and source of nutrition, was Lanesboro's annual Rhubarb fest. The festival began with the Rhubarb Run, an optional 5 kilometer run or 1 mile walk to benefit the town library. Maija, Ann, Gail and Al opted to participate in the 1 mile walk. We finished last in our class, but enjoyed the beautiful weather and scenic route... and the rhubarb scone and rhubarb elixir served at the finish line.

The main event was back at the city park where musicians, venders and a travelling petting zoo competed for our attention. We enjoyed plenty of nourishing food: rhubarb pie, rhubarb cheesecake, rhubarb soda, rhubarb gelato, rhubarb soda ... and other traditional festival fare. Gail and Al found an Amish quilt to be a present for their German friend's new baby.

Ann, Gail and Maija on the trail

Maija, Ann, Gail and Al show off their Rhubarb Run T-Shirts


We started Sunday morning with breakfast at the Spud Boy Diner, where the owner and his wife dressed in 1940s diner apparel. The diner was built in 1926 or 1927, and lived in Ohio for most of its life. The owners restored it and brought it to Lanesboro. They also drove an antique Hudson Hornet, which needed some sanding and a new paint job.

After breakfast, Bill, Gail and Al rented bikes and rode along the Root River Bike Trail to Whalan, the next town, where they met the other MinnClaners at the Aroma Pie Shoppe. We sampled a variety of tasty pies and Julie bought a Raspberry Cream pie for our evening dessert.


Location for First Breakfast.
“Booth Service for Ladies”!


Location for Second Breakfast


We attended a performance of Noel Coward's Blythe Spirit early Sunday afternoon. The actors did very well. It is interesting that Coward wrote and staged this amusing farce in England during the middle of World War II, when England was fighting for its survival and the U.S. had not yet entered the war. We attended a post-play panel discussion, hoping to hear more about the actors and their approach to the play. Instead we were subjected to two psychics and their non-stop rambling about the reality of ghosts. Eventually, Bill and Bob worked up the courage to leave and we all followed.

After the play we had a slightly early dinner at the Riverside on the Root Restaurant. Then we convened in the Bower's room for more beverages, discussion and another slice of pie. Lollie kept notes on all the movies, books and TV shows that we commented upon and e-mailed us a list for action after we got home. Thank you, Lollie!

Monday morning we reconvened in the Bower's room for breakfast of juice, fruit, bread, meat and cheese, and cereal. Finally we headed home or to our summer activities.

Where to next year? Springfield, Illinois, was suggested. The Bowers will look into it.

You can still find photos from our past excursions at Mineral Point, Wisconsin, (2006), at Fort Donelson, Tennessee, (2007), at the Covered Bridge Festival in Parke County, Indiana, (2008), at the Shawano Folk Festival (2009), at Thurmont, Maryland (2010), and at St. Louis, Missouri (2011), and at Cooksville, Wisconsin (2012).