Grace Wu


Stop #1: Hollandale, MN

I woke up at 4:30am for the 12 hour drive to Hollandale, MN from Cleveland.

My last rest stop was at a visitor center in Minnesota, just over the Mississippi River. This was the best rest stop of the drive! What a nice view.

Dresbach Rest Area/MN Welcome Center

Dresbach Rest Area/MN Welcome Center

I arrived at Rice Lake Quarter Horses in Hollandale, which is surrounded by farm land. Ann Bowman, my WWOOFing host, drove up the driveway in a giant tractor and told me to hop in. We drove down the road, bringing feed for horses that were in another parcel of land.

Afterwards, she showed me around a bit and I met the many animals that live around the farm. There’s Rascal and Marley, who live in the house with Ann. There’s many barn cats, with funny names like Sweetie Pie, Little Kitty Sick, Dirty Paws and a blind, earless cat called Magoo. (He stays inside the house for the aforementioned reasons.)

This is Marley’s perch on the couch.

This is Marley’s perch on the couch.

It was almost 8pm, but Ann had to do one more chore. I hopped in her pickup truck filled with grass for her horses at the AirBnB house she owns down the road.

We drove to the house and Ann wanted to back up the truck into a corral where a mare and foal were. This is when things got a little exciting.

I opened the gate and Anna backed up the truck. But I didn’t realize there was space between the truck and the other side of the fence. The mare snuck out and the foal followed. 😱

I asked, can’t we just get a halter on the mare and lead her back in? Ann says, I don’t think she’s even halter trained, aka we wouldn’t be able to touch her. Oh.

We tried shooing them back in, but the mare wanted to keep eating grass and they ran circles around us. I ran back down the driveway to close the main gate, since Ann said if they got onto the highway just across the road, the police could shoot them. 😳

I felt terrible since I had accidentally let them out. We got them into the garage door of the barn but the mare was smart and saw the other door open a crack and snuck back out. We eventually used a PVC pipe and a rake to gently herd them back into the barn again.

Thankfully, there was an entrance from the barn into the corral they were originally in. We got them safely back in and they started munching on the grass we brought, like nothing ever happened. Whew, major crisis averted.

We returned to the farm and I got settled into the basement room where I’ll be staying. Ann has an extra tiny house she calls the bunkhouse, which has a lofted bedroom in a one room house. I’ll use the kitchen in the bunkhouse but sleep in the basement since the bunkhouse doesn’t have AC or a working shower.

What a day. Time for bed.

The sunset at almost 9pm.

The sunset at almost 9pm.