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‘Fly High and Fast – Vol. II Chapter 26: The Twin Cities – Minneapolis & St. Paul, Minnesota

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JJ Meehan
The Meehan Family

Two for the price of one.   Minneapolis, Minnesota is a fantastic city by itself but you also get St. Paul which is another World Class City.  Minneapolis is connected to St. Paul and both are fantastic places.  Known as the TWIN Cities.  The both have fantastic airports which are located close to the heart of the city.  In addition they both have satellite airports that are handy to suburbs e.g., Crystal Airport in the north and Flying Cloud Airport in the west.

One chapter does not do either city proper but I mainly want to give you a taste of of the “Good” in both.  Over the years I have flown into all the airports in the Twin Cities but without a doubt have spent more time at the Minneapolis International and St. Paul Airport than the airports in the suburbs.

As with many places I’ve visited, I have great memories of The Twin Cities.  The great places to eat, the people, the beauty of the cities and the history of the area.  The Twin Cities as well as all of Minnesota are know for hard working industrial people to are family oriented.  In addition, I have used both as a hub when I was calling on banks in Minnesota between 1986 and 1991.  You are with in an hour of several smaller towns and metropolitan areas

      • St. Cloud, MN
      • New Prague, MN
      • Mankato, MN
      • Northfield, MN
      • Red Wing, MN
      • Faribault, MN


Minnesota is known for hunting and fishing and the fact that a large portion of the population are descendents from Norway.  They are know for their ability to handle the cold and are considered to be strong and hardworking.  The town of New Prague traces it’s beginning to Prague in the Czech Republic.  The town architecture has the beauty of Prague.

The TV series, “Coach” was based on a college team from Mankato, MN.   The coach in the TV series was Hayden Fox who’s character was based on the coach for the University of Iowa  – Hayden Fry.

Northfield, MN is best know for being the place where Jesse James and the Younger Brothers tried to rob the First National Bank on September 7th, 1896.    The town had been tipped off and were waiting for the outlaws.

Much to the outlaws’ surprise, the people of Northfield not only refused to cooperate with the robbery, they shot back. A lot of them shot back. With deadly accuracy. And they organized huge posses that didn’t give up but kept after them for days and weeks. As many as 2000 men chased them for weeks. This just didn’t happen to them in Missouri. The guns the Northfield townspeople grabbed quickly to use may have been old or in poor working order, but they had an advantage of range over the handguns the robbers used. It’s worth noting, though, that despite accounts written at the time mocking the apparent poor marksmenship of the Missouri robbers, the outlaws were very pointedly trying not to kill anyone. Cole Younger later said, “Chadwell, Woods and Jim rode up and joined us, shouting to people in the street to get inside, and firing their pistols to emphasize their commands. I do not believe they killed any one however… Every time I saw any one with a bead on me I would drop off my horse and try to drive the shooter inside…” The townspeople, on the other hand, were shooting to kill.

New Praque, MN

Mankato, MN



Faribault, MN

St. Cloud, MN


Red Wing, MN

Fleeing the town under heavy gunfire, with no money, the James brothers, Frank and Jesse (presumably), and the Younger brothers (Cole, Jim, and Bob), along with Charlie Pitts, left behind two dead gang members, and two dead townspeople. Elias Stacy shot Clell Miller with a shotgun loaded with birdshot. A shot from Dr. Henry M. Wheeler killed him. Anselm R. Manning, armed with a finicky breach-loading rifle killed Chadwell/Stiles. Cole Younger was shot in the thigh; Bob Younger had his right elbow shattered.   You can read the who story at Jesse James and the Younger Brothers tried to rob the First National Bank.

Red Wing, MN has a large Indian Reservation and today is the home of a large casino – Treasure Island.

Faribault, MN is a town of just over 20,000 people about 50 miles south of Minneapolis.  Faribault is regarded as one of the most historic communities in Minnesota, with settlement and commercial activity predating Minnesota’s establishment as a U.S. Territory. Prior to 1745, the area was primarily occupied by the Wahpekute band of Dakotah. Shortly thereafter, the tribe was driven south after several clashes with the Ojibwe over territory.

St. Cloud, MN is a town of about 60,000 people about 100 miles northwest of Minneapolis.  Minnesota was organized as a territory in 1849. The St. Cloud area had been opened to legal ownership by non-Native Americans following treaty negotiations with the Winnebago tribe in 1851 and 1852.  St. Cloud was a waystation on the Middle and Woods branches of the Red River Trails between the Canadian border at Pembina and St. Paul. The cart trains often consisted of hundreds of ox carts; the carters would camp west of the city and cross the Mississippi in St. Cloud or in Sauk Rapids, just to the north.

The City of St. Cloud was incorporated in 1856. It developed from three distinct settlements, known as Upper Town, Middle Town, and Lower Town, that were established beginning in 1853.[11] The remnants of the deep ravines that separated the three are still visible today. Middle Town was settled primarily by Catholic German-Americans, who were attracted to the region by Father Francis Xavier Pierz. Lower Town was founded by settlers from New England and the mid-Atlantic states. Upper Town, or Arcadia, was plotted by General Sylvanus Lowry, a slave-holding Southerner from Kentucky. Lowry was St. Cloud’s first mayor, serving only one year.

The people and the towns of Minneapolis are similar to other towns in the Midwest when it comes to hospitality.  Without any doubt you will find friendly people and clean info structures.  The cities are all interesting to visit and have their own history.  The people are all wonderful.

Twin Cities

The twin Cities of Minneapolis and St Paul are the focus of this blog and are the hot spots of Minnesota when it comes to Food, Entertainment and Excitement.  There is no place like it when it comes to being able to enjoy the best in Theaters, Dining and Shopping.  The Mall of America is the largest shopping mall in the USA.

The twin cites has it all.  Many years ago, I can remember visiting Minneapolis with the solo purpose of seeing Duran Duran.  My daughter really liked the band and we planned a three day trip to Minneapolis with the band being the main attraction.  Sad to say, they cancelled their performance and we did not get to see them but there was so much more to enjoy that we really never thought twice about not seeing them.  At least my wife and I did not.  Our daughter may have a different view of the situation.  We went to the Zoo, Valley Fair (Amusement Park) and shopped.  We also enjoyed several of the fine restaurants in the Twin Cities.  The following are a few pictures of the Minneapolis area.

St. Paul is like Kansas City.  It is a large town with a the heart of a small community.  The capital of Minnesota is located in St. Paul.  St. Paul is also the home of one of the few Basilica’s in the USA.  This always held a special place in my heart since Jeannie and I were married in a Basilica – The Basilica of St. Francis Xavier in Dyersville, Iowa.  The Basilica of St. Mary’s is located on the the west edge of St. Paul just before you enter Minneapolis.




The Basilica of St. Mary’s is gorgeous and is not only an architectural wonder but a beautiful piece of art.  The workmanship is outstanding and future generations will have years of enjoyment from the Basilica.







The Capital is located just a few blocks from the Basilica and is also an architectural wonder.

St. Paul is a fun city with lots of great restaurants.  Each year they hold a Winter Carnival and the best of the best display their Ice Sculptures.


If all my many trips to St. Paul, maybe the one that stands out the most was a charter for CMF&Z.  We flow up early on in the morning and I spent most of the day sightseeing around St. Paul.  It was the middle of winter and as night approached the temperatures dropped to records of –40 F degrees (-40 C ).  This was one of the few times where the Fahrenheit and Celsius have ever been the same.  It was so cold that I had them put the plane in a heated hanger and I made sure that the engines were warm before we started our take-off roll.  The air was so clear that you could see Rochester, MN which was 60 miles to the south as we climbed through 5,000 ft.  I was very glad to get home to a warm bed around 1:00 am.

I hope you get a chance to visit the Twin Cities.  Thanks for reading my blogs.

You can read our other blogs on flying on our WEB Site – “FLY HIGH AND FAST”.


Written by jjmeehan13

May 20, 2010 at 12:16 pm

Posted in Flying

One Response

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  1. love it


    May 20, 2010 at 5:36 pm

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