By Karol Patzer, 2014 Rally Chair, and Deb Lower, Co-Chair
You’re all invited to enjoy “Rollin’ by the River.” Roll on in to Minnesota’s capital city, and visit St. Paul. The 42nd BMW MOA International rally will be held July 24–27 at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.
Minnesota is best known as the Land of 10,000 Lakes, but is also known for one superior lake and a great river. If you’re joining us from any direction, the Lake Superior Circle Tour is a ride not to be missed. Visit Aerostich on the way to or from, or meander along the “Mighty Mississippi” and join in the Great River Challenge (more to follow).
St. Paul has the ambiance of a historic river town with traditional architecture, and a newly restored riverfront along the Mississippi River. Activities that can be found in the downtown area include the Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul’s Cathedral, as well as rotating exhibits at the historic Landmark Center. The Minnesota state capitol is well worth a visit. At the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers is Ft. Snelling, a National Historic Landmark. Head out to Bloomington, just a dozen miles from the Rally grounds, and you can visit “the other MOA” (Mall of America), a shoppers’ dream with 520 stores, 50 restaurants and attractions galore, including Nickelodeon Universe®, the nation's largest indoor theme park, or just stay on the Rally grounds for shopping experiences that allow you to buy goodies from our vendors to farkle your BMW.
If you’d like some exercise, Como Park Conservatory and Zoo is only a mile away on a great walking path. If you want to explore the area, a 225-mile round trip will take you down the Mississippi on the Minnesota side, and your return on the Wisconsin side will offer dramatic views of the river and surrounding bluffs. Other options are a trip along the Scenic St. Croix River to Interstate Park, for a 100-mile round trip excursion. Duluth, the home of Aerostich and Duluth Pack, is a 320-mile round trip ride. Just a few miles east, in Superior, Wisconsin, you can see one of the few surviving P-38 fighter planes in the Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center. So much to do!
The Minnesota State Fairgrounds roads are all paved, and there’s plenty of shade and grassy camping areas. As always, we will have music, seminars, good food, plenty of vendors, and oh, yes….beer. St Paul is the home of Summit Brewery, and who knows, we may even have a “beer bus tour” to chauffeur you around to some local micro-breweries. As always, RPU courses will be offered on site, as well as some GS Giants activities, Camp Gears and more.
Of course, after you’re done with your usual volunteer duties (because our volunteers make this event happen), you are free to relax in the shade in Baldwin Park talking with your “family and friends,” attend a special raptor presentation, or heckle your favorite seminar presenter.
As we’re writing this in late November, there’s only been one snowfall. It seems a long way off, but start making your plans now; watch the BMW Owners News for updates, as well as the BMW MOA website, Facebook and Forums. Get ready to make St. Paul another great rally. We promise the snow will be gone, and July will be here before you know it.