Day 3: The Dells to Albert Lea, MN

A very fun and productive day. Most of the day was in southeastern Minnesota. As it turned out, just about everything on my list was statuary of some sort: fiberglass people, cement people, even carousel figures might qualify I suppose. Only a few signs and buildings here and there. Lots of miles. Lots of cornfields. And another late night here at the “office” getting stuff uploaded. On with the show —

Everywhere in Wisconsin and Minnesota there are these plastic beer signs. I sure don’t remember seeing so many in the Northeast.

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I went to LARK Toys in Kellogg, MN to see their modern but incredible carousel. They have a big display of vintage toys.

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LARK also has as other purchase-able toys including these modern and repro kiddie cars (is that what you call them?). Do people really spend over $300 on these things to watch their kids slam them into trees? Or are they just for display? I’m including the New York police car even if it’s blurry as a tribute to my “home town”. Yes, it really does say that silly stuff on the real cars (CPR: Courtesy, Professionalism, Respect):

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In Nelson, WI, I came across this fireworks stand. I’ve never seen one quite as elegant or open-air as this:

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A cute sign at the Gingerbread House Bakery in Rochester, MN:

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A nice fountain in Rochester — at 80+ degrees, it was tempting to jump in:

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Also in Rochester: Tangerine Gifts has a nice modern sign. Even though it’s LED tubing instead of neon, hey, it’s better than some plain lettered piece of plastic.

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One more in Rochester — Gone Fishing has this giant bug on the roof. They say he’s from the mid-1990s.

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This cheerful wood carving is south of Rochester on the lawn of a farmhouse. It reads “Because I Love These Things” around the top.


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The kids got their kicks in big grassy fields today. Just as well we lay off the water for a couple days as Nik is completely obsessed with it right now. Any time he sees or smells a lake or a river, he goes berzerk (screaming). He’s got Grem doing it now, too. This is not good in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

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In case you’re wondering what that thing is around Gremlin’s neck — it’s a “Spray Commander”. I’ve learned in the eight months since I adopted her that she’s “a runner”. When she takes off, she probably wouldn’t think of me until a week from next Tuesday. After too many scary incidents near roads and a terrifying chase across the desert, I gave in to purchasing this device about four months ago. “Come” really means come — it’s a matter of life and death with her. The thing emits a little spray (citronella or scentless) that startles the dog out of whatever he/she is doing. The remote control give me about a 100′ range – which isn’t a lot with a fast dog like her so I have to really pay attention. They say these are way more effective and humane than shock collars. All I know is, she has more fun and freedom with this than the long line. She’ll probably always have to wear this cinderblock around her neck when she’s off-leash since she is obsessed with wildlife and exploring the universe.

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