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.


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


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):


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


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


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


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.


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


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


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.


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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