Day 4: Southeast Minnesota

I covered a lot of miles today although it was not as productive as yesterday. Road construction had me driving all over the place for various detours. Unfortunately, none of these extraneous unplanned routes provided anything photo-worthy. As my list dictated, I shot a lot of theatres and gas stations today.

We went to a really nice dog park in Mankato today. It’s just across the street from the sole-remaining Happy Chef restaurant with a giant statue. Although there wasn’t a pond for the dogs to cool off in, there was a hose & kiddie pool. There were two really big fenced areas so we sampled them both. However, one had some pretty wide spacing to the fencing and tempting woodsy areas just beyond it so I didn’t chance that one for long. Grem could easily have fit through it. I guess not a lot people take their small dogs to dog parks — or else the designers don’t own small dogs.

The weather was pretty grey today so my photos didn’t have the same punch. I’ve been blessed a lot of sun on this trip. Still very warm during the day (around 90) but I won’t complain since it’s been over 100 in Dallas/Phoenix/etc. for about five days. I chose this time of year for this trip since I wanted to avoid rain in the Pacific Northwest. Here’s hoping.

Now on to the photos —

This sweet guy is on the plastic sign at Barney’s Drive-in in Waseca:

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In downtown Waseca, a nice facade and sign at Barden’s Bar:
http://www.bardensbar.com/

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A purchase from Bongards Creameries with their giant cow in the background. I forgot that I’m not fond of cheese curds, a popular regional snack. These will probably wind up being dog treats. If you haven’t had them, they are a bit on the sour side, probably lower in fat than regular cheese. Kind of a strange rubbery texture. Here’s more about them:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheese_curds

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Another nice sign and storefront: Janousek’s Cafe in Hutchinson. Unfortunately, this place is now vacant. There’s a nice long counter inside with stools. I sure hope it can come back as another restaurant.

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How about one more old storefront in Hutchinson? Although the sign here is nicely maintained, there is only neon on one side.

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These have to be the prettiest license plates I have ever seen:

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5 thoughts on “Day 4: Southeast Minnesota

  1. You could put a big plastic cone on Grem’s head to prevent accidental escapes. I’m sure she’d love it.
    Happy curdling! What a strange snack food. Ah well, support the locals…..

  2. Now there’s a clever idea — like the vet cones. Yeah, she probably wouldn’t even notice or mind it. She’d just keep running in it and then — thonk — hit fence holes and wonder — what the heck?

    Somewhere today I started referring to them as cheese turds which seems more appropriate. Have you tasted the things? Apparently, someone liked them enough to bust into the cooler when I was gone for five minutes. I don’t know if it was a family picnic or if one lucky dog ate the whole bag. Also missing some cashews. Maybe that will help me determine the culprit.

  3. Ok. I love cheese curds. I understand they are not for everyone, at least raw. They are very salty and they squeak in your teeth when they are fresh. To fully enjoy the awesomeness of the cheese curd, you need to have them battered and fried. The Minnesota State Fair may have the best cheese curds anywhere.

    Like these tasty MN State Fair cheese curds.

  4. It’s an acquired taste I’m sure. Frying would be an improvement. Sort of like mozzarella sticks then.

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