It takes a few days to get out of that getting up in the middle of night to go to work thing. Woke up near the usual time this morning, looked at the clock, said something rude to it, and went back to sleep until mid-day (6:00AM). On our previous trips into Wadena, we’d heard of the Boondocks Café, so we went there this morning for breakfast. Sherry said her pancake was “perfect”, and Jay said the same for his eggs over. Some café cooks just don’t quite get it. Boondocks did. Our server was a delightful young lady from just down the road, and originally from Foley, MN. She posed for a photo with Porkchop.
We’d already loaded up the Gangster car at the motel, so we headed out toward Grand Rapids, and, ultimately, Hibbing. Along the way, we saw a lot of crops, most of them looking good. Saw many fields with plants that were a shade of yellow.
We guessed mustard. Must be pollinating, as there was a stretch of road, maybe a couple hundred feet, that was almost yellow itself.
Just outside of Nevis, MN, we saw a flea market sign, and, of course, we had to stop. Met a couple of delightful ladies, who pretty much confirmed our suspicions about mustard. One of them gave Sherry a tin to add to her collection. Swenhogs Antiques provides the space for the flea market, so we went in to browse. Sherry found a few things and by saying “Swenhog’s is my favoritest place in the whole wide world” three time, she saved ten percent. Then Sherry said, “I like it so much, I’m gonna put it on our website,” to which the nice lady said, “Okay, that will make it twenty per cent. The owner, a Swenhog family member, posed with Porkchop and showed us her pig that a chain saw sculptor had done for her.
We kept seeing resort signs all along the road, and we thought “must be some lakes around here.” Then we came around a curve and saw Leech Lake. Mercy days! That is one huge body of water, and the wind coming in had the waves in motion…not quite whitecaps, but close enough.
We eased into Akeley, MN, and we saw this huge Paul Bunyan figure in a little park alongside the road, dedicated to veterans and other military people. We hung around for a while, took a few photos, and talked about the dedication of the town and the veterans they honored. Paul was looking pretty spiffy.
A bit further along, near Coleraine, they decided to remove all the paved roads in that part of Minnesota. For miles, it was just dirt, gravel, and potholes that would have served Clairemont Avenue in Eau Claire proud. Sort of a suspension test track. But we got through it, with no damage to the Gangster car and little to the backs of our laps.
We drove into Remer, Minnesota, fully planning to go through town without stopping. However, out of the corner of our eyes, we saw a huge Bigfoot silhouette. There are Bigfoots (Bigfeet) all over town, and they have a big week-long celebration every July.
While we were Bigfooting, we noticed the Lovin’ Scoop ice cream shop across the street from where we stopped. Mudslide for Jay, Carmel Collision again for Sherry.
We finally arrived in Hibbing, where we had to demonstrate to local authorities that we know how to hib and promise that we’d done it before. Grabbed lunch, found a place to crash for the night, and headed out for the largest open pit mine in the world, the Hull-Rust Mahoning mine at Hibbing. Sherry and Jay had both heard about it and had seen photos of it, but nothing, absolutely nothing, can prepare you for the immensity of it: 1.5 miles by 3.5 miles. Absolutely amazing. From there, back to the motel to crank up computers for our report to you.
Day three, tomorrow, West Northwest.