Sunday, July 15, 2018

Thumper Pond RV Park in Ottertail, MN

Very nice campground with 26 large, large FHU sites...there is a golf course and an indoor water park

As you can see there are no trees and temps where in the low 90's... good thing the AC is working!

Sights along the road as coming into Ottertail

We are in MN's lake country. We passed many beautiful large lakes as we drove the 40 miles off I94 north to Ottertail. 

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Ken Nyberg Metal Sculptures in Vining, MN

In 1989, Ken Nyberg seemed like just an average guy. He worked in construction, and in his spare time, he would make little sculptures out of scrap metal, such as an arboreal "family tree," or a dog. Then he decided to build an 11-foot-tall human foot.

"I wanted to make something bigger and better," Ken explained. "And I thought, 'A Big Foot. There couldn't be many of them around. I'd hate to make something that there's a lot of already.'"

Ken worked on Big Foot in secret for over two years. "My wife didn't even know," he said. "I was a little afraid to say anything to anybody. Building a big foot -- you gotta be crazy."
Decades have passed since Ken made Big Foot, and his tiny hometown of Vining (pop. 78) has gradually become an outdoor gallery for his metal art.

1000 lb 
2500 lb
Some of his sculptures, such as a life-size elephant made of lawn mower blades, took Ken hundreds of hours to hammer and weld.

Flower Pot
1000 lb

Shop Helper
210 lb

800 lb

Square Knot
1300 lb

Coffee Cup
1000 lb

Indian and pony
completed 1996
400 lb

completed 1991
1240 lbs
Astronaut Karen Nyberg.
One of the sculptures in Nyberg Park is of Ken's daughter Karen, a NASA astronaut who's flown two missions to the International Space Station. 

Phelps Mill Festival near Ottertail, MN

The Phelps Mill Festival is held every year on the 2nd weekend in July.  The area's largest art and craft event of the summer.

The mill was built in 1888–1889 by William E. Thomas, a local entrepreneur who owned a flour and feed business in Fergus Falls. During that time, wheat was a high-demand crop, and nearly one thousand flour mills were in operation throughout Minnesota. 

The Lions Club supplies the grilled pork chops...

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Charles Lindbergh's Childhood Home in Little Falls, MN

The Charles Lindbergh House and Museum explores the complex legacy of the first solo aviator to make a nonstop flight from New York to Paris. The site includes Lindbergh’s early 1900s childhood home, a National Historic Landmark, and a museum with exhibits. 

 Before Charles Lindbergh did extraordinary things, he grew up as an ordinary boy in central Minnesota. His love of aviation, science, and the environment can all be directly linked to various experiences throughout his youth. Check out the highlights of Charles A Lindbergh's life here.

You can see Lindbergh Family story here. Charles lived in this Little Falls home full time until he was 8 years old.

We drove over to the Charles Lindbergh Family home after visiting Camp Ripley but found it closed. So took a couple of photos of the home from a distance.

Camp Ripley in Little Falls, MN

We drove from our Clearwater campground about 50 miles to explore Camp Ripley, which is an Army National Guard training center.

Camp Ripley, located near Little Falls, Minnesota, is a 53,000-acre regional training center hosting numerous ranges and state-of-the-art facilities to support the training requirements of military and civilian agencies

During our visit, we were given a presentation covering the environmental programs and studies being done by the Environmental Office on the Post.

 Camp Ripley abounds with plant and animal life unique to central Minnesota. Surveys have identified 565 types of plants, 202 bird species, 41 species of fish, 107 types of aquatic invertebrates, 65 species of butterflies, 51 mammal species, 23 reptiles and amphibians, and 8 mussel species. Wildlife species of particular interest include the bald eagle, white-tailed deer, black bear, gray wolf and Blanding’s turtle.

We were also given an informative a bus tour of the Camp and wrapped up our visit with a nice meal at the mess hall.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Schell's Brewery in New Ulm, MN

The August Schell Brewing Company is a brewing company in New Ulm, Minnesota. It was founded by German immigrant August Schell in 1860. It is the second oldest family-owned brewery in America (after D. G. Yuengling & Son) and became the oldest and largest brewery in Minnesota when the company bought the Grain Belt rights in 2002.

The brewery has grown and evolved over the decades to accommodate new technology and expanded production lines. In addition to serving as a production facility, the brewery grounds house the historic Schell's mansion, a gift shop, a beer garden, and a deer enclosure.

Joy, Bob, Anne, Lila and Doug(our fearless leader)