Saturday, November 30, 2013

Big Ole Viking Statue Alexandria Minnesota - MN Roadside Attraction Travel Poster

It's so ironic that I'm finishing the month with the giant viking statue Big Ole since I'm currently cooking the Norwegian stew Lapskause.

I don't know what it is about Minnesota statues and pants. It might be because summers are too short but thanks to good heating systems we have options; or it could be because we fortify with hearty stews.

Available on Etsy  

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thursday, November 28, 2013

International Falls Minnesota Smokey the Bear Statue - MN Roadside Attraction Travel Poster

International Falls Minnesota Smokey the Bear Statue - MN Roadside Attraction Travel Poster
I was an honorary forest ranger in grade school, I hate to admit how long I kept the certificate. We also learned the Smokey Bear Song, my kids looked at me odder than usual a few years when I sang it for them.

With a Ranger's hat and shovel
and a pair of dungarees,
you will find him in the forest
always sniffin' at the breeze.
People stop and pay attention
when he tells 'em to beware,
'cause ev'rybody knows that
he's the Fire Prevention Bear.

Chorus:
Smokey the Bear, Smokey the Bear.
Prowlin' and a growlin' and a sniffin' the air.
He can find a fire before it starts to flame.
That's why they call him Smokey,
That was how he got his name.

You can take a tip from Smokey
that there's nothin' like a tree.
'cause they're good for kids to climb in
and they're beautiful to see,
you just have to look around you
and you'll find it's not a joke,
to see what you'd be missin'
if they all went up in smoke.
Chorus

You can camp upon his doorstep
and he'll make you feel at home;
You can run and hunt and ramble
anywhere you care to roam.
He will let you take his honey
and pretend he's not so smart,
but don't you harm his trees
for he's a Ranger in his heart.
Chorus

If you've ever seen the forest
when a fire is running wild,
and you love the things within it
like a mother loves her child,
then you know why Smokey tells you
when he sees you passing through,
'Remember...please be careful....
its the least that you can do.'
Chorus

Available on Etsy  

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

World's Largest Prairie Chicken Rothsay Minnesota - MN Roadside Attraction Travel Poster

World's Largest Prairie Chicken Rothsay Minnesota - MN Roadside Attraction Travel Poster
The world's largest Prairie Chicken dwells in Rothsay, Minnesota.

From the chicken's plaque:

Prairie chickens moved ahead of the settlers to inhabit the prairies of Minnesota. A large concentration of the protected bird can still be seen on prairie meadows of the Rothsay area. In the early spring the male prairie chicken performs his mating ritual called booming. He spreads his wings and tail feathers, inflates the orange wind sacs and struts while making the booming sound.

On June 10, 1975, Rothsay was designated “Prairie Chicken Capital of Minnesota”. This statue of a booming prairie chicken was designed and built by Art Fosse with assistance and funds from the community. The statue stands 13 x 18 feet and weighs 9,000 pounds. It was placed on this site and unveiled, June 15, 1976.

The objective of this project is to alert area visitors and remind local residents of the beauty to be found on the native prairie grasslands.

Rothsay Centennial Committee - 1983

Available on Etsy  

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Monday, November 25, 2013

Pierre The Voyageur Two Harbors Minnesota - MN Roadside Attraction Travel Poster

Pierre The Voyageur Two Harbors Minnesota - MN Roadside Attraction Travel Poster
Any statue can have painted on pants, it takes a special person to choose bare legs and thigh high boots during a Minnesota winter. Pierre used to have wobbly eyes but now is a bit more intimidating with his vacant stare and slight smile; he knows you are peeking to see what's under the tunic.

Available on Etsy  

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Itasca State Park Mississippi River Headwaters - MN Roadside Attraction Travel Poster

Itasca State Park Mississippi River Headwaters - MN Roadside Attraction Travel Poster
This is my favorite state park. There are lots of great bike trails, a clean lake, excellent gift shops and the headwaters is fun to walk across.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Paul Bunyan's Marble Chisholm Minnesota - MN Roadside Attraction Travel Poster

Paul Bunyan's Marble Chisholm Minnesota - MN Roadside Attraction Travel Poster
Young Paul Bunyan didn't always pick up his toys. The marble was found by miners after he grew up and moved on. The boulder in Chisholm Minnesota is over 4 tons.

Available on Etsy 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Paul Bunyan and Babe The Blue Ox Bemidji Minnesota - MN Roadside Attraction Travel Poster

Paul Bunyan and Babe The Blue Ox Bemidji Minnesota - MN Roadside Attraction Travel Poster

According to Wikipedia and Kodak, they are the second most photographed statues in the United States, Mount Rushmore is first. So, Paul and Babe are more photographed than the Statue of Liberty? I love Minnesota but I doubt they came in second. I must admit I've photographed Mount Rushmore and Paul but have not been to New York so Kodak could be right. They must have devoted a lot of time to looking at bad photos of people waving.

I went to my favorite information source, Google.
Paul Bunyan Bemidji images 50,800 The number is higher without Bemidji, but then you get other PBs
Mount Rushmore images 840,000
Statue of Liberty images 13,700,000

Sorry Paul.

Available on Etsy 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Lake Serpent Lake Crosby Minnesota - MN Roadside Attraction Travel Poster

Lake Serpent Lake Crosby Minnesota - MN Roadside Attraction Travel Poster
Once again I took some artistic license with a statue but it's basically the same. You expect fish and bird statues but a sea serpent is pretty awesome.

Available on Etsy 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Giant Rooster Statue Two Harbors Minnesota - MN Roadside Attraction Travel Poster

Giant Rooster Statue Two Harbors Minnesota - MN Roadside Attraction Travel Poster
I wanted to put something more personal on the poster about the rooster but I turned into a 12 year old boy when it occured to me that it was an 8 foot cock. I was stuck on phrases such as the biggest cock in Minnesota and decided it's never a bad idea to shut up.

You can find out more about the history of the Rooster here.

Available on Etsy 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Ear of Corn Water Tower Rochester Minnesota - MN Roadside Attraction Travel Poster

Ear of Corn Water Tower Rochester Minnesota - MN Roadside Attraction Travel Poster
This cool water tower used to be part of LIbby's but now it's Seneca. The supports are actually grey but I preferred them to be brown.

Available on Etsy 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Pelican Pete Pelican Rapids Minnesota - MN Roadside Attraction Travel Poster

Pelican Pete Pelican Rapids Minnesota - MN Roadside Attraction Travel Poster
I always wanted to actually get out and see the giant Pelican but when my dad was set in motion he didn't want to stop for anything. Last time I was in Detroit Lakes I drove down and got to explore this charming town. The Pelican was great but the thing I loved the most were the painted chairs outside the local businesses. Instead of putting in street benches the shops have uniquely painted chairs.

Available on Etsy 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Giant Floating Loon Virginia Minnesota - MN Roadside Attraction Travel Poster

Giant Floating Loon Virginia Minnesota - MN Roadside Attraction Travel Poster
The loon resides offshore during the summer months and migrates to shore for the winter. Our ice covered lakes wouldn't be kind to fiberglass and wouldn't a snowmobile rider be surprised to find it frozen in place with a new accidental snowmobile accessory.

Available on Etsy

Friday, November 15, 2013

Giant Mermaid Mounds View Minnesota - MN Roadside Attraction Travel Poster

Giant Mermaid Mounds View Minnesota - MN Roadside Attraction Travel Poster
The Mermaid Restaurant and Bowling Lanes used to be on a major highway into the Twin Cities. We were coming from Northern Minnesota to watch a Vikings game in the old outdoor stadium. My dad drove past the giant Mermaid atop the restaurant and I swiveled, transfixed.  I still look at her when I drive past but not with the same awe I used to have.


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Giant Snowman North St Paul Minnesota - MN Roadside Attraction Travel Poster

Giant Snowman North St Paul Minnesota - MN Roadside Attraction Travel Poster
The first time I drove past this giant stucco snowman it was August; it was slightly freaky seeing geraniums and a snowman.  Actually, I've never driven here in winter.

Available on Etsy 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Jolly Green Giant Blue Earth Minnesota - MN Roadside Attraction Travel Poster

Jolly Green Giant Blue Earth Minnesota - MN Roadside Attraction Travel Poster
We were on a road trip, crested the hill and spotted a giant Jolly Green Giant. I was a little surprised since I thought Le Sueur was the home of Green Giant but hey, I loved those commercials when I was little and a giant green man is always welcome.

Available on Etsy

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Giant Leaping Deer Deerwood Minnesota - MN Roadside Attraction Travel Poster

Giant Leaping Deer Deerwood Minnesota - MN Roadside Attraction Travel Poster

This handsome fella is leaping over a formed timber support. During hunting season he gets dressed in blaze orange and sports a red nose at Christmas.

Available on Etsy

Monday, November 11, 2013

Witch's Hat Water Tower Prospect Park Minneapolis Minnesota - MN Roadside Attraction Travel Poster


Witch's Hat Water Tower Prospect Park Minneapolis Minnesota - MN Roadside Attraction Travel Poster
The historic water tower is visible from many areas of Minneapolis and is nestled among mature trees. You can go up to the top one day out of the year but I've never managed to be there when it's open.

Available on Etsy

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Lutefisk Capital Madison Minnesota - MN Roadside Attraction Travel Poster

Lutefisk Capital Madison Minnesota - MN Roadside Attraction Travel Poster
We recently attended the annual Lutefisk dinner at my Grandma's church. I can eat lutefisk but never cared for buttered fish gelatin. Lefse rocks with butter and sugar and the ladies make a mean meatball. I eat a bite of lutefisk every decade or so to keep in touch with my Norsk roots.

Available on Etsy

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Fishing Bobber Water Tower Pequot Lakes Minnesota - MN Roadside Attraction Travel Poster

Fishing Bobber Water Tower Pequot Lakes Minnesota - MN Roadside Attraction Travel Poster
This cute water tower is billed as Paul Bunyon's fishing bobber. The plaid border is what I think Paul Bunyon's shirt would look like.

Available on Etsy.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Giant Crow Belgrade, Minnesota - MN Roadside Attraction Travel Poster

Giant Crow Belgrade, Minnesota - MN Roadside Attraction Travel Poster

This massive crow is located near the Crow River, not far from Crow Lake. I'm always impressed by how clever crows are. Every winter I make thin rolled Christmas cookies. The crows gather and caw outside while waiting for me to toss them dough scraps. They do the same thing when I make pie, they must have dough radar.

Available on Etsy.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Giant Grain Belt Beer Sign Minneapolis Minnesota - MN Roadside Attraction Travel Poster

Giant Grain Belt Beer Sign Minneapolis Minnesota - MN Roadside Attraction Travel Poster
The Grain Belt Beer sign is prominently placed off of downtown Minneapolis on Nicollet Island. It's about 50 feet wide and has appeared in at least one movie that I know of.

Available on Etsy. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Lindstrom Minnesota Coffeepot Water Tower - MN Roadside Attraction Travel Poster

Lindstrom Minnesota Coffeepot Water Tower - MN Roadside Attraction Travel Poster
Lindstrom is a picturesque town with an adorable coffeepot water tower. The Swedish welcome message on the tower is hand lettered. I took a little creative license with the lower structure but the sky isn't rose colored either.

Available on Etsy. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Big Fish Supper Club in Bena Minnesota - MN Roadside Attraction Travel Poster

Big Fish Supper Club in Bena Minnesota - MN Roadside Attraction Travel Poster
I don't how I missed this place but I must admit I've never been here. I think of Muskies as Minnesota's version of a barracuda so it's rather fitting to go inside a giant fish to go eat fish.

According to the internet, a local businessman came forward to save the landmark fish from disrepair. It's big claim to fame is appearing in the opening of Nation Lampoon's Vacation, I looked it up on YouTube since I never saw the movie either.  I sense a trend; everyone seems to know about this place but me.

Available on Etsy. 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Pepie The Lake Monster in Lake Pepin Minnesota - MN Roadside Attraction Travel Poster

Pepie The Lake Monster in Lake Pepin Minnesota - MN Roadside Attraction Travel Poster
Last summer my daughters and I went to Austin to visit the Spam museum and took the long way home. We visited Lake Pepin and discovered it was home to a sea monster. There is a $50,000 reward for proof of the elusive lake monster's existence.

The only monster we saw was the giant piece of driftwood I made my poor kids drag to the Jeep. I didn't realize how many bugs were calling the wood home until they came forward to meet the kids.

Available on Etsy. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Darwin Minnesota Home Of The Biggest Ball Of Twine In Minnesota - MN Roadside Attraction Travel Poster

Darwin Minnesota Home Of The Biggest Ball Of Twine In Minnesota - MN Roadside Attraction Travel Poster

This month I'm going to make vintage style travel posters for roadside attractions in Minnesota.

I'm fascinated by people with odd obsessions and the twine ball is a great example. I bundled the family in the car and headed to Twine Ball Days to smell the Twine Ball. The street signs have a twine ball in the corner, how great is that. The museum played the Weird Al Yankovic song about the Twine Ball on endless loop. I bought a Twine Ball hoodie. It was a good day.

Available on Etsy.