Day 27: Minneapolis and Beyond

I pushed on through the Minneapolis stops and started the ascent to the far northern portion of the state.  The check engine light came on around noon and stayed on for the day.  Otherwise, no other problems.  Yes, there is a slow transmission fluid leak.  Funny, I don’t think it was there before it was “serviced”.  I spoke with a couple of mechanics today and they said it’s such an insignificant amount that it can wait til I get home.  That when I get about a quart low, there will be stiffness in shifting and I’ll notice that before any harm can be done.  So it sounds like as long as I keep checking the level every day or two, adding some if needed, we should be fine.  And it sounds like the check engine thingie is unrelated.  As is the fuse thingie.  So, all rather stressful — but I’ll deal.

The forecast was wrong — nothing but fantastic sun.  Hoping for the same on Friday.  The dogs were awfully quiet — strangely so.  I’d guessed that they were just wiped out from all that running at the Minnehaha / Mississippi River place.  And it was close to 90 today.  Nik had a little limp which I didn’t worry too much about.  These things usually last about half the day and then disappear.  But he seemed extra subdued.  Tonight, I noticed that he’s shivering a bit.  Terrified that it could be poisoning or internal damage.  Although more than 24 hours ago, he did disappear down a VERY steep hill at one point.  Some hikers saw him way, way below — but he managed to work his way back up.  But I’m thinking maybe he fell?  So I’m holding my breath and ready to rush him to the vet if he gets any worse.  Just one more stressful item for the list.  This has been a helluva trip!   Somehow, managing to get lots of great photos between catastrophic events.

Let’s start this batch in St. Louis Park.  The Roller Garden opened in 1943 in this mammoth building.  It turns out it was built as a horse-riding arena in 1930:

But the reason I was here was for the dinosaur — which was installed on the roof but I’d been told had been moved inside.  There’s a painted tribute to him outside:

And sure enough, there he was perched inside.  A Sinclair dinosaur it turned out.  I’ve got a bunch of these guys at this page:

I don’t know the connection with dinosaurs and skating — but there are other dinosaurs lurking in the background in these cool painted murals:

On to Minneapolis:

Victor’s 1959 Cafe sure looks like a concealed “real” diner from the outside:

It’s the right dimensions:

And inside, those look like Worcester oak booths to me (though horribly defaced) and the barrel-shaped roof.  I don’t see any mentions of this place on-line — but I think this is the real deal, just all kinds of remodeling and covering up:

Maybe art supplies store originally?  Minneapolites, do you know what this was?

A massive dry cleaning sign.  And “Uggs” — must be a real winter time necessity in these parts with miserably long winters:

These bulbs must be wonderfully carnival-like at night:

A colorful mish-mash:

Just as I was about to leave Minneapolis, I was treated to this eyeful.  A pedal pub.  Everyone was pedaling like crazy because the light had changed and they were in the middle of the intersection.  Gosh, it looked like so much fun — and apparently people ARE drinking on this thing.  Not sure how this is legal — would not be allowed in NYC I’m sure.  So here’s a video to show you how these things work:

Last one for the day from Hilltop.  I could not find any angle that worked without that hideous power line in the way.  Poking around on-line, turns out there was another location in 1955.  And there is another location left in Little Canada.  That’s all I know.  Their sign gets three stars from me:  chubby chef, flames, depiction of food.

So, moving northward to Duluth and beyond tomorrow.  I’ve got dampened confidence what with Sparkle’s and now Nik’s ailments but I’m determined to get us all through the next 10 days somehow.

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