Day 33: Central MN – Land of a Million Lakes… and Fish Statues

All good here — perfect weather, sunny and cool.  Little cotton candy clouds most of the day that made me look like a photographer – ha!  An earthquake and an impending hurricane back home in NYC — happy to be missing all of that drama and possible chaos.  If it looks like I’ll be driving into the eye of the storm on Sunday night, then I’ll just pull over and sleep for about 24 hours and scratch work.

Water, water everywhere — meaning every two or three hours we MUST pull over before I go deaf.   Hardly any mosquitos though.  Maybe it’s the zillions of dragonflies that are eating them?

Started the day in Brainerd – home to many giant things.  Including this laundromat reference.  Pole in the way on the sunny side of the sign, forcing me into this off-kilter angle:


More Brainerd — the Log Cabin Bar.  This must have been a kick-ass sign back in the day — with a simulated spinning wheel:


Just south of town, I encountered “World Guy” and his dog “Nice”.  He’s doing all this walking and pushing of the giant globe for diabetes awareness.  More about him and his cause here:


This one from Motley.  Tree in the way — had to shoot shady side.  Obviously, a repurposed sign.  And yes, the ice cream place, which is also just as much an antiques sort of place, is in a former silo:


From Staples:


Also in Staples — this nice glass work.  An eyewear shop in the storefront below now:


One more from Staples.  Even during the day, this neon target sign was lit and hypnotizing.  The rings are lit sequentially.


The Minnesoda Fountain in Park Rapids:


Also in Park Rapids.  This restaurant is still open but unfortunately, these clocks and animated figures are stationary now:


Back to Brainerd on my loop to get to Paul Bunyan Land when it would be open.  I had been hoping that the Paul and Babe that were at Bunyan Bowl (now closed) would be here.  Turns out those statues went to a log cabin homes place in NC:

But this place did get the Babe head that was inside the bowling alley.  It’s not really on display yet since they need to repair it.  This Babe blows steam from her nostrils.  Or is Babe a he?  I seem to recall seeing male body parts on these statues — too exhausted to check.

There are signs here and there at the Old Farm part of Paul Bunyan Land.  Not the neon variety but gas station and plastic signs.  I like this metal sign — Paul or at least a lumberjack:


From Ironton:


Also Ironton.  This nice miner sign hangs on the side of the American Legion Building:


This one from Crosby:


Over in Garrison:


And last one for the day — a goofy Paul & Babe — in front of the Mille Lacs Museum in Isle:


Just two more days to shoot.  I’ve decided to focus on the southwest corner of Michigan for the remainder of the trip.  If I forget to mention it, tomorrow night will be the last blog post until I get home.  Friday night, I’ll be driving and downing coffee trying to lay down some miles towards the 20 hour drive home that I need to get through this weekend.  The final blog post and Flickr photo batch will be on Monday or Tuesday.

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