Day 31: More from Southern Minnesota

Despite my best efforts and all-day sun, I still have a few hours worth of stuff left to shoot in Minnesota tomorrow morning.  Then, it’ll be off to Wisconsin.  Tuesday and Wednesday there.  Thursday and Friday in Illinois.  Interstate hell on Saturday and putting my life in order on Sunday.  Back to work on Monday.  That’s the plan.  If I’m a good girl, I’ll stop shooting on Friday.  But if I’m bad, which I usually am, I’ll shoot until Saturday afternoon — making the drive home even more gruesome.

So many lakes today for the dogs that I lost count.  Grippie always seems to find the dead fish first — making up for her blindness with her sense of smell.  Luckily, no dead-fish rolling incidents on this trip which makes the van reek for weeks despite dousing with Febreze.  Don’t believe those TV commercials.

Let’s start with a sign from Mankato.  I assume these must have been mass-produced but this is the only one that I know of like this:


I’ve shot this sign in Waseca before — but never really investigated the place other than that:

There’s also a giant chainsaw carved hamburger:

There’s also this “land yacht” that you can dine in (note picnic table installed instead of seats):

And these two Amphicars which you can, according to the sign: “ride for free on the lake”.  WHAT?   I see from other people’s blogs that it’s true.   Okay, I MUST take the dogs for a ride in an Amphicar.  I will definitely find out about this for the next time I’m in the area.


Hoff’s Bar in Owatonna has several great neon signs — including this one:


Another one from Owatonna:  (the city name kept reminding me how I’m gonna owe-a-tonna money for this trip — about $100 a day for gas alone).  Looking at Costas’ website now, I’m regretting not stopping in for some sugar.  I haven’t had hardly any indulgences on this trip:


Another from Owe-a-tonna:


Moving on to Faribault.  A pole in the way forced this angle — but I think it was a blessing.  I shoot way too much dead-on:


More Faribault — a movie theatre fallen on hard times.  A great asymmetrical marquee from the 1940s.  The building appears to be vacant now (“for sale” sign) but it was a church in recent years.  More about its history here:


A black & cream vitrolite facade:


From Albert Lea:


Another eagle in town.  This sign appears to be a replica (rather than a restoration) to me.  Restoration is such a subjective term anyway.  To some, it might mean just repainting.  Or it might mean completely refabricating something in the style of the original.  Well, anything beats a plastic box sign:


Another from Albert Lea.  I had to shoot into the sun for this one — but I think you can make out that this part of the building is completely brick glass.  The rest is pretty boring auto repair shop bays.  I have no idea what this was originally:


One more from Albert Lea:


And from Austin — where the dogs and I have collapsed for the night.  Another head-scratcher — I can’t tell if this was ever old — or replaced — or what.  I can tell you that it wasn’t lit tonight:



Kind of sad that there are only four days of shooting left.  But I’m pretty exhausted from the driving and late nights.  It’ll be a miracle if I can get all of this year’s photos up — and my credit card back to zero — before next spring when we start this craziness again.

5 thoughts on “Day 31: More from Southern Minnesota

    • There was some plaque about the facade being restored (was it 1995? I don’t remember). Anyway, it’s landmarked in some local or national way. But I did notice that the cream tiles along the bottom were done some cheapie method. Like white plastic tiles that were painted over and now beginning to peel. All the black tiles looked original. Though a few along the very bottom have some chips at the edges near the sidewalk.

      As for the store, although there were no displays in the window, there did seem jewelry related stuff inside. But kind of on the sparse side. Maybe the owner is on vacation? GREAT old wooden display cases in there.

      • Ah – thanks for the research. I think the facade might be protected in some way. So hopefully it’ll live on despite whatever businesses might come and go.

        Dandelet sounds French to me. Also reminds me of dandelion.

  1. I am curious what the glass block building looks like at night. It also makes me wonder what the insulation R-value is for an entire wall like that (especially for Minnesota!). Great work!

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