Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Twine Ball At Last!

Location: Alexandria, MN
Miles: 1532

We departed lovely Winona, MN at about 11 am. A little after noon we stopped for gas in Stewartville. Then, about 1 pm we arrived in Austin, home of Hormel and the Spam Museum. Below, Thomas poses with a friend at the Spam Museum.

The Spam Museum, which has no admission charge, is well laid-out and quite fun. The best part, though, was the gift shop. We will be bringing home spam-based presents for many friends.

After Austin, we took I-35 north to Minneapolis, then headed west on Highway 12. Traffic around Minneapolis was slow (although not as slow as Chicago), and Highway 12 was fairly congested. Eventually, however, we found ourselves in Darwin, Minnesota, home of the world's largest ball of twine.

The Twine Ball lives in a little glass-enclosed pagoda (see below).

Below, a closer view of the Twine Ball.

And finally, below, the proud boys with the Twine Ball.

Unfortunately, due to the delays around Minneapolis, we arrived at the Twine Ball after 5 pm, and the museum & gift shop was closed. In a desperate search for Twine Ball postcards or other souvenirs, we tried other merchants in town: the Shell station, the liquor store, and the local pub -- but there was no Twine Ball merchandise to be had, not even for ready money. Obviously, the folks in Darwin need to get with the program.

We left Darwin about 6 pm, and headed north toward I-94. We met up with the Interstate and continued west toward our next destination, the town of Alexandria, home of the Kensington Runestone. Of course, it was too late and the museum was certainly we decided to stop for the night in Alexandria. We found a great place to stay: the L Motel and RV Park; for a very reasonable charge we have a great room with refrigerator, microwave, free internet, and even a laundry. Of course, the internet connection is wired, not wireless -- so we are roughing it.

We settled in for a great dinner spread of fruit, bread, crackers, and fine Wisconsin cheeses. Then we wrote some postcards, answered some email, and started on the blog update.

Thanks to everyone who has left comments so far (Betsy and Melissa, to be specific). For the rest of you...what, are your arms broken? Sure, we're having a great time, but we miss all our friends, and we'd love to hear from you. It's not that difficult!

Tomorrow, the Runestone, and then on to North Dakota.



Renfield said...

So are we going to have to filter our gifts?

I could speculate about why that town didn't have any "Giant Ball of Twine" souvenirs, but I've never been very good at string theory...

betsy said...

Actually I have a postcard from the Twine Ball I will be happy to sell you. It has these two goofy looking guys standing in front of it and the Twine is behind them. I think it is worth more than you can possibly imagine...

Meerkat Meade said...

Renfield, that's a great picture of you! There are lots of guys out here that look like that, except less goofy, of course....

Betsy, thanks for the offer. We will give it all the consideration it deserves.

-Don & Thomas