Occasionally, you’ll be driving on a very nondescript country road passing through rolling farmland that characterizes most of rural Minnesota, and come across something that takes you by complete surprise, making you almost break your neck trying to see it (or slam on the brakes if you’re like me). The Watt Munisotram is one of those places. Continue reading
It’s hard to believe, but long before the days of GPS, radio, and even radar, pilots relied on a very primitive but effective navigation method. Scattered all across the US, a series of giant, yellow, concrete arrows were put in place in the ground in the 1920’s, visible from high in the sky, primarily to guide airmail pilots from city to city. It was innovative at the time, a significant step up from relying solely on geological landmarks. Continue reading
To most Minnesotans, “The Cities” is an all-encompassing term meaning anywhere from the heart of downtown Minneapolis to the far reaches of Elk River, Stillwater, Lakeville, or Lino Lakes.(I’ve even heard this include St. Cloud). To the purists, there’s a big difference between “The Cities” and the much-maligned “Suburbs.” Many view the ‘burbs of Minneapolis-St. Paul as nameless, faceless bedroom communities for families, with soccer moms, chain restaurants, and strip malls. But HighwayHighlights knows better. The suburbs are home to some absolutely incredible and historic things, like the forgotten ruins of Umore Park in Rosemount. Continue reading
Minnesota’s forgotten corner, the Iron Range, is a geographical region full of stark contrasts. Several highways crisscross the region between Grand Rapids and Ely, passing through hardscrabble towns like Calumet, Hibbing, Eveleth, and Virginia. Once a booming iron mining region, the area now consists of many abandoned buildings, open pit mines, and remnants of planned communities, all set against dramatic scenes of red rock taconite elevation, pine trees, crystal clear lakes, and spectacular views. Continue reading
Heading northbound on Interstate 35 towards the Twin Cities, motorists often catch a glimpse of a giant shark, a spaceship, and a massive guitar as they enter the Lakeville city limits. There is a hand-painted sign for “Hot Sam’s,” but what exactly is going on? It is a junkyard? Is it an antique store? A sculpture park? Where did these items come from? Who exactly is Hot Sam?