FCI – Sandstone, MN and Hazelden in Center City, MN

2013-09-22 13.38.34While prisons are generally not where you want to be, they often times have unique stories in their history. Many have housed notable inmates in the past, and some of them are beautiful structures like the Minnesota Correctional Facility in St. Cloud. And while photographing jails and prisons seems to be a big no-no for legal purposes, sometimes it’s just too good to pass up.  The Federal Correctional Institution outside of Sandstone, MN, which appears for the most part unassuming and plain, was home to one inmate in the early 1980’s who went on to turn his life around and charm America with his iconic TV and movie roles.  Read on to find out who! Continue reading

Graffiti Graveyard, Duluth, MN

IMG_2182Duluth, MN, has always been a favorite destination for Minnesota tourists, vacationers, and explorers.  It’s a beautiful, scenic city with steep hills reminiscent of San Francisco and views of Lake Superior that give the city a coastal feeling. I have always considered Duluth the coolest town in our state, and recent back-to-back weekends there only confirm this. And while in Duluth, the obvious choices for sightseeing are things like Canal Park, the Lift Bridge, or the historic downtown area, there is a beautiful art gallery of sorts, only available to the adventurous, hidden away beneath the rumbling interstate traffic of I-35. Continue reading

Apostle Island Ice Caves, Lake Superior, WI


Over in Wisconsin, on the south shore of Lake Superior, there is to be seen a most amazing phenomena each year during wintertime.  But the site is not always accessible each winter, due to lake ice conditions.  The Apostle Island Ice Caves can only be reached by traveling on frozen Lake Superior, if the winter has been cold enough for the ice to be safely walked upon.  This weather we had this current winter of 2013-2014 was clearly cold enough. We were able to make the trek last week, with throngs of other tourists, to see this amazing place ourselves.

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Janesville Mystery Doll, Janesville, MN

107_0157I first read about the Janesville “Mystery Doll,” or “Mystery Boy,” a long while ago in a book about Minnesota roadside oddities.  And when I drove through Janesville, MN during a summer day in 2010, there he was, in that attic window, staring out over town, creepy and mysterious, just like the elusive back-story on why he was there. I grabbed the above photo and got the hell outta there before he came to life and terrorized me. Continue reading