“The gap in our economy is between what we have and what we think we ought to have—and that is a moral problem, not an economic one.” ~ Paul Heyne
Wednesday I awoke feeling lousy but it was a beautiful day and I wanted to put some miles on my tires so I pushed onward traveling from Des Moines, Iowa to Blue Earth, Minnesota. Why would he go there you’re wondering…? Because Blue Earth, Minnesota is the home of the…Jolly Green Giant Museum! The museum, which looked like it was closed, is in a little space attached to the local Chamber of Commerce, which is where you must enter to see the museum. Admission is free! The Chamber of Commerce lady turned on a video, from the 1960’s I think, that tells the story of the company history. From there you’re free to wander aimlessly around the museum looking at a lot of green…stuff. It was kind of like having your neighbor, who collected Jolly Green Giant memorabilia, displaying his collection in his garage. I stayed about fifteen minutes, then skeedaddled before I turned green.

From there I went to Austin, Minnesota. Why would he go there you’re wondering…? Because Austin, Minnesota is the home of the…SPAM Museum! This museum, much more elaborate and touristy than the previous museum, felt more like a museum; this museum is worth seeing, unlike its predecessor. It’s part of the Hormel food processing plant so as you drive into the neighborhood you can smell SPAM permeating the air. Admission here is also free! There was a ten minute film all about SPAM and then a self-guided tour with knowledgable staff around to answer all of your unanswered SPAM questions.
There’s a gift shop at the end to buy SPAM keychains, SPAM lunchboxes, SPAM umbrellas, SPAM mouse pads, SPAM board games, SPAM hats, SPAM t-shirts and pretty much anything else you can print the word SPAM on. I bought a case of SPAM, a twelve-pack, one of each flavor, to keep in my truck in case I get stuck in another ditch and have to survive for a week without food.
By the time I finished the SPAM tour I was done being a tourist, done driving through cornfields and done being vertical. It was noontime and I was wiped out. I needed to stop the Great American Road Trip ride and get off. I went to the market for a stash of food and a bottle of NyQuil, then found a nearby hotel and quarantined myself to my room. Horizontal heaven!

Thursday…I stayed in bed.

Friday, feeling a little better, I checked out of the hotel and drove north to Minneapolis. I went to Minnesota’s #1 tourist attraction, which, sadly enough, is the Mall of America. It’s impressive, but it’s still just an indoor amusement park surrounded by stores. I’m sure some of you consider that Nirvana but I’ll take a national park over that any day. But…it is the largest mall in America so I had to see what all the hype was about. The rides were cool and there’s a zip line that goes across the ceiling. The giant Lego creations were impressive. I went to Famous Dave’s for some delicious catfish then into the cinema to watch: Sin City 2, which was good, but not as good as the first Sin City. That was enough retail therapy for me, it was time to go see some more cornfields.

I hope you never play leapfrog with a unicorn.

The gam continues…


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