Finally left South Dakota and made our way to Minnesota. I think we forgot to mention that South Dakota has more flies than any other state we have visited. I think they are the state bird. Hotel rooms come equipped with a flyswatter!
Stayed overnight in Fairmont, MN and in the morning made sure that we stopped in Blue Earth, MN to get a picture of the largest Jolly Green Giant statue in the world. Nothing there but the statue. Apparently, there is a gift shop during the summer, but it closes in mid-August.
We then made our way to Austin, MN to the SPAM Museum. Now, I have never really eaten SPAM, and am in fact frequently quoting Paul Theroux who said in The Happy Isles of Oceania: Paddling the Pacific “It was a theory of mine that former cannibals of Oceania now feasted on Spam because Spam came the nearest to approximating the porky taste of human flesh.” But I do love unusual museums. So we spent an hour or so viewing the exhibits and tasting the Spam flavors of the day, Portuguese Sausage and Hickory Smoke. Then we spent some time in the gift shop……watch your stockings at Christmas, there may be some tasty treats. After we left the Spam Museum we travelled through the rest of MN and on to Wisconsin.
We followed the Upper Mississippi down from La Crosse, through Prairie du Chien, to the mother house of the Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters. Kathy spent two years volunteering with these wonderful women in Kansas City, MO. They had retreats and special meetings at “The Mound” and, with the help of Sister Marie, got a grant to take a busload of students on a bus trip through Iowa to The Mound. We saw Sister Marie Sullivan and Sister Elaine Robbins and it was really good to see them. They were both strong, determined women who made major difference in impoverished areas of our country. They now need some help, but they are still strong believers in their faith and themselves. We also stopped up at the gift shop at The Mound and had to buy some of their wonderful caramel rolls…mmmmm! And visit the beautiful chapel.
We drove on through the beautiful town of Galena, Illinois, which we would like to go back and explore in the future, and on to Rockford for the night.
Bridget Day 27