May 12, 2016
When I passed through Minneapolis (MSP) with a free afternoon, I hooked up with a couple friends to visit a couple nearby venues.
The National Eagle Center is located along the Mississippi River in Wabasha, MN. It’s about 90 minutes from the airport. This town also has notoriety as the filming location for the movie Grumpy Old Men.
The center houses live refuge eagles who live in an area with no cages or windows. It allows for unobstructed pictures and the opportunity to hear them screech/chat. We spent a couple of hours exploring their educational films, live classes, historical and interactive exhibits. It reinforces an appreciation for the balance between humans and wildlife.
If you will be in the area for an extended period – yes, they have a volunteer program.
- They can see a rabbit two miles away.
- Their talons grip at 400 psi (ten times the strength of a human).
- If humans had their eyesight, we would be able to read a newspaper on the opposite end of a football field.
- The warmer the climate, the smaller the eagle. “Angel” (shown) is about 10 lbs.
In nearby Kellogg, MN is the home of LARK Toys. Our childhood memories surfaced as we
played in perused the huge store of vintage toys and books. We all felt nostalgic to see our childhood toys…and candy too! Ralph zeroed in on the Sugar Babies, Maria drooled over the Idaho Spuds and Pixie Sticks for me. Maria was the only one who indulged though. Ralph and I opted for a snack from a rather large selection of fudge.
Throughout the building are also impressive displays of historical collections. Don’t miss going down the hall from the toy store, where you’ll find the fudge stand and a charming hand-carved wooden carousel. It’s a whimsical experience.
Photos: © Julia Hunter.