Our 2006 Road Trip, Part 13: Like the Minnesota Zoo, But Stiffer


Painted elephants in 2-D; rhinos in 3-D!

[The very special miniseries continues! See Part One for the official intro and context.]

Day 4: Tuesday, July 25th (continued)

Before leaving Austin, I stopped at a gas station across the street, filled up on cheap gas, then sat for several minutes waiting for an old lady in her jalopy to sloooowly finish her business with the air pump so I could refill our leaky rear driver’s-side tire. After our interminable stakeout, we took care of the tire and retreated back in the direction of Minneapolis, stopping for supper on the way in the town of Owatonna at a chain joint called the Happy Chef. To be honest, I didn’t realize it was part of a chain until I saw others like it along the same stretch of freeway. With a name like “Happy Chef”, I’d hoped it was either a cornball buffet or an earnest Chinese restaurant. The reality was a standard diner, competent and low-priced but otherwise unremarkable.

While in town, on yet another recommendation from Roadside America (who likewise tipped us off to the Rock in the House and the Spam Museum), we stopped in Owatonna at a sporting goods store called Cabela’s. Like Happy Chef, it’s a chain we don’t have back in Indiana. Unlike Happy Chef, this franchise offers a special attraction: the largest collection of action-posed taxidermy you’re likely to see in a sporting goods store.

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