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2014 Road Trip Photos #32: Outtakes, Minnesota

The Source!

Alternate closeup of “The Source” in Rice Park, a gift to the city from the erstwhile Women’s Institute of St. Paul. in Part 16 I posted a wider shot from the other side that captured the whole fountain and a few gratuitous, ubiquitous cranes.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

With each year’s travelogue we like to conclude with a second-chance review through the hundreds of photos we took to see which photos were unfairly cut from the final roster, which ones didn’t fit into the narrative but possess their own merit, and/or which ones slipped through the cracks for no valid reason…

In the penultimate chapter of our 33-part saga, we take a look back at scenes from Minnesota, mostly the Twin Cities, that were skipped the first time around for a variety of reasons. No photographer shares every shot they take, but sometimes a few keepers get unfairly lost in the shuffle.

Right this way for one final mini-tour through the North Star State!

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2014 Road Trip Photos #28: The Last Visions of St. Paul

Wabasha Street Caves: the entrance!

Welcome to the wonderful world of urban spelunking!

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Each year from 2003 to 2013 my wife, my son, and your humble writer headed out on a long road trip to anywhere but here. Our 2014 road trip represented a milestone of sorts: our first vacation in over a decade without my son tagging along for the ride. At my wife’s prodding, I examined our vacation options and decided we ought to make this year a milestone in another way — our first sequel vacation. This year’s objective, then: a return to Wisconsin and Minnesota. In my mind, our 2006 road trip was a good start, but in some ways a surface-skimming of what each state has to offer. I wanted a do-over.

Day Six had taken us from the other twin cities of Fargo/Moorhead to a Minneapolis city park with its own 53-foot waterfall, and would end for the evening in Wisconsin. Before we left Minnesota’s Twin Cities for the year, we had one final appointment to keep on Thursday night for a tour that sounded interesting and offered limited windows of opportunity, but came with a catch that we weren’t aware of till after we arrived.

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2014 Road Trip Photos #18: Twin City I: St. Paul

Dino Prince!

Many Minnesota travelers dream of seeing Prince, but no one would think to look for him on the back of a dinosaur. It’s the perfect hiding spot.

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2014 Road Trip Photos #17: Around the Science Museum on $0.00 an Hour

Science Museum!

Key, kids! Science!

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Each year from 2003 to 2013 my wife, my son, and your humble writer headed out on a long road trip to anywhere but here. Our 2014 road trip represented a milestone of sorts: our first vacation in over a decade without my son tagging along for the ride. At my wife’s prodding, I examined our vacation options and decided we ought to make this year a milestone in another way — our first sequel vacation. This year’s objective, then: a return to Wisconsin and Minnesota. In my mind, our 2006 road trip was a good start, but in some ways a surface-skimming of what each state has to offer. I wanted a do-over.

We knew we’d spend Day Four seeing parts of downtown St. Paul, but we hadn’t originally planned it as a round-trip walking tour from and to our hotel. Once we got into town and looked more closely at what we’d mapped, we realized walking might be easier than driving the not-so-square street grid, to say nothing of parking fees.

We never write down all the possible attractions in each city we visit. Some things we’ve seen in alternate versions in other cities. Sometimes we have to decide where best to allocate our funds, and where to skimp for the sake of the things that excite us most. We’ve seen nature and science museums in other states. My son is a fan of those, and we’ve found plenty to enjoy in them. He wasn’t with us this time.

The Science Museum of Minnesota probably has awesome displays of physics and chemistry and animals and thermonuclear fusion technology and interactive outpatient bioengineering stations inside. Or maybe not. We wouldn’t know. We declined to investigate in depth, though we were curious enough to check around the perimeter, duck inside, and see what could be seen for free.

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2014 Road Trip Photos #16: Nice Park, Charlie Brown

Marcie!

We spent the early afternoon of Day Four walking into the heart of downtown St. Paul with a light itinerary and a curiosity to see if any surprises were waiting for us. The must-see item atop my list was Rice Park, a modest patch of greenery nestled snugly between eight major structures as a relaxing nexus of life, nature, serenity, and incidental tributes to the great Charles Schulz.

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2014 Road Trip Photos #15: Under the Dome

Minnesota Capitol Dome!

Day Four’s self-guided morning tour of the grounds of the Minnesota State Capitol would continue inside. We’ve photographed domes in other capitals — Harrisburg, Charleston, Denver, Madison, Hartford (barely), our own in Indianapolis, et al. — but we usually admire them from a distance, on the assumption that the interiors might resemble ordinary cubicles or BMV offices. No one wants to risk seeing that and ruining the patriotic mystique.

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