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Off-road in America: The House of Mugs

The House of Mugs, located in Collettsville, NC

If you enjoy the quirky side of Americana you will love the House of Mugs (aka The Collettsville Cup House). Located in Collettsville in rural western North Carolina, near the Wilson Creek Recreation Area, about 12 miles from Lenoir. The house is a testament to something – I’m just not sure what.

The House of Mugs, located in Collettsville, NCIt’s estimated there are 25,000 mugs covering the house, fence, and arch; feel free to bring one along to add to the collection. It’s free and there is a guest book to sign. We didn’t see anyone around when we visited and it doesn’t look like anyone actually lives there. It’s a really nice country drive and we crossed at least three single-lane bridges until we reached the lovely setting along a pretty riverbank. Read the rest of this entry

On the Road Again.

Just one of Minnesota's pretty 10,000 lakes.

Just one of Minnesota’s pretty 10,000 lakes.

When you travel long distances by road you can be lulled into a trance, or you can check your RoadsideAmerica app and find out some back stories about where you are.

It is amazing what people can think up. In Minnesota, this very northern state of 10,000 lakes, it is not surprising there are aficionados of ice fishing. What is surprising to learn, is that in the winter an average of 25,000 fisherman crowd the frozen Lake Mille Lacs, at the same time. And in one nearby town, the fisherman have an annual parade the Friday following Thanksgiving, hauling their fishing shacks back to the lakes.

You might wonder since they can’t ice fish all year, what people do here in the summer; well some of them hold turtle races.  A bunch of turtle races, with one town claiming to be the “Original” spot for turtle racing and another claiming some sort of “World” status.

Big Tom protecting Dino and the Turkey Capital of the World.

Big Tom protecting Dino and the Turkey Capital of the World.

We skipped seeing Darwin’s World’s Largest Ball of Twine (Rolled by ONE Man), but were happy to visit Frazee, the Turkey Capital of the World; and they have a giant “Big Tom” statue to prove it.

And if that isn’t enough – northern Minnesota is also Paul Bunyan territory.  It gave me a good feeling when I found that out; I hadn’t thought of ole Paul in about 55 years, a comfortable childhood memory. There are lots of area landmarks in honor of Paul and Babe, his Blue Bull. You can find statues of Paul’s chair, baby shoes, cup, footprints, and of course Paul, in a variety of poses. News flash: a multi-ton statue of Babe blew over last week during a big storm in Brainerd, MN.

Thanks to the TripAdvisor app, we found a cute spot for lunch, housed in a reproduction of an old school house. Lunch at The School House Café in McGregor, MN was delicious and the adjacent collection of houses contained some really nice shops.  But, retail therapy was not on my agenda today, we need to keep rolling.

Along Lake Superior in Ashland, Wisconsin.   We love BIG in the USA.

Along Lake Superior in Ashland, Wisconsin.
We love BIG in the USA.