World’s Largest Pheasant ~ Huron, South Dakota

Our final pit stop on our route back home from the Black Hills was to see the World’s Largest Pheasant in Huron.  Those who know us well, know that we love our large roadside attractions. Bonus is they tend to be free!

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Not going to lie, it’s a little concerning to see all the for sale signs around the property. Hopefully whoever buys the property either maintains the pheasant or they find somewhere else in town to move him, because he’s pretty cool!

The other really neat thing is that they have a platform to stand on (shown above) to be in the picture and another platform that you can take the pictures from. This makes the photo op so much simpler and easy to do!

If you happen to be passing through Huron (also home to the South Dakota State Fair), just take a ride down the highway and check this big bird out!

Also please note, for the time being, we are now caught up on blog posts about our own travels and have no big trips planned until the third week of March. From this point on, it will just be more of a focus on our Bucket List series as we build up our knowledge prior to other travels!

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Green Giant Statue Park ~Blue Earth, Minnesota

Near the end of July, we had to make a short trip to the Quad Cities area and decided to make Austin, Minnesota our first stop along the journey. While en route to Austin, I remembered that I’d read you could see the Jolly Green Giant just off of I-90, so we decided to pay him a visit.

You can find the Green Giant in the aptly named Green Giant Statue Park behind the Dairy Queen in Blue Earth.  There is a small parking lot located beside newly built visitor center that houses a small museum dedicated to Jolly Green which was sadly already closed upon our visit.

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As you can see, a visit to the Green Giant also allows you to view his little buddy, Little Green Sprout. Can he get any cuter?

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Another feature of the Green Giant himself is that you can stand beneath him in his shadow for a fun photo opportunity.

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There is also a small information sign that details the history of how Green Giant came to be in this location and how he also receives a scarf to wear every winter, as the Minnesota winters can be quite harsh!

We had fun at this quirky stop off. It was great to quickly stretch out legs and seemed to be well visited and maintained. Two other families stopped off as we were leaving. I’d love to return again when the museum is open to see what other kinds of memorabilia they own.

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World’s Largest Penny ~ Woodruff, Wisconsin

Those who know us fairly well know that we can’t turn down an opportunity to visit a weird roadside attraction. After all, we had our first date at the World’s Largest Buffalo in Jamestown, ND and were engage under the shadow of Salem Sue in New Salem, ND. That being said, when we realized we could head back to my parents by traveling through Woodruff, we knew we needed to stop by and take a photo op with the World’s Largest Penny.

Unlike many large roadside attractions, this giant Penny actually has a pretty neat story for how it came to be that is much more unique than just providing an entertaining pit stop along the interstate or highway.

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It is really cool to have this penny just across the street from where the current hospital sits, since that the reason all these pennies were collected in the first place. After reading that bit of history, it was time for our grand photo op before hitting the road again.

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Day Trip to Effigy Mounds National Monument ~ Northeast IA

Those who have followed the blog for awhile know how much we love to visit sites run by the National Park Service. We took a road trip on our anniversary to Effigy Mounds National Monument to complete the Iowa National Park Sites in our passport.

We arrived at the Monument around 10 in the morning. Inside the visitor center they have a nice gift shop area and a small museum that introduces you to what life was like for the Native Americans that once lived in the area and created the mounds.

We attempted to hike to one of the mounds near the visitor center but after we were a bit in past the small mound, we decided to turn back as I was not dressed for hiking. I guess I should have done more research before we left, because most of the more significant and larger mounds you’d need to hike a ways to see, and most of the hiking is uphill since the mounds are located along the bluffs of the Mississippi River.

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After visiting the mounds, we drove across the river into Wisconsin to grab a quick lunch in Prairie to Chien. They had lots of typical fast food joint to choose from as Marquette, IA and the surrounding area didn’t have much to offer.

When we crossed back into Iowa we spent a bit of time visiting Eagle’s Landing Winery in Marquette. The Winery is located right downtown and offers lots of different kinds of fruit wines. My mom had visited here before and I really liked a strawberry wine she had and wanted some of my own. Marquette also has a beautiful river overlook where we stopped for a photo op.

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We also took a brief pit stop on the way back to Coralville into Strawberry Point, IA. Strawberry Point is home to the World’s Largest Strawberry. The locals gave me laughing smiles as I stepped out of the car to snap a quick picture.

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Overall we had a fun outing and made it back to the hotel to get some pool time in before we walked to dinner that night at Wig and Pen. More on our favorite restaurant in the Iowa City/ Coralville area in the next post!

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World’s Largest Truck Stop and Trucking Museum ~ Walcott, IA

During our year of vicarage in Iowa City, our friend Ryan was completing his vicarage in East Moline, IL. It was always a quick hour drive along I-80 and we always wound up driving past the World’s Largest Truck Stop on the way. In June, Ryan’s dad was visiting him and was interested in checking out the Trucking Museum and Truck Stop so we joined them for dinner.

We got there around 4pm so we decided to check out the Trucking Museum portion before it closed. The museum is free to visit. They have a few trucks and gas pumps in the main entry area, along with a space to watch a short film about truckers. Then you can go back into the main museum area, which is literally just a ginormous garage that a bunch of different old trucks are parked in. It was cool to say I checked it out, but being that I’m not a big car or truck person it only held my interest for so long. I did think that the snowmobile truck was pretty cool!

After this we walked into the main truck stop building. The entrance we walked into was where the main food court was located. They have a Wendy’s, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Dairy Queen/Orange Julius, and Caribou Coffee. To the right is also the main convenient store area that you would find in any typical gas station. Ahead is the I-80 Kitchen which is a homestyle buffet. If you go to the left near the I-80 Kitchen, there are yet more gifts and goodies to be found, and beyond that you can also find a whole area designated to the Super Truck Showroom where you can find any supply necessary for modifying your truck and making it your own.

We didn’t actually go to the next 2 levels, but they also have a barber shop, chiropractor, drivers den, dental office, laundry, movie theater, library, private showers, and workout room; anything a trucker could want! Outside of the main building they also have a Truckomat and Dogomat so that you can have a clean truck and clean pet as you make your way across the country. They also have a sorts of fun areas to take some photo ops.

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We opted to just eat in the main food court area, so nothing overly exciting to write about that way. Overall it was a fun hour or so spent at a fun roadside attraction.

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