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Sunset, Imperial NWR, AZ

Thursday, June 27, 2013

I’ve been spelling Uff-da wrong!

Heavens to Murgatroyd!  How embarrassing.  I’ve been spelling this Minnesota exclamation Uf-dah, but I found out while playing tourist today that it’s really Uff-da, with or without the dash.  After only twenty years of using it, I stand corrected.

I was off this morning to Fargo/Moorhead for some shopping.  I’m not into shopping much, as my clothes can attest to, but I needed a city with big box stores, and Fargo, ND, is the closest one.  I’ll tell you tomorrow what it was I couldn’t live without.

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Fargo is an hour and a half drive away, so I thought I’d stop in at the Fargo-Moorhead Visitors Center while I was there to find out what’s important to see in the area.  For such a huge building, that was a former grain elevator, the visitors center portion is really quite small, but they hand out free bags of tasty hot popcorn.  Score!  Smile  This is a good place to stop if you’re in the area for several reasons.

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A couple of weeks ago, I ordered the movie “Fargo”from Netflix, since I thought it would be about this town.  It really wasn’t.  It was more about a bizarre murder/kidnapping thing in Brainerd, MN.  If you’ve seen the movie, you know that near the end, one of the bad guys kills his partner and puts his body through this wood chipper.  The scene in the movie zeroes in on the socked foot of the unfortunate partner.  Well, at the F-M Visitors Center, they lend you one of those winter hats to put on, and you can have your picture taken stuffing the poor guy down the actual chipper from the movie, don’tcha know.  I just couldn’t pass that up!   It turns out that the year they filmed the movie, there wasn’t enough snow in Fargo so they moved the set to Brainerd after the initial bar scene. 

_MG_8988Then when you step back outside, there’s a nice grassy picnic area surrounded by the Celebrity Walk of Fame.  It’s kind of a touch of Hollywood in Fargo-Moorhead.

73 Tamarac NWR, 20133Al Hirt was the first star to be inducted.  There are now 113 celebrities that have their feet and hands imprinted in 150 pounds of cement.  I didn’t recognize all of them, but got a kick out of Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street.  The Great Wallendas included footprints on a tightrope, and Meadowlark Lemon’s footprints were inside of a basketball hoop.  The one that tickled me the most was the barefoot prints of Myron Floren.  Do you suppose he practiced his accordion barefoot before appearing with Lawrence Welk?? 

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After doing my shopping, I headed for the Hjemkomst Center.  (pronounced yem-komst… Norwegian for homecoming) Note the unusual white portion of the building.  It was constructed specifically to house the Hjemkomst Viking ship to preserve it after its journey to Bergen, Norway.

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Inside the center was a beautiful mosaic tile collage that I’m afraid I didn’t do justice to with this photo. It depicted memorable moments in the history of the Fargo-Moorhead area with the important Red River coursing through it.

73 Tamarac NWR, 20134There are two major attractions in the center.  The first is the Hjemkomst.  Robert Asp built the Hjemkomst in a former potato warehouse in Hawley, MN, beginning in 1972.  In the summer of 1980, Robert Asp sailed his ship on Lake Superior.  He died of leukemia in December of that year.  In the summer of 1982, Robert Asp’s family and friends sailed the Hjemkomst 6,100 miles form Duluth, MN, to Berge, Norway where they arrived on July 19, 1982.  It’s impossible to get a total picture of this Viking ship in the museum as it’s more than 76’ long.  There is a very nice movie that details the story of its building and journey through the Great Lakes and across the Atlantic ocean.  What an accomplishment for a rather ordinary man.  It is a shame that he didn’t get to participate in his dreamed of journey.

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The second thing of importance at the center is the Hopperstad Stave Church replica.  Guy Paulson began carving for the church in 1997, but the project took more than 5 years to complete.

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Stave churches were built at the end of the Viking Age in Scandinavia from about 950-1350.  Stave churches combined the native building traditions of the Norse culture and medieval Christian styles.  The church in Moorhead is a full-scale replica of the Hopperstad Church, built circa 1125-1150 in the town of Vik, Norway.  I had to ask what ‘stave’ meant, and was told it means that the structure is built with vertical wood posts.  Huge pine trees were used from the Itasca State Park area for its construction.  The carvings were very intricate and painstakingly done.  Such craftsmanship went into this replica. 

I really enjoyed visiting these few sights in the F-M area today, and would recommend them to fellow travelers.  I’ll leave you tonight with something that brought a chuckle to me in the Hjemkomst Center gift shop.

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Some of you may remember when Jack came to visit me about a month or so ago, and we headed out on a couple of journeys to see the ‘World’s Largest’ oddities in the surrounding area.  We visited all three of these Roadside America locations.  Seems there’s a murder mystery series that takes place at these same locations.  Who would have guessed?  If I were a murder mystery fan, I might just read them. 

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

32 comments:

  1. What fun! Tiny Tim??? haven't thought of him in eons... and Roy Clark? Wonder if these guys are still alive. I know Bert and Ernie are.

    The Dakotas are two of the six states I haven't explored... very pretty ... and I knew what Fargo was about .. boo hiss ... what a way to end yer life... in a wood chopper, man? ... like the hat

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    1. aw Tiny Tim died in 1996 at 64... and Roy Clark is still alive ... he's 80. think I'll go YOutube ... Tiptoe Through the Tulips and When I Was Young... loved that Roy Clark song...

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  2. The books look like a fun read, so maybe I'll try to find them to take along on my road trip. Weird about the wood chipper - it is probably how Jimmy Hoffa was disposed of, and I wish the Govt would quit spending money trying to find and dig him up! He's probably fertilized a lot of trees by now. All I know about Fargo is that they have terrible spring floods, but it looks like a nice place to visit. I may route myself through there.

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  3. What an interesting day - thanks for sharing it. And uff course, we fforgive you ffor your spelling errors. We still loves ya & your little ffeathered ffriends!

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  4. Oh no! You went to the dark, chippy place.

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  5. What a great day you had exploring all these places. Nice change for you. Can't wait to see what you couldn't live with out.

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  6. Jo said it all...so glad you were out and about exploring and enjoying the sights!

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  7. I wouldn't know if you spelled it right or wrong. My friend Dianna lived in Fargo - guess I'll ask her if she ever used the Chipper.

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  8. I am glad to see the repurposing of the grain elevator into a visitor's center. We've seen quite a few grain elevators this summer during our tour of eastern Washington. Most are still being used, I think, but we saw a couple that were extremely delapidated. It was interesting to see tiny little towns which were obviously built around the elevators.

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  9. Love the stave church. We will have to remember that when we are in that area, some day in the future.

    What a story about the building of the viking ship. As you said, it is too bad that he wasn't around to make the journey himself.

    Ruth
    www.travelwithkevinandruth.com

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  10. I listened to my iPod all the way up to and back from NY. Roy Clark's "Yesterday When I Was Young" and many other oldies and goodies. There are some new artists that I love, too, i.e. Jack Johnson. And, if you've never heard Eva Cassidy you're missing out. Unfortunately she died at a very young age and fame didn't come until after she was gone.

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  11. I didn't know we were suppose to be looking for bodies too.

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  12. I'm a big fan of the movie Fargo - albeit a dark comedy.

    Ya I am!

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  13. I've always said there was nothing to see in North Dakota. I was wrong. Thanks for the tour.

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  14. Neat idea to put the VC in the grain elevator ... and I love the mosaic mural. But best of all the Viking ship and the stave church ... both brought back great memories of the few days we spent in Oslo a few years back. The Viking Ship Museum there has three fantastic Viking ships -- one very well preserved. I couldn't get my fill of them ... or of the treasure exhibit. This place definitely has to be pinned to remind me to check out these sites when we get to ND.

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  15. Al was born in that area, in Jamestown North Dakota and still has many relatives there. My only visits there have been in February......which is NOT the best time to visit ND.

    We liked the movie Fargo, mostly because their accents sounded just like all of Al's relatives.

    Can't wait to see what you couldn't live without.

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  16. I always liked the movie Fargo and after living in northern MN for a few years and watching the movie again . . . I freakin' loved it! Indeed, although entitled Fargo, it is soooo Minnie-so-tah! Ha! Hey, I actually have and wear one of those winter hats. Need one up here in Jersey for the winter. Looks like you're having a grand time, and I am glad!

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  17. love the post very interesting. One great thing about your day NO TICKS!.
    Just blame the spelling error on auto correct :-)

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  18. Loved the tour... especially the mosaic wall. I might have to check out those mysteries... and, like Donna W said... a day without ticks has to be a great day!

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  19. So much fun!! I can't believe RVers who come off the road and say,"I've seen everything there is to see." You will NEVER find all the fun things that are tucked away in various states! LOVE the church and the Viking ship! Oh ... by the way ... it's "Murgatroyd" !!!!!

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  20. Uffda! You have not seen the inside of the grain elevator, we have never taken the time to do that! I have visited the Hjemkost..but have always been deeply saddened that it could not be in Hawley where Bob Asp built it. (Politics) I am glad he got to see her in the waters of Lake Superior! We lived in Moorhead during those years and had children in school and followed that story from beginning to end.
    I always enjoy that movie Fargo..and there is another movie out there "New In Town" that I also enjoyed:)

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  21. WE saw a similar Stavekirk in Rapid City, SD, on our visit to Mt. Rushmore. I wonder if there's a murder mystery in that series "Murder under the Presidents."

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  22. Looks like you had a good time. Lots of interesting things to see.

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  23. Our future daughter-in-law, Cathryn, is from Moorhead. Our son Korey and Cathryn will have their wedding reception in the Hjemkomst Center on August 10th. Cocktail hour will be in the lobby with the ship. Cool beans!! We didn't get a chance to see the movie. Maybe while we're there for the wedding.

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  24. I was about to exclaim: "Judy, that the heck do you have on your head!" And then I read the caption. Whew!

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  25. The gleeful smile on your face as you stuffed that poor fellow into the chipper has me quacking in my boots. I'll make extra sure to be nice to you, from now on...never knew you had an evil streak! Uff-da!!! :cD

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  26. I didn't realize there was so much history in North Dakota. Joe was born there and all he ever says about it is "It's a good place to be from"

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  27. Hilarious! I've been to Fargo but didn't know about the wood chipper photo op. LOL!

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  28. Fargo is one of my favorite movies! Who knew how to spell Uf-dah anyway?

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  29. fun post don’tcha know, don’tcha know...

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  30. I think it's funny no matter how it's spelled. . .and we always knew exactly what you were talking about. . .so there!

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  31. Fargo is Catherine's favorite. She loves the picture. Great post.

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