Steve Gardiner taught high school English and journalism for 38 years in Montana and Wyoming. He started working at the Republican Eagle in May 2018. He focuses on features and outdoor stories.
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Anyone who has ever driven past a construction site and imagined jumping in the cab of a bulldozer or excavator and moving piles of dirt around can now live out that dream at Extreme Sandbox in Hastings. "This is something that a lot of people have on their bucket list," said Jacob Perkins, lead instructor. "You can't just go to an equipment rental business and rent a 26-ton bulldozer, but you can come here and drive one for an hour or two."
The number of recent movies, TV shows, and commercials that feature archery in them reflects the same interest that brings more than 300 archers each week to shoot at A-1 Archery near Hudson.
Editor's note: This is the latest stop in our new series, 101 Things To Do. Each week through December 2020, we will select one place or activity around the region to highlight. The stories are compiled at www.rivertown101.com . In 1869, a group of Goodhue County settlers had a discussion about preserving the history of the area. They started collecting artifacts, found a building, and formed the Goodhue County Historical Society.
There was a time when Josie Alleva couldn't walk, couldn't talk. Fourteen years later, he has run 40 marathons, holds two college degrees, and gives speeches at schools and hospitals. In 2005, Alleva was a freshman and one of the best athletes at Red Wing High School. He loved football, tennis, and dreamed of making the varsity hockey team.
Editor's note: This is the latest stop in our new series, 101 Things To Do. Each week through December 2020, we will select one place or activity around the region to highlight. The stories are compiled at www.rivertown101.com . With over 70 percent of all movie screens in the United States owned by five corporations, small, independent movie theaters have to find a way to give their customers a unique experience. That is the challenge for Michelle Maher at The Falls Theatre, which her family has owned and operated for three generations.
One of the treats of living or traveling along the Mississippi River flyway is seeing eagles — soaring in flight, perching in a treetop, waiting on the edge of breaking ice — and enjoying their elegance. "Bald eagles are native to North America," said Ed Hahn, marketing manager at the National Eagle Center. "They are found in every state except Hawaii."
Anyone who lives in a place with cold winters ought to find a way to enjoy them, and Badlands Sno-Park near Hudson would be a good place to start. The tubing park, which features six runs with rope tows, has taken the simple childhood joy of sliding down a snowy slope and ramped it up.
With more than 100,000 skier/snowboarder visits each year, Welch Village Ski and Snowboard Area must be doing something right. "People love the beauty and scenic landscape of the Cannon River Valley, which is on the northern edge of southeast Minnesota bluff country," said Peter Zotalis, president and general manager of Welch Village Ski and Snowboard Area. With 45 inches average snowfall, and snow-making equipment on every run, Welch Village can keep the runs in good shape. Sixty runs of various difficulties keep skiers of all abilities interested and challenged.
When Roger Nelson purchased land with an artesian well on it, he realized one thing. An artesian well doesn't shut off during the winter. He directed the water to one area, and it formed an ice rink. He decided to experiment and made a little fountain. The next year, "I tried making one a little bit bigger. Then I made two, and then 10, and then 20, and then 30," he explained with a hearty laugh.
It's a carousel, miniature golf, handmade toys, and books all wrapped in a building of fun. It's LARK Toys in Kellogg, Minn. It is a unique retail space that appeals to everyone in the family," said Miranda Gray-Burlingame, co-owner with her husband and her parents. "It's so fun. With Mayo Clinic so close, we meet people from all over the world. We like to see all generations connect with each other and have fun together."