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Crookston, Minnesota has a population of about 8,000 people. It was wild land prairie, home to Indians, hunters and trappers, and didn’t really get settled until about 1872. It has a unique distinction, the Grand Theater, the longest, continually operating theater in the United States. It opened in 1911 as a vaudeville house. For movies in 1918.

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The box office employee allowed us to go in and take pictures just before the current show started. DSC09321 (Copy)

Seats, carpet, balcony and a lot of updates have been made,  but this fixture is original. We bought a box of warm popcorn and walked the town.

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Crookston City Park has electric hook-ups for campers, no sewer or water, but a comfy spot, within walking range of Polk Co. Museum, VFW, Eagles and American Legion. Monday, Labor Day, most business were locked up tight. DSC09325 (Copy)

Nearby, a boarded up Catholic Church. An attractive edifice still, but sad.

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Cookston is part of the Red River Valley and has several wildlife refuges. At Glacial Ridge, the nation’s largest prairie restoration, over 24,000 acres,  about 10 miles East of town you can see original prairie grasses, prairie chickens and loads of rare indigenous plants and butterflies.  Another Prairie, Pankratz Memorial Prairie lies south-east of Cookston by 6 miles, where ancient buffalo herds wallowed and rubbed boulders smooth with their massive shoulders.  Hiking, bird watching and geocaching are popular here in this wooded, and prairie, community.

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We ambled along the Red Lake River to town and back on what was a beauty of a day. Then we sat in the sun and read for a couple of hours and just kicked back and enjoyed the quiet until some native, biting fly attacked Jim’s ankles. When he took refuge inside, they decided my ankles were fair game. How dare they?

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Under the bridge reflections are always fun to photograph. Since I like unusual museums, Cookston qualifies with a sugar beet museum-closed, of course.  Next trip.

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Rene Wiley’s series of paintings of alleys has given me a new appreciation for them. We saw her work in Galveston, Texas. A few alleys are worth photographing.  Jim noticed the fire escape doesn’t touch the ground.  Jim asked,  “How could they escape?” This one is too dark and bare.

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This sunny side resembles half an alley and the fire escape touches the ground. I like it better than the alley.

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This alley picture I took yesterday in Bemidji has a bit more character.

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Speaking of yesterday’s photos, I spotted this guy practicing skiing in the summer. Or maybe Ice Skating in summer. Looked like fun.


Bemidji also extolled the giant wolf named Lobo. I think I read a better story than the one above about Lobo. Someday, I’ll find it.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

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  1. Weird skates! Does look fun though.

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