S. Worthen (owlfish) wrote,
S. Worthen


On Friday, we drove north from Minneapolis to Hibbing, about 100 miles from the Canadian border. Hibbing is a mining town, the place where Bob Dylan grew up, and a historical hotbed of forestry. It has a small airport, endless pine trees, and loons.

It's also the place where Greyhound bus/coach lines are from. The Greyhound Bus Museum has a remarkably extensive collection of Greyhound buses, some with exceedingly narrow aisles, some with luggage storage underneath each seat because the engine took up all the would-be luggage space underneath. I cannot say it is a well-designed museum, nor is it one with any sense of how it relates to the rest of the world. One might gain the impression that on this planet, public transportation was first invented in the 1920s in northern Minnesota. Yet the challenge the founders deal with is really quite an interesting one: how to make public transportation economical in remote, non-urban locations.

In the 1920s, Hibbing was moved from its old location to two miles south. Enormous sums of money were poured into the new high school building in order to help lure everyone south. About 95% of the buildings successfully made the move. The old site is now a park, the roads still marked, and stairs leading up to empty foundations. The park is near the edge of the mine.

The Hull-Rust-Mahoning Open Pit mine is amazing. It's still a working open-pit mine, about three-and-a-half miles at its longest and a mile-and-a-half across. It was industrially sublime, the vast expanse, the rich hues of the striations on down into its azure-intense waters near the bottom. Lone trucks trundles along the vague roads below, dwarfed by the expanse. We knew the trucks were enormous, really, because one is available to climb on at the mine view park. I'll post photos.

There was also a lovely wedding and a birthday party and the drive back to Des Moines.

Here, the cicada chorus is out in force, and I am home.
Tags: travelogue

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