Winona, MN and Nelson, WI
I opted to stay one more extra day. I wanted to capture more of the area. The 4th was all about parade and fireworks. I wanted to capture more of the local culture. I went up to Elmer’s Auto and Toy Museum. It was outside of town. Elmer had began collecting things before collecting things was cool. This included cars and a huge toy collection. He did not have a lot as a kid and made it his goal to have as he got older. Some of his collection included a 1910 Model T, multiple 1950’s and 1960, classic American cars, Dale Ernheart Jr’s actual race car, and a 25th Anniversary Corvette with 7 miles on it. He has invested a pretty penny over the years. His collection, which is open on a limited basis, was enough to put me in awe. I talked with his wife and daughter about some of the history of his collection. It was impressive to say the least.
From the car and toy collection, I went to the town of Nelson. I stopped by a dairy creamery. I think some quality ice cream was in order. the place did not disappoint. I picked up some cheese curds while I was there too. It was a nice day and there were a ton of bikers out. One community I do miss while on this adventure s the motorcycle community. There is a different type of freedom that comes with riding a motorcycle. Don’t get me wrong. The community I have met along the river is a unique mad memorable one.
I made my way back to Jeff’s to say hi before going back out for the evening. Jami and I went walking around town to see things from a different perspective. We walked by this really old, 4 story mansion. It had been around back when the locals were fighting with the Indians. Jami asked if I knew anybody there. I said not yet, but if someone was home, were were going to see what the building was like on the inside. I went to the front door and knocked. No answer. So, I went to the side and saw a girl listening to headphones and working. I knocked on the window and she came to the side door. It was being rented by a sorority and McKel was the president. She invited us in and gave us a tour. The place had 26 rooms and 8 kitchens. We could only have access to the first 2 floors, but it was quite the treat to be able to see inside. It was packed with all kinds of photo opportunities. I got her information for when I come back to this town to do a photo shoot in the building.
After checking the mansion out, Jami and I went to Rocco’s Pizza. It is said to be the best in town. We devoured a large pizza. She was right. It was pretty good. We decided to drive over to her brothers place. We got there, started a fire, and sat out enjoying the night. We had a good conversation late into the night. I was getting tired and ready to call it a night. I said my see you laters to everybody, I called it a night. The clouds were coming in and the rain fly was on for the night. As long as it didn’t rain, it would be a good night.