2016-09-14.Clear Lake State Park and (Ho Ho Ho) The Jolly Green Giant
Four days and a lot of unexpected expenditures later and we were on our way from Cedar Rapids, Iowa to Clear Lake State Park located in the north central part of the state and not surprisingly in the town of Clear Lake. The park was small with only a few level sites; the rest sloping quite dramatically. The lake is lovely and is ringed by some beautiful homes. In the morning, Roadie and I walked to the lake and there were hundreds of seagulls, ducks and geese fighting for air space on their way south. And that my friends is why the many pontoon boats are slightly raised above the water to meet a fixed cover that shields the interiors from the bird poo and from the rain. There is a lot of rain here according to a “local” I met while walking in one of the shoreline neighborhoods.
Clear Lake is known for one thing besides the lake; the Surf Ballroom – the last place that Bill Haley and the Comets, the Big Bopper and Richie Valenz played before their fatal plane crash. The plane crashed nearby and the Surf Ballroom contains memorabilia from the last concert and exhibits about the crash.
Of course, during our transit to Blue Mounds State Park in Minnesota from Clear Lake, we had to make a short detour to the “Valley of the Jolly (ho ho ho) Green Giant”. Yes, my friends, there is an actual 55 feet tall Green Giant in Blue Earth, Minnesota commemorating the partnership between the pea and corn freezing Green Giant company and the town. Peas and corn are still processed here and the town is also where the eastern and western segments of I-90 were joined at the conclusion of the construction. Instead of a golden spike, there is an 8000 pound fiberglass giant. What can I say?