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Posted August 5, 2006
Midwest Marvels: Roadside Attractions Across Iowa, Minnesota, The Dakotas, And Wisconsin by freelance writer Eric Dregni is a handy 437-page travel guide to many of the munificent and iconic roadside attractions scattered along the highways and byways of five midwestern states. Lavished throughout with black and white photos of strange scenic wonders, Midwest Marvels is a type of entertaining curiosity tour featuring a text which is illustrated with photographs and down home folk tales. All of the attractions are real and actually exist, albeit sometimes hard to believe (Og the Gorilla, King Kong of the Prairie?). Midwest Marvels is well researched, as for example, the chapter on Peanuts Park, in St. Paul, Minnesota which has a thumbnail sketch of the famous comic artist, born in St. Paul, containing little known facts about Charles Schulz's history of leaving the St. Paul Pioneer Press in 1950 for greener pastures when it decided his weekly fee of $10 was 'too much for simple drawings (p. 149).' Midwest Marvels is filled with the quirky, wild, wacky landmarks of the Upper Midwest. From the Mustard Museum in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin, to the Effigy Mounds of Marquette, Iowa, Midwest Marvels presents useful information about attractive features, history, locations, hours, prices of admission, and local colour stories. It is well worth the price to the traveler unfamiliar with what the five-state Upper Midwest area has to offer the curious passerby.
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