By now you know my story: July 2009, 8000 km road trip, 3 generations, 1 van. Crazy? Yes. Lomographically limited? In no way whatsoever! I took along 10 cameras and 40 rolls of film. We passed through 10 American states and 3 Canadian provinces, and I tried not too look up a giant viking's skirt.
We left Chicago this morning and began the long trek toward home. The rest of the family is easing out of holiday mode, but I still have an itchy trigger finger. We drove on the interstate for a very full day and stopped in the middle of Minnesota. Once the kids settled into the double bed at the hotel, and my wife found something to watch on the TV, I headed across town to find the viking statue that I read about in the pamphlet from the hotel’s tourist brochure rack.
The sky was cloudy, dusk was approaching, and the AGFA 1000 was probably the worst film choice for the setting. But I was desperate to shoot at least one lomolocation today, and I knew that you would want to see what I saw. Big Ole stands 24 feet tall in a quiet park on the edge of town, across the road from the Rune Stone Museum. This area has a heavy concentration of Americans with Norwegian heritage, and they seem to take good care of Ole. One concern did arise when I tried to answer the age old boxer-or-briefs question with Ole – I nearly chickened out when I realized it might be “neither”. I went in for a closer look, and can confirm that Ole is either androgynous, or he wears flesh-coloured underwear.
Alexandria, Minnesota might not really be the “Birthplace of America” but it certainly is the home of Ole, the World’s Largest Viking.
Gallery of Huge Beings: http://www.wlra.us/hb/hblp.htm
Big Ole History: http://www.alexandriamn.org/index.php/community/history_page/big_ole_history/