Recently, our trip to Hibbing MN, to visit family, was enhanced as we decided to explore and discover more of the local history. What a difference it made.
The visit became an adventure as Tim took off to discover and photograph Bob Dylan’s house and other local sites and architecture (keep reading). “Taking the road less traveled” and “stopping to smell the roses” are inspirations to all of our risk blossoming adventures. Using the resources we have available, we search out destination’s trivia and local obscure facts that add the color, interest, and excitement to our travel.
Deborah and I travel alone in BAM. Actually, it’s Deborah, myself and Wikipedia. I always donate to Wikipedia during their annual drive because, in return, they give us back so much as we travel.
As we cruise down the road in BAM, Deborah is the chief Wikipedia strategist. She fills me in on the who, the where and the why of both major metropolitan areas and the tiny hamlets that we pass through along the way.
How else would we have known, passing through Circle, MT, with just 619 residents, that we were 192 miles from the nearest Starbucks? This community proudly embraces that it is the furthermost point you can get from a Starbucks in the lower 48 states! Luckily, it was late in the afternoon, long past our yearning for a Salted Caramel Mocha Frappuccino.
We recently went to Hibbing MN. It is way north in Minnesota. Above Duluth and only about 90-miles south the Canadian border.
Hibbing is an iron range town of 16,000 on the edge of the largest open-pit mine in the world. The mine is so big that it is named for not just one, but three people – The Hull-Rust-Mahoning Open Pit Iron Mine.
We didn’t take BAM to Hibbing but we still used Wikipedia. Hibbing is a cold place. The record low is 50 below. The high temperature in January and February averages below zero. We were also there last April 15th when it snowed over a foot and the ice on the lake was still over 3-feet thick. But wow, for such a cold, remote mining town, this place has produced a diversified and long list of notable people who were born here.
Celebrities from Hibbing
Born Robert Allen Zimmerman, Dylan has won 11 Grammys, a Golden Globe, an Academy Award, a Pulitzer Prize and was awarded The Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012 and a Nobel Prize in Literature in 2016. Along the way, he sold over 100-million records. Dylan became the voice of a generation in the 60’s with civil rights and anti-war songs like “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “The Times They Are a-Changin”. Later he went electric, recording, at the time, an unheard of a six-minute single, “Like a Rolling Stone”. Radio stations, when it was first released, refused to play it because of its length.
Los Angeles County Attorney and New York Times Best Selling Author. He is best known for his conviction of Charles Manson and his followers for the Tate–LaBianca murders. He prosecuted 106 felony jury trials without a single loss including 21 murder convictions.
Broke Babe Ruth’s single season Home Run record hitting 61 in 1961. Maris outdistanced his much greater acclaimed teammate, Micky Mantle, to get the record on the last day of the season. Many still consider Maris’ accomplishment to be the true record as it was only surpassed by players during the “steroid era”.
A three-time World Champion while playing professional basketball with the Boston Celtics. McHale was voted one of the 50-greatest basketball players of all time when the NBA celebrated its 50th Anniversary.
Winemaker and mega Winery owner whose technical and marketing skills brought worldwide attention to California and Napa Valley wine.
Founder of Geno’s Pizza and Chun King Foods.
Founder and longtime CEO of Greyhound Lines. He grew his one bus, one route company into the world’s largest bus transportation company.
The Hibbing Regional Airport also claims celebrities from the near surrounds including Judy Garland and Chris Pratt.
Small Town Trivia – Courtesy of Wikipedia
Hibbing doesn’t stand alone. Throughout our travels from Arizona to the Pacific Northwest, Wikipedia has given us some seemingly inconceivable facts. We were dumbfounded to learn that scenes from Gone With The Wind were filmed in Kingman AZ. And to boot, Clark Gable married Carol Lombard there during the filming.
Progressing north, Beaver UT is a little city in the central part of the state. We have stayed there twice, if for nothing more than to just fill BAM’s water tank. In 2010, Beaver’s water was crowned as the Best Tasting Water in the World. This drinking water produced two notables — notorious outlaw Butch Cassidy and Philo Taylor Farnsworth, the inventor of Cathode Ray Tube (television).
In 1927, Farnsworth linked his first electric image pickup system (the camera) to his electric cathode ray playback tube and television was invented. For kicks, Philo later created a small, table-top nuclear fusion device.
Continuing north, we passed through St Anthony ID, a small town of 3,500 on Idaho’s eastern border. There, both Eric Estrada of CHPS fame and Dean Cain, TV’s Clark Kent/Superman from ‘Lois & Clark’ are active members of the local police force! We made it through town without a ticket or celebrity sighting.
Oregon and Track and Field
Oregon is our gateway to the Pacific Northwest and a great place to enjoy life in BAM during the summer. The common thread Wikipedia keeps presenting during our Oregon Wikipedia searches and queries is Oregon’s great Track and Field athletes.
The University of Oregon is the mega-center of college Track and I now understand why. Greats like Dick Fosbury, 1972 Olympic High Jump Gold Medalist and inventor of ‘The Fosbury Flop’ and America’s preeminent distance runner, Steve Prefontaine, were born and raised there. So was Phil Knight, founder of the Nike empire.
None of these people, however, will ever top Arthur Tuck of tiny Redmond OR. On May 10, 1919, Tuck single-handedly won the Oregon State High School Track Championship for little Redmond High School. At this time, the State Championship pitted everybody from every size school against each other. The meet consisted of 12 events and Tuck, the only qualifier from Redmond, won an astounding total of seven events while finishing second in an eighth event. His 38 total individual points easily outdistanced what any other schools whole teams could amass.
Who’s the Most Notable Person from YOUR Hometown?
All this information made me think — What’s the who, the where and the why of your hometown? I grew up in Lincoln NE and our celebrity was Johnny Carson and to a lesser extent, Dick Cavett. We owned late night TV talk shows in the 60’s and 70’s. Hillary Swank later joined the famous list, winning two Academy Awards.
Deborah grew up in Mesa, AZ where she also went to school with perhaps one of its most famous citizens. Danny White was a record-setting quarterback at her high school, at Arizona State, and for the Dallas Cowboys.
We’d love to hear from you about your hometown.
Tim is so right, Wikipedia has definitely added so much interest, information, and humor to our Risk Blossoming Adventures. We had a wonderful time in Hibbing where we visited my mother. We were able to enhance our experience as we researched and explored and discovered more about this charming and historical town on the Iron Range.
As I think back, it is often the obscure information that will prompt or add adventure to the experiences that we share. For me, it just makes so much sense to go and check out the local history and color. It actually makes the visit so much more memorable.
Explore. Discover. Grow.
Even without Wikipedia, local color and information is available in many forms. Most towns offer up information on their welcome sign. Sometimes the message is simple and heartwarming, other times they’re pretty straightforward, but in many cases, the welcome signs will showcase the town’s sense of humor.
I wish we had taken more photographs of some of the small town signs that we have encountered on our adventures. They truly are a wonderful part of Americana and hometown pride.
Many towns, like Hibbing, will recognize their notable and celebrity citizens. Others will celebrate their High School’s athletic team’s success. Sometimes that recognition goes back generations. But nonetheless, the town proudly offers up its brand and its claims to fame.
Historical Markers are another great source of local color and information. A historical marker is a plaque or sign erected at historically significant locations. These markers are usually near roads or in parks. In many cases, there will be a warning sign that a historical marker is up ahead.
If we are traveling in BAM – and we can determine that we have room to safely pull off the road – we will stop. We stop to explore, discover and grow. Because after all, we are on our Risk Blossoming adventure. And, we believe that travel is not our reward for working hard, it is our educational opportunity to continue to live a full and wonderful life.