Biggest Ball of String

Our road trip adventures, quirky roadside attractions, generally in the United States or Canada (and with occasional travel off the mainland into Hawaii, Alaska, Caribbean and Europe – so far)

Mr. Jolly Green Giant

on October 17, 2012

In 2005, we took a long roadtrip from Calgary to Halifax NS, through the States, one way. We bought a disposable car, drove one way, and flew home. I’ll tell that adventure later.

 BUT, I bring it up now because, at that time, we had the choice of going either through Minnesota, and seeing the Jolly Green Giant, or through Iowa, and seeing the Bridges of Madison County near Winterset. We chose the Bridges of Madison County and it was so worth it – so beautiful! so historic! Plus, I had recently read the book, and was enthralled. (Didn’t see the movie, so I don’t know how it compares.)
Since then, though, I have always had the Jolly Green Giant in my mind, and this was the trip that was going to fix that!

The Jolly Green Giant (this is tedious – I’m going to start calling him just “Jolly” or Mr. Giant…or Jolls) is in Blue Earth, Minnesota, at the half-way point of Interstate 90. (Blue Earth is named for the nearby Blue Earth River, and the river is named for the blue clay found in the bluffs along the river banks.)

He is the symbol of the Green Giant Company (famous for canned peas and corn). The company started in 1926 as Blue Earth Canning Company, took the name Green Giant in 1950 and has since been bought out by General Mills.

 Jolls is 55’ tall (17 meters). I mean – that SEEMS tall, but what’s a good point of reference? Well, look at this picture. We are standing by his 6′ long feet (size 78 shoe) and you can barely see us.
His Giant smile is 48″ wide!!

I  don’t know how Daisy & Coco knew he was a giant and not just a huge hunk of metal (fiberglass, actually) but they were crazy when they saw him-running at him, barking and snarling, grizzly hair up on their backs, tails in the air, then running away madly, for protection! (They are, after all, only about 8″ tall..) They did NOT like him at ALL! (We were a little bit proud of them-so feisty! 😀 ) 

They keep a guest book there, and the lady there was telling us that since they’d opened for the season, they had someone from every state already in to visit, except Virginia. And wouldn’t you know it? The girl beside us was from Virginia, so we all had ice-cream sandwiches to celebrate.  (Incidentally, Blue Earth is proud to be the birthplace of the Chocolate Dream ice cream bar, which is now the Eskimo Pie. We didn’t have any of those handy, so ice-creams sandwiches substituted.)
Mr. Giant’s little (10’ tall) pal, Little Sprout, has taken a job at a nearby local gas station and convenience store, advertizing Jelly Bellys and homemade fudge!

After we left Blue Earth, we continued east.

We had a secret destination
– well, we all knew, except Richard.

Secret Spot to be revealed Sunday.

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