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Mon Jan 23, 2012, 03:49 AM

There is a certain craziness with Minnesotans that I absolutely love

First, when I say craziness, I don't mean Michele Bachmann crazy - that's completely different.

On Sunday, my husband and I went to the Art Shanty Project on Medicine Lake.

http://www.artshantyprojects.org/

It's really a cool thing - a community of artists setting up 20 or so ice fishing shacks for 4 weekends open and free to the public. There was some concern that the lake (due to the unseasonably warm winter we have had) would not be frozen enough, so the shanties are close to the shore.

If you have never been in an ice fishing shack, they are not for the claustrophobic. They are small, cozy buildings - now back when I was a kid, they really were just shacks on the lake but some have really gotten fancy and are nicer than many homes.

The reason I say Minnesotans are crazy - well today was a cloudy, rainy/snow mix of a day in the 20s-30's, yet the lake was pretty crowded (oh and of course further on the lake were the serious ice fishermen). Each of the Art Shanties has a theme - one was the Naughty Shanty - they were passing out candy cigarettes and had whoopie cushions strategically placed, the Dance Shanty - great music to get your blood flowing, the One Room School House, a Robot Shanty (a HUGE movable robot), Monsters Under the Bed - a shanty made to look like a monster, and once inside kids could draw and play with monster parts, etc etc. There was a place to play basketball, a Capitol Hill shanty with a Department of Mustaches (so you could make your own fantastic mustache) and Department of Buttonry - make your own buttons, and of course a Fort Shanty - you could nap or have snacks.

The Dance Shanty was hilarious - nothing like seeing 5-8 people dancing to James Brown while wearing snow pants and wool hats. They also had cool modified bicycles to ride - some looked like animals, some had a ski or ice skate in place of the front wheel.

They expect over the course of the 4 weekends to have 6,000 - 10,000 people come out. And I can easily see that happening. The shacks get pretty crowded when 5 or more people cram in, but that again forces you to socialize and get to know your fellow frozen Minnesotan.


I loved it - had more fun on the frozen lake than I probably would have had in the summer on that same lake.

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Reply There is a certain craziness with Minnesotans that I absolutely love (Original post)
nadine_mn Jan 2012 OP
KamaAina Jan 2012 #1
The Velveteen Ocelot Jan 2012 #2
nadine_mn Jan 2012 #6
geardaddy Jan 2012 #3
nadine_mn Jan 2012 #5
Hong Kong Cavalier Jan 2012 #4
nadine_mn Jan 2012 #7
Lydia Leftcoast Jan 2012 #8
nadine_mn Jan 2012 #9
Lydia Leftcoast Jan 2012 #10

Response to nadine_mn (Original post)

Mon Jan 23, 2012, 01:48 PM

1. Awesome! They should call it "Freezing Man".

 

Ya, you betcha!

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Response to nadine_mn (Original post)

Mon Jan 23, 2012, 02:21 PM

2. OMG, what a hoot!

If I weren't too damn lazy to drive all the way out to Medicine Lake I'd go have a look at those.

You're right; we are a bit odd in these parts.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #2)

Mon Jan 23, 2012, 06:03 PM

6. You still have 2 weekends ...lol

I think the cold weather does something to Minnesotans - triggers something in brain (if it doesn't get frostbitten) - to make us do more activties in the cold than in the heat.

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Response to nadine_mn (Original post)

Mon Jan 23, 2012, 02:28 PM

3. I'm gonna have to drive out there to see those!

Sounds like a lot of fun.

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Response to geardaddy (Reply #3)

Mon Jan 23, 2012, 06:00 PM

5. You will have a blast!

There is a shanty called a "Sit and Spin" something to do with weaving, all I know is that it spins like crazy with people inside and when they come out, some have to lie down. Heh - no shame laying down on the ice watching the world spin around.

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Response to nadine_mn (Original post)

Mon Jan 23, 2012, 02:39 PM

4. ...I love my state.

That's so awesome. I may have to swing out there.

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Response to Hong Kong Cavalier (Reply #4)

Mon Jan 23, 2012, 06:07 PM

7. You will love it - they only do it every 2 yrs

The shanties change I guess, we didn't go in 2010 - we just heard about it. There is a social shanty (they sell hot dogs, "not" dogs, coffee and tea) so you will have something to warm your belly as you check it out. MN is awesome.

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Response to nadine_mn (Original post)

Mon Jan 23, 2012, 06:18 PM

8. What's so crazy? It was 20-30 degrees ABOVE zero!

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #8)

Mon Jan 23, 2012, 06:40 PM

9. Exactly! I was worried about how frozen that lake really was!

We had close to 60 degree weather last week!

It was downright balmy in the double digits!

You, my dear Lydia, are clearly a true Minnesotan - its never "too" cold!

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Response to nadine_mn (Reply #9)

Mon Jan 23, 2012, 07:37 PM

10. Oh yes it can be too cold

The older I get, the less tolerance I have for cold. I used to feel that I could take walks in weather down to -10. No longer. Now my level of tolerance is more like 10 above.

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