Conveniently located on Hwy 210 in Carlton, MN, just 3 miles off I-35,
right on the Willard Munger Trail near Jay Cooke State Park.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Get Outside and Enjoy the Day

As we left the store last night we noticed how many people have been taking advantage of the bike trail system. No question it has been a wet month of June, but even with the scattered showers, much of the time we have plenty of hours available for biking. It may be that people are just tired of being cooped up.

Biking is a great way to loosen up after sitting in an office all week. It's also a great source of inspiration, surrounding oneself with the great outdoors.

Biking has also been a source of inspiration for songs and poetry. Here's one you're no doubt familiar with. We share it here to put you in the mood...

Bicycle Built For Two
by Harry Dacre, 1892

There is a flower
Within my heart,
Daisy, Daisy!
Planted one day
By a glancing dart,
Planted by Daisy Bell!
Whether she loves me
Or loves me not,
Sometimes it's hard to tell;
Yet I am longing to share the lot -
Of beautiful Daisy Bell!

Daisy, Daisy,
Give me your answer do!
I'm half crazy,
All for the love of you!
It won't be a stylish marriage,
I can't afford a carriage
But you'll look sweet upon the seat
Of a bicycle made for two.

We will go 'tandem'
As man and wife,
Daisy, Daisy!
'Peddling' away
Down the road of life,
I and my Daisy Bell!
When the road's dark
We can both despise
P'licemen and 'lamps' as well;
There are 'bright lights’
In the dazzling eyes
Of beautiful Daisy Bell!

Daisy, Daisy,
Give me your answer do!
I'm half crazy,
All for the love of you!
It won't be a stylish marriage,
I can't afford a carriage
But you'll look sweet upon the seat
Of a bicycle made for two.

I will stand by you
In 'weal' or woe,
Daisy, Daisy!
You'll be the bell(e)
Which I'll ring you know!
Sweet little Daisy Bell!
You'll take the 'lead'
In each 'trip' we take,
Then if I don't do well,
I will permit you to
Use the brake,
My beautiful Daisy Bell!

Get out and enjoy the day. And yes, we have bicycles built for two!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Carlton Is Happening

Check out the motorcycles. This is the view from in front of Hobo Junction and Carlton Bike Rental. We like the activity. This is not your typical sleepy little town.

A few weeks ago, Joelene Steffens, visionary proprietor of Carlton Bike Rental, said, "We're definitely trying to make Carlton happen. This weekend we happen to have a gun show in town and it’s just phenomenal the traffic that's going through that parking lot. It’s been non-stop all day long. We had a chicken swap in our town a couple weeks ago. We're just looking for those opportunities to generate community and we want people to bring their families here. So we've got Jay Cooke State Park right down the road. It’s a beautiful bike ride from here to Jay Cooke and you can, while you're there, check out a GPS unit and go on a scavenger hunt. Kids think it’s fantastic. It covers all different age groups and while you're there you will see many adults doing the same thing. The great thing about it is it's free."

Stay tuned because just as summer follows spring, the best is yet to come. Minnesota starts here!

Photo courtesy Doris Sampson

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Making History

In 1870 the Northern Pacific Railroad decided to finish a stretch of track that would link Duluth to St. Paul. Temporary shacks were erected for the workmen at the place that was soon know as "Northern Pacific Junction". In 1881 this settlement was incorporated as "Carlton". It takes its name from State Senator Ruben Carlton.

This stretch of railroad played an important role in populating Northern Minnesota, which had only recently begun to attract settlers. Free land, if you can make a go of it, was offered to nearly any and all. The harsh winters made the Northland more attractive to Scandinavians and Eastern Europeans than to their Mediterranean peers. Those who came stayed, and those who are here, love the richness of the seasons and the natural beauty that surrounds them.

During the Great Depression Carlton's proximity to "the tracks" gave rise to several hobo enclaves, displaced Americans who rode the rails seeking a new life or a better future. Out of work, but not out of dreams, they pressed on, shared stories and hard times, and found ways to bring one another smiles, and hope. That's why we call this little patch of paradise Hobo Junction.
Today, Carlton is coming alive again as a gathering place. With Jay Cooke State Park up around the bend and 63 miles of biking trails, there are good reasons one might consider making Carlton a stop along the way in your next summer vacation plans. While your here, schedule in a little bike riding. At Carlton Bike Rental we can show you the way. You may even get a hankering to try one of our bicycles built-for-two.

Once you've dropped by you will understand why we believe, Minnesota Starts Here.

Photo courtesy Randy Samarzia, taken by his wife Barb.