Thursday, September 24, 2009

Day 66 Rest Day - “Little Sweden USA”

We met Ernie at The Butcher, The Baker & The Candlestick Maker.

The traditionally red Dala Horse. These are all over town and have come to be know as a symbol of Lindsborg.

The Handyman Dala Horse is out in front of Scott's Market.

Swedes, Gregory and Mom

The Viking Ship at The Viking Valley Playground

There's No Place Like Home (If you look closely you can see the heart marking Lindsborg near the center of Kansas.)

Swedes and Mennonites migrated to this area.

A Long Journey

Little Emigrant Boy

The "Gyrator" at the Smoky Valley Roller Mill

Smoky Valley Roller Mill Built in 1898

How It Works

"Emergency instructions in case of a tornado. Take pillows, blankets, and bed spreads into bathroom. Cover yourself with the bedding and say a little prayer." (Coronado Motel East, Lindsborg, Kansas)

Date: Sept. 23, 2009

From: Lindsborg, KS “Little Sweden USA”

To: Lindsborg, KS “Little Sweden USA”



Miles Today: 7 miles


Top Speed on this trip: 54.1 mph

Weather: Glorious weather and a tailwind. We probably should have been riding!

License Plates Collected: 5 Montana plates, 8 Wyoming plates (2 motorcycle) and 1 Idaho plate (found in WY), 2 Colorado plates

What a perfect day off. We slept in and had a late brunch in the quaint downtown at “The Butcher, The Baker & The Candlestick Maker” ~ the “BBC” ~ as the locals call it ~ where I sampled Swedish pancakes, Mike had a Reuben and Gregory stayed with his ham and cheese. I didn’t stop there though. When the owner put up “the soup of the day sign” and it read “creamy tomato” I had to partake. It was quite superb. We met several locals including Brenda & Abner and also Ernie who was decked out in his painting bibs. He gave Mike a hearty handshake when he found out Mike had a handyman business the last 12 years. Ernie is “retired” but continues to do exterior paintwork. He was eager to hear our story and share a bit about his town.

We took Gregory to the Viking Valley Playground, a one of a kind community built playground with a “castle” and a “Viking ship”. Apparently they took a poll of the children in town to see what they wanted before building the playground. What a novel idea! We then rode a portion of the 2.5-mile Valkommen Trail, a pedestrian/biking trail that was opened in July of 2006 and is the crown jewel of the City’s most recent public works project. (Valkommen means Welcome in Swedish.)

We arrived at the McPherson County Old Mill Museum that includes 12 buildings with exhibits centered on the lives of the Swedish and Russian pioneers from 1870s to the 1920s. Our favorite part was touring the fully restored “Smoky Valley Roller Mill” and learning how wheat was made into flour.

“The Smoky Valley Roller Mill” was built in 1898. Unlike a gristmill, which uses stones, a roller mill uses a series of corrugated steel rollers to grind grain. This type of mill, known as “the grand daddy of the modern mill” became important in this area with the introduction of hard winter wheat in the 1870’s. Until 1955, the mill operated as a business, sending flour to places around the world.

The mill was originally water powered by turbines turning horizontally in the river. In 1940 the dam washed out. Fortunately, though, by the 1930’s the owners of the mill had already converted it to electric power… Four to six people were needed to operate the mill. It processed 30-35 bushels of wheat per hour, which yielded 1260 to 1470 pounds of flour per hour.” (Taken from the Museum map handout.)

Upon a recommendation from the locals we had an early dinner at Ul Stuga (translated from Swedish it means Ale House) and enjoyed deli sandwiches while talking to the owner Mark Lysell who has been a local icon for 32 years. Meanwhile another couple was eager to join in our conversation sharing that they’d been traveling in a 5th wheel for some time and were waiting for escrow to close on a house here in Lindsborg. Once again the locals (and soon to be locals) have encouraged us to make their town our home.

We later went to hemslojd (pronounced Hem-sloyd) Swedish for handicraft. ( There they sell beautiful Scandinavian gifts including wooden Dala Horses and signs that are often personalized with beautiful folk painting. The manager said that Mike should come back and work for her in the wood shop! Mike has certainly had no shortage of job offers on this trip.

No comments:

Post a Comment