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Finding Minnesota: Capturing The State’s Oddities & Attractions

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(credit: CBS) Mike Binkley
Mike Binkley has been covering Minnesota news for more than 25 year...
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FRAZEE, Minn. (WCCO) – When planning a summer road trip around Minnesota this year, consider checking out the world’s largest lutefisk, ball of twine or floating loon.

They’re among the many unique roadside attractions waiting for those willing to stray off the main highway.

Seth Hardmeyer, 31, grew up traveling Minnesota’s back roads in his parents’ station wagon. Now, he’s made it a year-round hobby.

“It’s a passion and I love coming across something like this and getting a great photo of it and have a great story to tell,” he said, standing by the world’s largest turkey statue in Frazee.

He’s been collecting photos and stories for many years now, documenting everything from the Jolly Green Giant in Blue Earth, Minn. to a sheriff’s squad car in Warren, Minn. that was supposedly hit by a UFO.

“And you can kind of see some windshield damage and the antennas are bent,” he said, pointing to the photos of the car on his laptop.

Now, Hardmeyer is sharing his passion with others through his website, Highway Highlights.

“It started out, I just shared a few pictures on Facebook, and everybody just started, ‘Oh this is a great album! Let’s see more of his stuff,'” Hardmeyer said.

He gets more of this stuff through work-related trips and vacations. He’s a food salesman with a large region.

“If I meet somebody down the road, I can always say, ‘oh, it’s a neat little town. I’ve been there before. I liked your statue or your building,” he said.

If it’s quirky and original, and especially if it’s off the beaten path, Hardmeyer will get there eventually.

“Minnesota, for me, it’s my favorite place to be. I’ll be a lifelong resident,” he said.

Hardmeyer posts regularly on his Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook pages. He updates the Highway Highlights website with a new photo and story about once a week.

Send us your Finding Minnesota ideas here.

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