Sure, MY state’s biggest university has a world renowned agriculture program, but I really think it would have been sufficient to simply call it the “Farming Department” — just as my alma mater had simple names like “Political Science Department” and “History Department.” Instead of simplicity, however, the University of Minnesota seems to have gotten its “College of Excessive & Pretentious Vocabulary and Marketing Sciences” to give the farming department a fancier name.
Be that as it may, the goal of today’s ride wasn’t the main agricultural research center on the university’s Minneapolis campus. No, I headed off to an old remnant of the university’s agricultural research, located in Rosemount, which is only 12 miles away from MY town. It’s a weirdly cool place to ride a bike.
The place I’m talking about is called UMORE Park. (University of Minnesota Outreach, Research & Education Park) Eighty years ago, the park was 12,000 acres of farmland. In 1942 the U.S. government took it away from a number of farmers and built a sprawling munitions plant for the “war effort.” When World War II ended, and the government no longer needed to produce tons of gun powder, the land was turned over to the U. of MN for agricultural research.
To be honest, I can’t figure out WHAT they do at UMORE these days — if anything. I looks abandoned and very eerie. I guess that’s exactly why I like riding around there.
Of course, I had to ride my bike a little bit to get to UMORE park. I took a few pictures along the way. Please allow me to start with those.
You may have noticed the condition of the road in the above picture. Those cracks are the reason I didn’t see any other cyclists. And the new adjacent highway a quarter-mile south is the reason why I didn’t see any other cars either.
Eventually, I had to get back on the very busy (civilized?) Highway 42 in order to get to where I wanted to go. It had a big shoulder though and it wasn’t too loud on this Sunday morning.
Did you know that the Honey Crisp apple never existed before the University of Minnesota engineered it. Now the Honey Crisp is the 3rd most popular apple in the United States. It doesn’t cook very well, but thanks to its sweetness and crunchiness, it is the #1 apple for eating right out of the bag.
I was a little worn out from all that picture-taking, but I still had to get home. I pedaled like a wild man, but along the way I could not resist one more picture.