Sunday, June 26, 2011

Red Wing, MN -- Home of Red Wing Shoes

Red Wing, MN, located on the banks of the Mississippi River, was a very pleasant surprise. This is a beautiful small town with quite a bit to offer. We were interested to see the town from this beautiful vantage point where you can see the river in the background.

Red Wing was developed to take advantage of the great river traffic and the developing rail transportation that is indicated by the Red Wing depot above. Today, there are large grain elevators that can take rail cars full of grain and transfer them to large barges for the trip down the river.

The river was surprising large and powerful here, but there were many boats of all sizes moving about. Orinda is standing on the town dock where travelers can dock for a few hours to visit downtown and get supplies. Across the river is one of the many marinas in the area. It looked like houseboats were very popular here and we wondered how different living on board a boat would be compared to living in our motorhome -- other than being able to sink, of course.

One of the main draws to us was the RedWing Shoe company. Usually, there are factory tours available, but on the weekend, these are suspended. However, we were still able to visit the official store and headquarters in downtown Red Wing.

Orinda is showing an exhibit of their famous work boots -- that run all the way up to size 20! We thought that was a BIG shoe -- but, as they say, "Wait, there is more!"

How about the world's biggest boot? As the sign says, 2,300 pounds of amazing footwear.

And here it is -- in the real leather! This boot is made exactly like the regular boot, only much larger. The boot leads the way into a museum tracing the Red Wing Shoe company's history, which was very interesting.

We enjoyed learning how shoes were made and why the Red Wing brand is different and special. We were particularly interested to learn that Red Wings are still made right here in the USA!

If only this sewing machine could talk and describe almost 100 years of use. While it is no longer used, it is still in working condition and gave us a great insight to how shoes are made back in the day -- and today!


squawmama said...

Wow that was very interesting about the Red Wing Boots. I think that HUGE boot was amazing!!! We have not been there but I would love to visit it now and see that boot... :-)))
Have fun & Travel safe

ps..come on by and become a follower of my new RV Park Review Blog. It is still under construction but I intend to add as many of the parks that we have visited in our 7 years of full timing. Good thing I kept notes...LOL LOL thanks ;-D

Chuck and Anneke's RV travels said...

Great tour. Thanks.