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Murals, mosaics, music…mutt

Kayaker enjoys Granite Falls stop

Submitted photo Minnesota River kayaker Madison Eklund of Grand Forks, North Dakota, recently met a dog with a fascination for baseball caps while camped along the river. The dog removed the baseball cap bill with his teeth but allowed her to grab it from his mouth.

GRANITE FALLS — A 26-year-old female kayaker from Grand Forks, North Dakota, paddling more than 1,600 miles this summer from Minneapolis to Hudson Bay, recently reported an enjoyable stops at and near Granite Falls — and finding a canine friend.

“Granite Falls is such an artsy community,” Madison Eklund posted on Facebook. “They have murals, mosaics, live music and other types of art.”

Eklund photographed a number of murals along the Granite Falls river walk, plus painted benches and crosswalks.

She stayed at the Yes! House, a building being restored into a venue that will become a community working space with music and arts venues and fitness center on the first floor. The second floor features apartments, planned to be used by artists-in-residence. The basement will include recording and wellness studios, multimedia center and youth creative zone.

On the river near Granite Falls, she posted about fishing with friends, and their dog — and its fascination with baseball caps.

“The dog sat next to me and just stared above my head,” she said. “I love dogs and leaned forward to tease him and his eyes moved up further. I realized he was looking at my head,” Eklund added. “As I leaned forward even more, he very slowly opened his giant mouth and gently took the hat off my head.”

The dog stayed nearby and listened to its owner’s commands. Eklund soon got her hat back.

In addition, she got a private tour of the Andrew J. Volstead House. A member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Minnesota, he drafted the National Prohibition Act that laid out the details of the National Prohibition Act of 1919, aka the Volstead Act. It enabled enforcement of prohibition.

According to an historical marker at the residence, Volstead preferred to be remembered for his work on behalf of farmers cooperatives that permitted them to join together to bargain for better prices.

Elkund posted that a hydroelectric dam on the Minnesota River at Granite Falls provided an area full of fish just below it.

The dam was built in the late 1800s to supply mechanical power to a mill. It was abandoned in 1896. The city of Granite Falls bought the dam in 1911 and installed hydroelectric generators.

Capital funding from the 2020 Legislature provided the city of Granite Falls with a $2.75 million grant to replace replace a turbine and repair the hydroelectric plant.

The funding improved hydroelectric generation capacity, provided municipal utility revenue and used a carbon-free renewable energy resource.

Eklund reported fishing for catfish on the Minnesota river near a bank undercut where schools of fish sought shelter. She angled with several friends who caught several catfish estimated at 30 pounds or more. Most of the fish were caught in the middle of the night.

Paddling west of Redwood Falls a few days ago, she reported a new discovery.

“There’s been a ton of cool, granite outcrops along the river. They usually have invasive, red cedar growing on top, so the combination of coniferous trees, granite and water reminds me a lot of home,” Eklund posted.

(Fritz Busch can be emailed at fbusch@nujournal.com.)

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