Believe it or not this town of 16,500 was once the wheat-growing capital of America. Located an hour southeast of Minneapolis, the Goodhue County seat, along the Mississippi River, relinquished its prominent port regional status to the Twin Cities with the advent of regional railroads in the late 1800s. It's a gorgeous town with a great post office, several parks, and nice views from the peak of its local Barn Bluff. Back in 2008 I was told by my friend Katie in St. Paul that the town made a nice day trip from the Twin Cities, and I'm glad I went.
First, let's get a geographic fix on the town:
The quickest way to Red Wing is actually through Wisconsin, and I enjoyed a shoreline drive along SR 35 after a stop in the town of Prescott. It had a great main street and even beachgoers at Point Douglas across the Minnesota border. It seemed pleasant. Indeed, along Main Street a woman told me that once you move to Prescott, you never want to leave. A few hundred feet south of the automotive bridge lies a train trestle that made for a couple of great photographs. The towers resemble either Transformers-in-waiting or two bench-pressing muscle men. Below is a Google Street View inset that you can shift around and toy with if you so choose.
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Of course, here's a photo of the PO. It matches the collection boxes!
Prescott, WI post office
So, let's have a closer look at Red Wing.
The post office, a strikingly gorgeous building that dates from 1909, is located across a major road from a park. The two clerks inside were friendly and I got a solid round date for my collection. The building appeared to have been maintained well.
Red Wing, MN post office
Here's another view.
After lunch I headed to Barn Bluff and took the mild hike up what was at times a rather steep cross-slope. A full description and views of the bluff can be found here. Here's a view down the north slope.
Here's a view looking east from the top of the bluff:
While few angles escape views of industry, it was still great to see the curvature of the Earth over Wisconsin to the east. Here is a view of downtown Red Wing. (And I just checked -- the P.O. isn't really visible from this distance or angle.)