Road Trips

I envied my younger brother’s paper route.  We grew up in a little neighborhood that had just enough residents to warrant a small paper route.  To this day I don’t know how Mike got the job over me, but he did.  He got the cool over-the-shoulder carrier’s bag with Duluth News Tribune stenciled in reflective ink on the side.  He got the metal-covered collection book full of pages of tickets.  (Those were the days when the carrier was still responsible for collections, and it seemed to me that whenever there were chores to be done Mike had to “go collect”.)  But best of all, he got spending money.

After taking over The Old Times I quickly learned that antiques shops want to be grouped in the paper geographically.  The reason is that folks who go on Antiques Road Trips want to be able to visit multiple shops on a single trip.  I quickly decided that a good way to meet our customers would be for me to visit one of these geographic regions each month and hand deliver the paper.  I think it also had something to do with sibling rivalry – finally I had a paper route!  And not just a boring old “every morning deliver 25 papers” paper route.  I had a different route each month!  Does it get any better?

So welcome to the “Antiques Road Trips Paper Route” blog.  Each month after I’ve done my paper route I’ll post about it here.  I’ll tell you about the route I took, the shops I visited, the people I talked with and any other interesting things that happened on the route.  I’ll try to include pictures even though many shop owners and dealers tend to be camera shy.  If I find a good place for lunch I’ll let you know, and when I find an interesting antique, vintage or collectible piece I’ll talk about that too.

And above all, I welcome your comments and feedback.  Happy Antiques Road Tripping!
Paul Post, Former Publisher
The Old Times


2013.11.01 - The Northern Mississippi River Valley Loop

The Mississippi River Vallley North shopsFor the November paper route I decided to visit the shops in the Mississippi River Valley.  This is a long route - stretching from Hudson, WI in the north, to Coon Valley, WI (southeast of La Crosse) in the south.  I usually do it in two days, staying overnight somewhere along the route, but this month I didn’t have two days and so I decided to do just the northern section.  This would make a nice loop and I elected to start at Hastings, MN and travel clockwise around the loop, but you could just as easily start in Red Wing, MN or River Falls, WI.  It’s a fun drive and going either clockwise or counterclockwise it’s an enjoyable trip with lots of beautiful scenery – especially if you get off the main roads.  For this a GPS is helpful, but I’ll warn you that for some reason Wisconsin addresses are sometimes too difficult for Google to figure out, so if it looks like you’re on the wrong road or going the wrong direction – then you probably are.  (A backup paper map is a good idea!)

2013.10.01 - The I-94 / Hwy 10 Loop

The October paper route took me to the shops along I-94 and Highway 10 northwest of the Twin Cities Metro area.  This is a wonderful road trip that can be done with many variations.  This paper route was a lot longer than I normally do, but it can easily be split into several shorter day trips if you don't want to spend an entire day.  One can start at either end or in the middle.  It can be a loop or you can zig-zag between Highway 10 and I-94.  Depending on how you set up the route there is usually no more than 15-20 minutes driving time between shops, and in the case of Anoka, Monticello, and Rogers several of the shops are within walking distance of each other. 

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