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Priests gone wild!
Old 07-08-2006, 10:41 AM   #1
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Priests gone wild!

One of our favorite pasttimes is visiting the eccentric and unusual. Both people and places. Like, House on the Rock in Wisconsin, the Glore Psychiatric Museum in Missouri, and the Corn Palace in South Dakota.

On our recent trip to Wisconsin we hit another jackpot: The Rudolf Grotto and Wonder Cave.

Like many other grottoes and religious art projects, the Rudolph Grotto was a fulfillment of a promise that Father Philip Wagner made to the Virgin Mary in thanks for healing from a debilitating exhaustion he suffered while studying for the priesthood in Europe. Father Wagner received his cure while at the shrine at Lourdes, so it follows that in thanks he would build a place of pilgrimage himself. After several inexperienced attempts at construction, Father Wagner completed the first construction at Rudolph, the wayside Lourdes Grotto shrine, in 1928.

All the rock constructions at the Rudolph Grotto are built with a distinctive reddish rock known as gossan, which is rich in iron and infused minerals, and is abundant in the area. Broken and melted glass is used as decorative accents at the grotto, but not pottery or other cast-off materials. Instead, the rough red rocks cover everything in the grotto, their textures and sizes (from pebble sized to an enormous 78-ton boulder) provide the interest and drama of the grotto structures.

The gardens consist of numerous small shrines and structures set among meandering paths and crooked bridges leading through pines and small grassy lawns. There are shady, intimate areas as well as more formal memorials and open picnic grounds. However, the most unusual part of the park is the enormous man-made mountain of the Wonder Cave.


Some pics:





I especially like the string of buoys making a rosary around Mary.
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Re: Priests gone wild!
Old 07-08-2006, 12:21 PM   #2
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Re: Priests gone wild!

Where is the wonder cave? I don't see it.

This reminds me of a tourist trap set up south of my parents vacation home in Humboldt, I think it's called "Trees of Mystery". Has a giant Paul Bunyan outside the gift shop with a speaker strategically located in the crotch so Paul could "talk" to you. Gondola takes you up the hill side to see trees shaped like the Virgin Mary, etc. It was cheesy, but it was also kinda fun, Americana.
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Re: Priests gone wild!
Old 07-08-2006, 02:40 PM   #3
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Re: Priests gone wild!

Another unusual place to visit - for the morbidly curious only:

The Mutter Museum in Philadelphia, PA: http://www.fieldtrip.com/pa/55633737.htm

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Re: Priests gone wild!
Old 07-08-2006, 03:08 PM   #4
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Re: Priests gone wild!

the priest did what with a string of rosey boys?

nice gardens. love the rock lampshade. and great sundial. are conch shells indigenous to wisconsin?

love the idea of theme travel. as to visiting oddities, well, i could pretty much stay home for that. a while back i had a terrazzo floor fetish. i had to stop in every old hotel and photograph their lobby floor. my friends thought i was nuts.
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Re: Priests gone wild!
Old 07-08-2006, 03:25 PM   #5
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Re: Priests gone wild!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
One of our favorite pasttimes is visiting the eccentric and unusual.
Show us pictures of the Paul Bunyan museum (isn't it on the way to Bemidji?). Or the Muskee museum in upper Wi. Now that's class !
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Re: Priests gone wild!
Old 07-08-2006, 03:48 PM   #6
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Re: Priests gone wild!

Quote:
Or the Muskee museum in upper Wi. Now that's class !
http://www.freshwater-fishing.org/ The acutal fish was in a Hayward bar that burned down.....
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Re: Priests gone wild!
Old 07-08-2006, 05:09 PM   #7
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Re: Priests gone wild!

Quote:
This reminds me of a tourist trap set up south of my parents vacation home in Humboldt, I think it's called "Trees of Mystery".* Has a giant Paul Bunyan outside the gift shop with a speaker strategically located in the crotch so Paul could "talk" to you.*
Funny you should mention that.* They are currently advertising for a new person to be the voice of Paul Bunyon.* I'd like that job for a day "Hey, lady, nice tits!"
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Re: Priests gone wild!
Old 07-08-2006, 08:36 PM   #8
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Re: Priests gone wild!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl


Funny you should mention that. They are currently advertising for a new person to be the voice of Paul Bunyon. I'd like that job for a day "Hey, lady, nice tits!"
Really? I just figured employees would take turns or something.
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