Quirky Stop - The Hairy Mosquito (Milaca, MN)

The Hairy Mosquito is a quirky stop along 169 just north of Milaca. I have ridden by the place for years, every time thinking that I should stop and check it out. But that is usually on my way to or from somewhere else and well, we all know how that works. On a bright, sunny, and warm day I took off with no destination and FINALLY checked it out. Talk about a place that has a little bit of everything! It is a trading company, an antique shop, a leather shop with SEVEN sewing machines dedicated just for leathers, an artist paradise, a silversmith shop, and an ice cream parlor - all in one! Not to mention the super cool pieces of art around the place, the nostalgic old school candy shop (rock suckers or wax bottle candy anyone?). From the highway, it looks like a collector shop, but I soon discovered that it was MUCH more than that. There is the main trading post building with some of the trades mentioned above in that building, but walk outside and there is art, antiques, and quirky things for as far as I could see. There are various outbuildings, art shops, antiques along a driveway that encircles the main building and outbuildings - each of which is dedicated to a certain art (glassblowing, carving, silversmith). I made a couple of laps around it all and still didn't soak in half of the things on display. As I was gearing up to leave, a guy walked up and started talking about the place in more detail - he said the owner has over 100 acres, and the locals refer to it as, "An adult playground". There are dedicated weekend events throughout the summer with local music, featured artists, a car show, and other themed events. They offer camping on the property (tents) if people wish to do so. It is a place that I could return to 10 times and probably not see half of the quirky things around the property. 

The property is much larger than what can be seen from the highway - each building around this gravel loop has something different and unique to offer

I like the Hillbilly Band Shell
                   And this lovely lady sits aside the highway waiting to meet other bikers!

It's hard to miss the place with this random display of quirky things along the road!

Inside the antique store are hundreds of old finds from matchbooks to sewing machines to signs to the usual antique store finds!