I stumbled upon a 'dinosaur' a few days ago. A rocket slide! It looks just as fun as I remember it when I climbed around on one like it at Bennett Park in Hibbing MN. I know that KRFO listeners/followers are also nostalgic for the relic, based on the numerous comments on a recent Facebook posting.

This rocket slide is in Hudson, Iowa, about a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Owatonna. I saw it while we stopped to take a break on Relay Iowa, a team run across the state. Any thoughts of climbing on it were quickly dispatched by my sore legs and old body as I remembered how you need to contort your body to navigate the twisting staircase up to the nose of the rocket. I also recall the one I enjoyed in Hibbing had an additional long walkway that angled up to the upper level of the rocket. I'm told the Owatonna one had that as well. I seem to remember we would climb on the outside of the caged walkway.

The slide looked to be in great condition, but I was still surprised that a city clerk wasn't stationed nearby to force parents to sign a waiver to allow their children to play on it. There might have been a sharp edge or maybe a bit of rust somewhere on it, and possibly a couple of bars that you could possibly pinch your fingers in.

I saw that a couple of kids were at the top of the rocket. A few feet away was a more modern, plastic, brightly colored jungle gym that I'm sure all the kids also enjoy.

Based on comments on the KRFO Facebook post, Dee Johnson, Scott Hager, Annette Hanson, Mel Jorgenson, Deb Tibbetts, Scott Ferch, Christine Arnold and Lisa Schlund all reminisce about the rocket slide at the fairgrounds park in Owatonna.

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