Viking parade.

Roadside Vikings

Vikings loved to leave their "mark" before moving on to the next New World tourist attraction. Modern Viking worshippers are no different. While your horned helmet may be rough on the minivan ceiling, you'll have no trouble finding these roadside Valhallas...

Viking Longships have run aground in suspect places -- you can find one next to the Grandfather Tree on California's Redwood Highway. There's a full-sized Leif Erickson Viking ship in Duluth, Minnesota -- single-masted, and not all that impressive (Update: Built in the 1920s, it was locked in a shed in 1999, awaiting a "long overdue" restoration). A larger 76-foot, exact replica of a Viking ship sits at the Heritage-Hjemkomst Interpretive Center in Moorhead, MN. It built by Robert Asp, a junior high school guidance counselor, in the 1970s; he dreamed of sailing it to Norway.

Wayward ship in Redwood country.
Wayward ship in Redwood country.

Asp died before the journey (though he did pilot the dragon-headed vessel when it was launched on Lake Superior). In 1982, family members and a crew of vounteers sailed the 6,000 miles from Duluth to Norway.

Deerfield, New Jersey's manly Carpet Viking.
Deerfield, New Jersey's manly Carpet Viking.

A Viking Festival is held every year in the town of Poulsbo, Washington.

Heroic Viking statues tower of towns with Scandianvian heritage. A fiberglass Viking stands near New Virginia, Iowa.

Vikings, for reasons forgotten in unrecorded history, are used to promote carpet stores. Giant carpet vikings stand in several states, though most have been moved as the carpet stores tanked. One was redeployed as team mascot statue at Nauvoo-Calusa High School, Nauvoo, Illinois. A peg-leg Viking stands near Chincoteague, Virginia.

Monuments to later Viking invasions -- by immigrant Swedes and Norwegians -- are comparatively unremarkable. Norway, Illinois's Norwegian Settlers State Memorial is five imported stone markers out on a lonely farm highway. It honors those that came in 1835, seeking religious freedom. During our visit, we noted that on the back of one stone slab someone had spray-painted "Odin Lives."

Also see: Vikings in America - Runes!

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Viking Memorial

Norwegian Settlers State Memorial

Address:
Hwy 71, Norway, IL
Directions:
Norwegian Settlers State Memorial. Southwest of town on Hwy 71. I-80 exit 93, then drive northeast eight miles on Hwy 71. On the west side.
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Leif Erickson Viking Ship

Leif Erickson Park

Hours:
Currently in storage.
Status:
In Transition

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Viking Ship Replica

Heritage-Hjemkomst Interpretive Center

Address:
202 1st Ave. N., Moorhead, MN
Directions:
Heritage-Hjemkomst Interpretive Center. Just across the river from Fargo. I-94 exit 1 north, left on 1st Ave. N., right after 2nd stoplight. In Viking Ship Park.
Hours:
M-Sa 9 am - 5 pm, Tu 9 am - 8 pm, Su noon - 5 pm. (Call to verify)
Phone:
218-299-5511
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Hilltop Viking Statue

Address:
Main St., Fort Ransom, ND
Directions:
Just east of town, on the north side of Sorby Hill Rd.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
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Carpet Viking Statue

Orr's Flooring

Address:
1526 Route 77, Deerfield, NJ
Directions:
Orr's Flooring. US Hwy 40 to Pole Tavern Rd south to Hwy 77. On the west side, just south of the intersection of Hwy 77 and Old Deerfield Pike.
Phone:
856-455-1126
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Mystery Tower of Newport

Touro Park

Address:
Touro Park St. W., Newport, RI
Directions:
Downtown, in Touro Park. On the south side of Mill St., one block west of Bellevue Ave.
Hours:
Lit at night.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
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October 18, 2018

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