Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Annette Rentola
Moose Lake Star Gazette 

Rat rods return from 2,600 mile tour


Roger Rentola, Mahtowa, and Ray Gibson Jr, Carlton, with Tom Bislow from TJs General Store in Mahtowa look at the hood of the car where people from around the country signed with a metallic marker. Bislow had a rat rod built by Rentola and sponsored his rat for this trip to promote the Rat Rod Rendevous held in Mahtowa each year on the Sunday before Labor Day, Historic Highway 61 specifically in Carlton County, and TJs General Store, home of Rusty Ale-Rat Rod Beer.

All the rat rods that left TJs General Store in Mahtowa on September 20 to start the 2013 Rat Rod Tour from Mahtowa to Alexandria, Louisiana, returned Thursday, October 3.

They traveled more than 2,600 miles with only a few mechanical distractions that did not hinder their progress. All of the northern Minnesota and Canadian rats arrived in Alexandria, Louisiana, along with hundreds of others from around the country, on Wednesday, September 25.

The group of rat rodders had a great time, stating that this was a trip of a lifetime for them.

Highlights included a ferry ride north of Hannibal, Missouri, across the Mississippi River where the Minnesotans and Canadians dubbed themselves "The Super 8," the Cajun Nationals Car Show in Alexandria, meeting the star of the History Channel's Cajun Pawn Stars, and a stop at Graceland and Sun Studios in Memphis, Tennessee.

They met many kind and generous people along the way, stating the southern hospitality they received went way beyond any of their expectations.

Last year's 2012 tour was to Las Vegas for the Ratpalooza on Lake Las Vegas. The 2014 Rat Rod Tour will be held in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Bryan Dagel, Sturgeon Lake, has been the general builder of each Rat Rod Magazine tour rat for the past three years. With the help of others, he puts in countless hours to create a rat rod to tour areas of the country each fall.


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