In my 10-year-old mind, Main Street hill in Mankato was massive. Even today, the hill, which spans roughly four city blocks, is not one you’d want to descend in a car with questionable brakes. It’s just too steep.

Nearly 50 years ago a panoramic view of downtown Mankato was spread out like Thanksgiving dinner from the top of that hill. From there you were essentially sitting atop the bluff, able to see where the Minnesota River cut a wide swath through the soft clay, creating what we now know as the Minnesota River Valley.

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