World´s End, Minnesota
The journey begins in Alfonso's hometown of World's End, Minnesota. This tiny hamlet, with a population of just 873 people, is surrounded by a primeval woods known as, "The Forest of the Obitteroos." The forest straddles the border of the United States and Canada, It is an incredible place, filled with varied plant and animal life, including the last remaining group of Minnesota lynx. However, the real attraction in the forest are the Great Obitteroos. Much like their distant botanical cousins, the Giant Sequoias of California, Great Obitteroos can reach over 300 feet in height and live for centuries. They are so large and sturdy that, during the summer, Alfonso and his grandfather (Pappy) often use ropes and grappling hooks to climb them and have picnic lunches on their lower limbs.
It should be noted that no one ever dares climb the Great Obitteroos in the dead of winter, when the trees are covered in massive icicles that sometimes grow to be fifty feet long. When these icicles fall, they hit the ground with a force that could easily crush a good-sized car. Most experts, like those who work for the Royal Canadian Forest Rangers, advise people not to approach the base of these trees from November through March.Return to map