While we were in Vining, we saw this sign with all of the roadside sculptures on the Otter Tail Scenic Byway. We were looking at the sign and basically going, "Got it. Got it. Going to get it. Got it. What?" We had never heard of Our Lady Of The Hills. We were very excited, naturally. Then we had to figure out if we should get it now or some other time. The plan had been to go from Vining north to Ottertail. Our Lady was, what we figured, about 12 miles south and was possible to get on a slight side trip off of I-94 someday. We ultimately decided to just go and see it now and wound up back tracking a bit later to get to Ottertail.
Our Lady Of The Hills stands 22 feet tall. The plaque on the base reads:
OUR LADY OF THE HILLS
DEDICATED ON MAY 13, 1993 ON THE 75TH
ANNIVERSARY OF OUR LADY OF FATIMA
DONATED BY WILLIAM AND VIOLA DANELKE
FOR PROMISES KEPT IN THE
HEALING OF CANCER
I don't know exactly what that means. Did somebody promise a giant statue to someone if they healed somebody's cancer? Seems a bit odd.
Our Lady Of The Hills is located (out in the middle of nowhere) about a mile from Inspiration Peak, the highest point of the Leaf Mountains and the Alexandria Moraine. Minnesota native Sinclair Lewis once said of Inspiration Peak, "there's to be seen a glorious 20-mile circle of some 50 lakes scattered among fields and pastures, like sequins fallen on an old paisley shawl."
We pulled up to the trail head for Inspiration Peak, but we were unsure what the hike was like and were not prepared for much of a hike at all, so we passed on it.
Tip: I don't recommend trying to visit Our Lady Of The Hills in the winter. It's located on a gravel road in the middle of the country, the entire area is hilly, the roads are curvy, the winter weather there can get real nasty, and I don't know if Lady Of The Hills Road gets plowed much. Unless, of course, you are travelling by snowmobile, then I think I do recommend it.
Lady Of The Hills Road taken from below the statue, facing east.