Minnesota Man's Backyard Project Soars to Olympic Heights [Video]

Dana Schmieg at luge run in Cologne, MN backyard
Looking for a cool backyard project this weekend, or for several weekends? If you've got some snow (and who in the Midwest and Northeast doesn't?) and the space, you could do worse than follow the example of a dad in south-central Minnesota. Dana Schmieg got in the Olympic spirit by building a luge run for his children. As these kind of projects often do, the sledding hill constructed by Schmieg in the small town of Cologne started out to be something else -- a barrier to protect a garden. But as Schmieg says in the above video, "it just snowballed from there, literally."

Maybe just the thing to keep the kids from getting bored on those snow days?

But if your thoughts already have turned to spring, or you just want a more permanent playspace, you might follow the lead of another Minnesota dad, who constructed a home-made batting cage that the youths in his Minnetonka neighborhood have been using on their way to winning athletic scholarships. And his son, even ended up setting a state record for hits in a high school career.

As Rick DesLauriers told a local TV station last year, "I've had a lot of crazy ideas; this one worked out well."

And as if those 10,000 lakes weren't enough, Minnesota now seems to be making a strong play to be home to the coolest, most ambitious fathers.

More about unusual DIY projects:
WATCH: How Indiana Man's Roller Coaster Project Grew
Building 'God's Treehouse'
Digging a Memorial to Mining

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