Postcard from Minnesota

7-8 July 2010
(Moorhead, MN)

We headed north on I-29 to Fargo, ND (remember the movie? it wasn’t even in Fargo!), then turned across the river to Moorhead, MN. It was a grey ride with only a little light rain. We were pretty happy about that as there had been some nasty T-storms across the region the night before. They missed Sioux Falls but clobbered the area we were driving thru. Neither of us had been very happy seeing the Tornado Watch pop up on the bottom of the TV screen with a list of affected counties. Apparently no tornados formed that night and we were out of the region before new T-storm activity could start that afternoon.

I’d made a reservation for the night at the KOA in Moorhead. It was a challenge getting there as there was major construction going on and we missed the correct turn the first time. After we got to the site I realized I wasn’t in what I’d requested on line. In fact, when I got the confirmation it was for a lesser price than the site I’d selected. When I asked at the office I was told what they gave us was all that was available. The site was nothing but 2 muddy ruts and would have taken more than the 2 boards we carry to get the coach level; it had 30 Amp power instead of 50 Amp; and there was no sewer connection. When we looked around at the rest of the park we realized it had probably been underwater for awhile. So, since I hadn’t unhitched, it was no big deal to pull out of the site and leave.

We stopped on the road in front while I called a golf/RV resort in Detroit Lakes, MN and found a space for the nite. The resort turned out to be a very upscale park directed at golfers, but they made sites available for transients to keep the occupancy max’ed out. Most of the sites are deeded (privately owned) and all were perfectly landscaped. We were in the newest section which was furthest from the clubhouse… it was perfect for us non-golfers. It was a showplace. Gorgeous.

8-11 July 2010
(Detroit Lakes, MN)

Diesel was a challenge at Detroit Lakes. I must have driven 15 miles, most of it in circles, before I spotted diesel at a Sinclair station. With that done the nite before, we were away early and headed for the general area of Duluth, MN to the town of Cloquet, MN.

Enjoying the view (but not the heat!)
Overlook at the Welcome Center

It was a pleasant drive to Cloquet thru rolling, wooded country side. We even found a great lunch stop beside a lake. The park was another older KOA which mostly serves weekender clientele. Our timing was unfortunate as our stay overlapped the weekend and we had to move for the last nite. But there was a WalMart and other shopping nearby and we found a place with very good pizza for our nite out.

Duluth street fair
Some folks were actually (aarrgh!) working

We drove into Duluth and found there was a street fair going on in the older downtown area. We wandered thru and the dogs drew a lot of attention. Most people find old retirees like us pretty much invisible, but dog lovers will ever ignore our dogs. We end up meeting a lot of new people who would normally pass us by with no more than a nod.

…and this is the old guy himself
Lief Ericson Park

Amazing gardens at the park

Getting out of Duluth turned out to be a challenge. I-35 was all torn up and we had the devil’s own time finding the detour. I stared holes in the map trying to get oriented (it was a highway map and lacked detail), but eventually I spotted enough landmarks that we managed to connect to MN-61 which follows the West shore of L. Superior.

11-12 July 2010
(Grand Marais, MN)

The Admiral spotted a pie shop on the way to Grand Marais, MN, but traffic was heavy and by the time I spotted parking adequate for us I was past the entrance with no way to turn around. So the Captain was in deep doo-doo. The road is a little tight with a few miles of construction and some potholes to avoid, so I was pretty busy staying out of trouble. All-in-all the road was fine all the way to Grand Marais, especially when I spotted another pie shop on the outskirts of Grand Marais. Hallelujah! I am saved!

Grand Marais City Park
Lots of space to walk

Grand Marais, MN is a gem. We stayed at the city park and enjoyed the stop immensely. It’s right on the shore of L Superior and is a beautiful setting. The next time we come this way we’ll know to get reservations well ahead and enjoy the area for awhile. The town goes out of the way to attract tourists- both US & Canadian- and there was a lot to see with just a little strolling. I understand they put on a great fireworks display for the 4th.

Grand Marais Harbor entrance

We did a little prep’ing before heading to the border in the morning. We off loaded everything that was fresh food per the instructions on Canada’s web site associated with imports.

We got an early start (for us!), walked the dogs, dumped more garbage, then drove the 30 or so miles to the Canadian border, much of the drive along the lake shore.

About bruce10b

Celia and I are full-time RVers wintering (and now summering!) in southeast AZ. Our 2 Bernese Mountain Dogs, Annie & Kelly, prompted the name of this blog but sadly are gone because of kidney failure. They will live forever in our hearts.
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