Saturday, January 14, 2012

June 20 - Sept 26, 2010 Summer Up North In Minnesota

Sunday, June 20, 2010, No TV, No US Open, Last Day in Prairie du Chein, WS Up at 6:30. Finished reading latest Owen Perry, "but let that bide." Very tired and draggy. Grateful we don't have to move as we watch all the campers in the "transit" section pack up and leave around us. Bob skips breakfast. I have oatmeal around 9:30. Stretch, shower, lounge.

One of the cute transits next to us

We leave for lunch around 1:30. All sites are empty around us. Three cute little dogs are playing Frisbee down the way-one dominates. We go to Family Restaurant east of 18 in Prairie du Chein. It's not any better than the one closest to us but it's hopping for Father's Day. So-so catfish for me, grilled ham for Bob. We both enjoyed Beef Cabbage Soup. Go boxes. Stop at Holiday Gas. Diesel pump won't work. I go inside for the Sunday Dubuque paper. Gas goes out but can't get the pump to work. We move to diesel pump on the other end. Finally she gives Bob a 10 cents per gallon discount for his troubles.

We're home by 3:00. A big diesel pusher I saw go by with a matching toad out the restaurant window is in the site right next to us curbside. The entire rest of the park is empty! We were hoping to pull out that way. No change now. It's 3:07 p.m. We put the A/C on as it's 77 degrees with 52% humidity. High 80, low 65.

Movin' On to Faribault, MN 2010 we head to Minnesota for the entire summer. This will be our longest stay in one place since we started full-time RVing seven years ago as we end up staying in Pine River until September 26th. It was nice to settle in some place that feels so much like home. This is our third summer over the last six years to call River View RV Park in Pine River, MN, home.We were welcomed back by old friends and made some grand new friends as well. It's 88 degrees with high humidity as we set up camp. Our friends say it's the first time it's been warm this year. They had eight inches of snow the first week of May! The summer turns out to be cooler and rainier than we have experienced in the past up here. But of course there are many perfect days with Minnesota clouds throughout the summer.I'll try to post a pictorial summary of all of our fishing, eating, cycling and general partying. One of the highlights of being up here is to visit our good friend Blair at Hay Lake and see the whole gang up there all summer. So here goes...

Monday, June 21, 2010, Movin' On to Faribault, MN Up at 6:00. Not much to pack up. I read, stretch, have coffee, Crispy Thingies for breakfast. Pack up with no problem and hit the road by 10:45. We thought about waiting around for a half hour to time the drive through Rochester but decided to just go ahead. Good decision. It starts sprinkling as we pull out of the campground onto Hwy K. But it never gets too bad all day.

We follow 35 north on the Great River Road past the 82 bridge to Lansing and we're in new territory. Hwy 35 is good all the way. We make a left turn on 14/61 in LaCrosse. It's an easy turn but we didn't know about the right turn across the River to Minn. Bob figured it out on the fly and we connected with I-90 west towards Rochester. Five miles before that we stop at a rest area for PBJs, trail mix, and cookies; already had an apple in the truck on the way.

Rochester is easy, just a traffic light. Take 14 west to I-35. If we turned south it's a long way to Austin, TX, on I-35! But we go north for only 16 miles, past Owatonna where we went to Cabela's two years ago and looked at Heartland RVs at a dealership there. Now we have our new Titanium. Time flies. On to Faribault, exit 56 south on Western to Camp Faribo RV Resort and Campground, 21851 Bagley Ave., Faribault, MN 55021 (517) 332-8453. We paid $$29.84 with our Good Sam discount for one night. The camp host leads us to a "pull thru" by the playground. In fact, our backyard is the playground!

We set up in a sprinkling rain. The slides all work-Yeah! We had a much better move this time. Head into town. Can only find pizza places. The gas station only has #2 diesel. We finally find Ultra Low Sulpher and fill up. I get a Minnesota Star Tribune and look in the Yellow Pages but find no restaurants. We give up and go to Perkin's near I-35 exit 56. Apricot Glazed Salmon for me. Afterwards I find a voice message from Jeff at River View RV Park in Pine River, our next destination. He has site #8 for us tomorrow. How nice of him to call.

Home to finish unpacking and set up. I download pictures from the reunion and name them until 7:00. It's fun to see them all. The scenery is breathtaking in Lansing. Bob airs up the tires. We watch Lie to Me and The Good Guys. Yes, we have phone and TV channels! But still no Internet connection. You can't have everything. It's 9:20 p.m. and 71 degrees with 61% humidity. High 86, low 69.

Summer Solstice; the sun will be up for 15 hrs 36 min. That's almost 7 hours more than the Winter Solstice.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010, Movin' On Back to Pine River, MN Up at 6:30. It's hard mentally to move again today but I tell myself it's the last time for three months. Stretch, breakfast, pack up without incident. Leave by 9:30; early for us. We're 30 miles south of Minneapolis and want to get through there before the lunchtime traffic around 494 loop. All of the road construction is done now so it is way easier. North on 94 (2 left lanes go to I-94, but it's best to be in the far left lane due to merging traffic on the right.) I-94 is still bouncy. We intend to cross the Mississippi River to 10 at Monticello like last time but a construction sign says 10 is under construction all the way to St. Cloud-choose an alternate route. So we stay on I-94 'til Hwy 15 at St. Cloud (we stop at the rest area before St. Cloud and enjoy a break.) We take 15 around the west side of St. Cloud and see restaurants but they're not too accessible with the RV.

So we continue north on 10 to Rice and eat at Twin Pines where we ate 2years ago. The food is way better. They have the buffet again with 2 soups; beef barley and wild rice chicken. Polish sausage and kraut and ribs on the buffet. Great veges and salad. We get diesel next door. The gal at the checkout says they just had a $0.00 drive off.

We go north on 371 through Brainerd in familiar territory. It's fun to see old haunts. We spy the Paul Bunyan Trail at Nisswa. Arrive in Pine River at 2:30 and back into site #8 (one site between us and Wayne and Diane.) All sites are full but no one is here.

It's 88 degrees with very high humidity as we set up. We turn the A/C on first thing and get the LaFuma's out to sit on our concrete patio as we wait for the RV to cool down. We walk down and knock on Cindy's door. Great to see her. We sit outside at her place and Bob cranks up the patio umbrella for some shade. Lars gets home from work a bit later. Bob gives him a tour of the Titanic.

Soon Gail drives in with Bonnie (our next door neighbor.) Gail comes over to say hi and give us a hug then goes home to put her groceries away. Ron soon comes home (found his lost wallet under the tractor seat at the golf course.) Him and Gail come over ad join us at Lars and Cindy's. Bonnie, then her husband, Wayne, joins us too. They owned an RV Park at Lake of the Ozarks 15 years ago. They have been full-time now for seven years as they sold their RV Park.

We chat in the heat and humidity 'til Ron, Gail, Wayne and Bonnie go to Tuesday Taco night. Bob and I go home to get our bikes out of the living room. We have TV channels! Leftovers for dinner. I put up decor. Jeff knocks around 8:00 when he's done cutting grass just to say hi. Cindy told us his Dad passed away suddenly a few weeks ago. Sounds like his Mom is doing ok. We wave at Jamie as she finishes the grass. It's 10:30 p.m. and 74 degrees with 52% humidity. High 88, low 62. Heavy rain, wind and hail predicted.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010, Laundry, The Bungalow and Cleaning the Rig Slept like a rock. Up at 7:30. Unpack laptop. Very disappointed-no connection. No storms last night like they predicted. Sprinkles this morning. Early morning walk for me. Catch up with Wayne and Diane. They were in Arizona this winter with their daughter.

Breakfast back home, pack up four loads of laundry with bedding. Drive to Emily, MN> Lunch at Bungalow, better than we remembered even. Tasty split pea soup fills us up. I only eat 1/4 of my Rachel on marble rye. Bob takes home 1/2 of his grilled chicken salad.

We get a Minn Star Tribune at the gas station on the corner. Go to laundry mat; the crowd has cleared out since we drove by on the way here. I call Blair while the clothes are drying and apparently chat just a bit too long as all the dryers are finished and Bob's on overload. Blair is thrilled we're here. Doug's family is here for a week beginning Friday.

Home by 2:30 or so. Stow clothes. I go out and clean bugs and road splatter off the RV from our journey here. Bob comes out to clean the inside of the truck. Lars and Cindy come down and we give Cindy a tour of the Titanic as we all rush inside as the raindrops start falling. We chat and Lars asks about our digital picture frame. We explain about SD cards since they may get one for their daughter Amy. They leave us to our work and we finish up as the sun comes out. Read the paper, watch The Suicide Tourist on PBS. It's 9:10 p.m. and 69 degrees with 52% humidity.
Thursday, June 24, 2010, Cycle 19 Miles to Timber Jack Thursday Soup Bar One of the first things we did this week was to cycle 19 miles on the Paul Bunyan Trail. Over the course of this summer we cycle 540 miles (435 of those here around Pine River.) In the fall on our way south we stop in SE Minnesota and cycle some more. But I'm getting ahead of myself. We are thrilled to find that the Paul Bunyan Trail is now completed from Guthrie to Walker (an additional 16.5 miles) so the entire trail is now 116 miles from Crow Wing State Park in Brainerd/Baxter to Cross Lake State Park in Bemidji! We are about smack dab in the center of that 116 miles.

Snapped these pics of a field of white flowers that looked like snow on our first cycle to Nisswa. Good thing I did; they were played out the next time we cycled byWe stop and get family fishing licenses which are $53.00 this year (up $3.00 from two years ago.)

Friday, June 25, 2010, Happy Times at Hay Lake We just have to visit Blair at Hay Lake. The logging she warned us about on the road to the island is not as bad as we feared. Jimmy and Ron are here; Jan and Julie are on the way. And we get to meet Blake's girl friend Kelsey. It's so great to be back.

On our first day fishing at Hay Lake I get this shot of a loon with her babies. We get to watch them grow up all summer.

One of the reasons we love it up here--nothing ever changes. Especially the beauty! As you can see, Bob's flag pole is still standing too!

Blair looks proud sporting here new loon shirt

Blake and Kelsey on the paddle boat

Bob, Doug, Blake and Kelsey relax around the fire

Blair surprises me with this fabric bass plate made in St. Louis. She knows I love to serve my famous cheeseballs on a cute plate.

How many Hay Lake perfect sunset pictures will I take in a whole summer?

Saturday, June 26, 2010 Chores back at the RV Park in Pine River. I redecorated for 4th of July and just had to post this picture of Don and Reva's (our new friends we just met in Indiana who hail from Abilene) handmade salt & pepper holder. Don makes the wooden holders and Reva makes the 'curtains.' You can change the curtains for the seasons or holidays. There is a napkin holder to match!

Don and Reva's salt & pepper holder with 4th of July curtains

Here's the napkin holder with an apple motif.

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