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Showing posts from September, 2011

Lanesboro, Minnesota

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The weather deteriorated while we were at Wakefield. We stayed 3 nights hoping it would clear up but that was not to be so on Wednesday we took off. We wanted to do some biking and our first idea was the Elroy-Sparta trail in Wisconsin but with the rain we decided to make it a long diving day and go to Lanesboro MN. The difference is a limestone trail versus a paved trail. The Elroy-Sparta trail is a great trail but it also has some long and wet train tunnels, they are great on warm sunny days but with potential rain in the forecast it didn’t sound so nice. We broke all our driving rules and drove 320 miles to Lanesboro. We left by  8 am and even with a couple short stops arrived around 3 o’clock.  Lanesboro has a small city park, Sylvan park, that has water-electric sites. We have tent camped here but never brought the RV here. We usually stay south of here in Decorah IA and then drive here to get on the trail. This park is pretty tight but we got a site on the end next to the hill. T…

Captain’s Log: Wakefield MI

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When I retired last fall, we headed to the Southwest and warmer temperatures. Our travels took us through Carlsbad New Mexico where we bought our first National Park Pass when we visited the Carlsbad Caverns National Park. Carlsbad was also where I was born so, armed with the address from my older brother, we were able to find the house my dad built and where I lived for my first four years. Or at least I think we did. I don’t remember much from then, so it could’ve been some other house.

But I remember living in Wakefield. I was five and had a great time in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Once again, my older bother remembered the street address of a house he hasn’t lived in for over 50 years. I also had some pictures my Dad had taken  of the house and, sure enough, there it was. Someone had added some siding, and the yard was smaller than I remember, but it was the same house. I remembered playing on Tank Hill and it was still there also. In addition to the town’s water tank, it als…

Michigan's Upper Peninusla

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We moved here to the U. P. last Tuesday. At first we were going to Wakefield and then on to Houghton and Copper Harbor but in talking around the campfire our new friends Terry and Lu were headed up to Houghton. Wakefield is a must as this is one of the may places John lived when he was young and we eventually want to see all those areas. Our route is pretty flexible and Wakefield is actually on the way to and from Houghton on our route so we just switched the route and tomorrow we will head to Wakefield.

We landed in the City RV Park of Houghton right next to Terry and Lu. This is a very small park but is right on the canal that splits this part the peninsula and it is a beautiful view from the RV. Houghton, the home of Michigan Tech is on one side of the canal and Hancock is on the other. Tuesday was very warm and we had a nice drive here then Wednesday and Thursday fall arrived. The temps dropped into the 40-50s during the day and into the 30’s at night. It rained some and was very w…

Lakeshore Hike with Friends

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Sunday Terry and Lu invited us to hike with them. This hike goes along the lakeshore in the Apostle Island National Lakeshore Park. It was a beautiful, heavily wooded trail that leads you out along the sea caves. We weren’t sure from here how much we would really see of the caves but there were several great views. This actually was a fairly good hike. Lots of up and down, and for this vertically challenged person I was glad I’d brought my hiking stick. Not sure how far we hiked but it was going on four hours by the time we got back, so I am thinking about 10 mi., taking into consideration the varied terrain and our stops to snack and take photos.  Kayaking is a big attraction in this area. There are lots of outfitters and guide services in the area to get you out to the sea caves. We didn’t do this adventure this time but I think our next visit it will be on the agenda. We would probably choose to go with a guide. Lake Superior can be unpredictable and I would feel more comfortable wi…

Madeline Island & the Apostle Island National Lakeshore

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Wednesday we began our adventures here near Bayfield, Wisconsin. My friend Trudy and her family have come here every summer for quite a few years and one of the things she suggested we do was to take our bikes out to Madeline Island (the largest of the Apostle Islands) on the ferry and bike the island. So that was the first thing on our agenda. Since we knew we be putting in a few miles we decided to fortify ourselves with breakfast at the Egg Toss cafe (also a Trudy suggestion). It reminds me of an old fashion dinner but it only serves breakfast. It was excellent. Then we headed down the street to the ferry terminal, round trip for each of us and our bikes was $18, that sounded reasonable. The ferry ride is relatively short and the bikes were parked on the deck next to the cars, trucks, motorcycles. They will even ferry you and your RV over so you can camp on the island. That is actually something we would consider doing.

Once on the island we decided to take the road out to the Big S…

Captain’s Log: Somewhere in Wisconsin

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Actually I think I know where we are. We’re in Washburn, a little south of Bayfield in a park on Lake Superior. We have a great view of the lake and the weather is perfect. So why am I typing on this computer? Because I can. When we were at Two Harbors, I remember thinking we had a great view of the lake and the weather was perfect. There was one evening when Janie and I were sitting around the fire enjoying the view when things became almost surreal. The sunset was actually to our backs, but it was illuminating the sky and the reflections from the lake magnified it beyond anything I recall ever seeing. Just when you thought it couldn’t possibly get any better, a partial rainbow appeared. There were some small boats on the lake, and I was wondering what it looked like from where they were at. Then I looked over at our neighbors across the street: they were watching an NFL game on their outdoor TV (I believe it was the first NFL game of the season). Probably Packer fans. Their backs were…

Tetagoochi State Park

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I’m a little behind in blogging our travels. Having so much fun I just haven’t had time to write so I will do several posts in the next couple of days.
Last Monday we decided to hike again and after looking online we chose Tetagooche State Park north of Silver Bay MN. It was a beautiful day and perfect for a hike.  There are two falls in the park to hike to. The first is the “Big Falls”. On this part of the hike there were quite a few people, not as many as Saturday but the it was Memorial Day. Big Falls was less than one mile in and the only challenge to it are all the stairs you have to hike to get to it and then to get back up to the trail. I’ll let the photos speak to that. Beautiful falls.
Next we headed to Two Step Falls about another mile or so down the trail, after you climb up all those stairs you just climbed down to get to the falls. It was a beautiful hike through the woods, then a whole lot more stairs down to Two Step Falls. The crowds had thinned out and there were only a…

A funny thing happened on the way to the campfire....

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Our last campfire at Two Harbors, John and I were sitting there and suddenly we here a little rip, then all of a sudden riiiiiiiiiiiippppppppp. And this is what it looked like. In East Grand Forks at Cabelas I bought a new chair for the campfire, our chairs were almost worn out. John wasn’t sure the new one would fit in our lawn chair compartment so we only bought one. Well I love my new chair, and it does fit in the compartment but John said he’d wait until we until we really needed a new one. He did throw out the one that he thought was the worst. Well, he may not have chosen wisely. Sure made me laugh when I had to help him out of that chair. Isn’t he cute?!  Now we really need a new chair. :) Happy Trails.................

Captain’s Log: Fred’s (no longer) riding Fred

Some of you may have suspected that naming our hitch hiking snake Fred was inspired by the Rodney Carrington song “Fred’s riding Fred”, and you would be correct. You can find several versions of the song on Youtube. It would make more sense if our truck was named Fred. Which it could be, since I don’t know what the truck’s name was. At any rate, we’ve had some inquiries about the snake and it’s been long enough since the last time we’ve seen him to say that Fred’s no longer riding Fred. Not sure where he went, but I’m glad he’s gone.

Lake Superior

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This trip is about following the shores of Lake Superior. We really wanted to do the whole circle of the lake but due to my work we weren’t able to leave soon enough to get that done. So we chose to do as much of the U.S. side as we can until we have to head south. Our first stop on the lake is Two Harbors, Minnesota. This is known as Minnesota’s North Shore and it is beautiful.  Our home base for the holiday weekend is Burlington Bay Campground on the north end of Two Harbors. It is a city run campground and most of the sites are for smaller RVs and pop-ups. We are in site 90 which we were lucky to get because of a cancellation. The picnic table and fire ring are actually behind the rig and it made it so we have a view of the lake. There is a newer loop just beyond us that has 5 sites  that back up to the lake that are spectacular and if you came in a larger rig this is the area you would want to be in. It certainly is the area we would try for next time. In general this is a busy and…