Sunday, July 18, 2010

On to the Great Lakes

The weather did indeed turn very nasty so we spent another day in Minneapolis.  It rained most of the day so the only thing we did other than hunker down, was to return to the Mall of America and play a game of miniature golf.

Thursday we headed north on I-35 toward Duluth.  Almost immediately we came across a sign that said any vehicles over 10 tons had to exit the highway and take a detour.  The detour ran us through downtown St. Paul and cost over an hour of time.  Not fun.  Then about 30 miles north of Minneapolis, on some of the worst maintained interstate we have ever seen,  the driver of an 18 wheeler that passed us did not notice the traffic slowing ahead until almost too late.  He locked up all wheels and began to jack knife, but somehow regained control at the last second.  That was more excitement than we wanted.

We continued north until about 20 miles south of Duluth where there was another detour for all vehicles over 9 tons.  This again ran us way out of our way to our destination.  We ended up entering Duluth from the northwest instead of the south.  It turns out they have a major construction project underway in Duluth and most lanes are very narrow, with many off and on ramps closed.  It was not the most relaxing travel day.

We arrived at one of the most interesting places we have ever stayed.  The spit of land that forms Duluth/Superior harbor has many marinas.  One of those allows RV parking during the summer where they store boats during the winter.  Our spot backed up to the lake.  In fact, I could not walk behind the trailer without falling off the pier into the lake.  It was almost like being in a houseboat.

We toured the maritime museum and watched the famous lift bridge in operation as a huge freighter left Duluth for somewhere east on the Great Lakes.  Except for a lot of walking, it was an interesting afternoon.

Friday we drove about 100 miles east along the south shore of Lake Superior to the town of Washburn, Wisconsin where we set up camp in a city park overlooking the lake.  We spent two nights there, just relaxing, hiking and doing a little geocaching.  We did visit the North Woods Visitor Center located about 7 miles south of our campground.  There were many good displays and lots of information about  the area.

Yesterday we continued our trek east along the southern shore of Lake Superior.  We stopped for the night in Ishpeming, Michigan.   We did laundry, swam in the pool, soaked in the hot tub, ate sundaes at McDonalds, and Nana and Dom went to a movie at the nearby theaters.

Today we plan to move to Sault Sainte Marie for a couple nights.  We have a reservation at a campground right on the river, just below the locks.  We will tell you all about it soon.


  1. Richard.

    Nice to meet you Sat. in Wasburn. Thanks again for the information and good conversation. We have enjoyed this area for many years but as you must be able to telll we are ready to expand.
    We will follow your blog and we wish you safe travels.


  2. At least being by the lake should make it a little cooler. It is always 10 deg. cooler here by Lake Erie.

  3. I assume you're heading into Canada soon?

  4. Donna, no, we will stay in the US. We are headed south down through Michigan toward Detroit, then around Lake Erie and into western NY.

    Dale, yes it is much cooler. The high today was mid 70's.

  5. I doubt that you realize how much we enjoy these blogs and locations. It's like taking a trip myself, and when I see all the places that we missed, I'm so glad that you are moving slowly enough to take it all in. What great memories it will leave with you.