Monday, August 6, 2012

Saturday & Sunday 4,5 August

Sorry about the delay. Our WiFi device was acting up (actually, not acting at all) for the last couple of days, and Gene finally had to call Customer Service. They didn't know what the problem was either, but we got the device reset, and so we seem to be back in business.

Not that there was that much to miss over the weekend. Saturday was the big family picnic in Sparta, WI. We drove there from the Goose Island campground and ended up driving a good part of the way through a blinding rainstorm. We thought it would be heavy but brief, but it turned out to be heavy but long. We finally drove out of it and it wasn't raining when we got there. The day had been rainy all over so the crowd was thinner than usual --- only filled up one picnic pavilion. Nobody complained about the rain because it had been so dry. We had seen lots of corn fields that looked pretty bad, though the soybeans were all green.


Gene only knows a few people at the picnic, and Jean hadn't met any of them before. What Gene was most interested in was seeing his Uncle Ralph. Ralph had lived for many years in Sedona, AZ, but recently moved back to Milwaukee. He is the last surviving member of Gene's parent's generation and we don't know how much longer we will have him. (How come he has more hair than Gene?)


Our next stop was Gene's cousin Arnie, who lives in central Minnesota, so we left the picnic and headed west to get a jump on the trip tomorrow. The border between Wisconsin and Minnesota is the Mississippi River, which we crossed for the first time in years for both of us.  This view is of only half of the river, since there is an island in the middle where we crossed it, but this was the only place we could pull over and get a picture.


As you travel west in Minnesota, the country flattens out a little and gets more into the prairie. We stopped Saturday night in a campground in Cannon Falls, MN. The campground was very crowded and only had one site left that we could use. That one had a large tree branch hanging down that we had to avoid on the way in. That meant backing in within inches of the blue tent. Obviously, we made it but it was touchy and we were still finding leaves in the awning the next day.




The campground was very crowded, it looked like a refugee tent city in the area where we were. Campfires and people visiting til late at night, but we were tired by then and we went to sleep easily.




Next morning Gene suggested that we might be able to get out if we went on the other side of the branch. Jean said, "There's a bush in the way." "That's funny," thought Gene, "I don't remember any bush." There wasn't any bush, the tree branch had broken during the night and was now hanging down in front of the motorhome. The campground owners came and held the branch aside when we left. No end of adventures when you are on the road.

We headed out, hoping to find some breakfast along the way. That didn't happen for a long time. Meanwhile, we decided that since it was Sunday morning it would be shorter and quicker for us to follow the highway through Minneapolis rather than take the long beltway around it. Sure enough, there was very little traffic. Unfortunately, the route was poorly marked and we found ourselves lost in the western residential district of Minneapolis. The small-scale city map we had didn't show all the streets and didn't show how the highway went through the town. We finally found a street that was on the map and were able to make our way back to the highway. Another adventure.



We finally got some breakfast on the outskirts of town. Now it was just keep rolling for Glenwood. It looked like an uneventful ride until we saw something in a field that looked like little kangaroos. That required a turn-around to take a second look. It turned out to be a couple of sandhill cranes. Shortly after we stopped, they flew away.












We made it to Glenwood by about 2:30 in the afternoon. Gene's cousin lives a short distance from Pelican Lake; and yes, there are pelicans as well as loons though we didn't see either.




Arnie and Barb were home and we spent the rest of the day visiting. Looks like we will spend tomorrow, too.

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