Thursday, August 19, 2010


No lovely photos, no fabulous discoveries, not much excitement at all.  I can tell you this, though: I’ve lost my enthusiasm for big cities (not that I ever had much). 

We heard from our friends Jeff and Margaret recently, saying they were going to be near Minneapolis for a week, and they had found a good deal (half price) on full hookup sites in a big county park, Lebanon Hills Regional Park (click here to read our review)..  We didn’t have to think long before we decided to join them, since we were planning to head west across SD after our stay in Duluth.  AND… we would be able to visit a Costco!  AND a Trader Joe’s!  Next thing we knew, we had a reservation.

On our day at the Blues Festival in Duluth, I broke a great big hunk off one of my back teeth.  It doesn’t hurt, but I wanted to stay somewhere long enough to get it repaired, which requires a little advance planning.  Looking out into the future, we thought Rapid City, SD, would work.  I was able to get a recommendation from a friend for a good dentist there, and got an appointment for 9/1.

Badlands National Park on a previous visit. Next step: plan our stops between Minneapolis and Rapid City.  We’ve had some real (unpleasant) weather adventures in SD on prior trips, so we started by checking the long range forecast.  Now, I know we have been spoiled this summer, enjoying mostly moderate temperatures when huge portions of the US have broiled… but when we saw forecasts in the 90’s and 100’s in SD next week, we backed away from our western travel plan pretty quickly!  Hiking the Badlands when it’s 97 degrees?  I don’t think so!

So, how about a Plan B?  Where could we find pleasant weather when we left Minneapolis?  Duluth, MN: sunshine and highs in the upper 60’s.  Hummmm… sounds good!  Before we left the Lakehead Boat Basin for Minneapolis, we reserved a full hookup site for a return trip next week.  

Here in Minneapolis, we’ve three fun evenings with Margaret and Jeff.  Today was our big Costco trip (our freezer is packed full again); tomorrow we’ll make a trip to Trader Joe’s; and on Saturday we’ll visit the highly recommended St. Paul Farmer’s Market.  Sunday we’ll head back to Duluth, and Monday I have an appointment with a dentist within walking distance from our campsite.

No doubt Minneapolis has it’s charms, but on this trip I couldn’t muster the energy to do the research to discover them – nor face the urban traffic.  We’ll be happy to restock our freezer, restock our supply of cheap wines, and head back to our studies of the big freighters of the Great Lakes until the weather cools.


  1. Sorry about your tooth but it sounds to me like you've got a good near your camping area, frozen foods in case of swelling and wine for pain...Doesn't sound half bad!

  2. i love trader joe's even found one in Raleigh, NC...

  3. We are getting ready to go back East and have no choice but to travel through the hotter parts of our great country. We have a pretty good AC though.

    Stay safe.

  4. We come back to Minneapolis for family, friends, and doctors but I'm not sure we would otherwise. We lived here most of our lives and there's lots of things to do but big cities are no longer our thing. Every time we go out we look at the traffic maps to find the least congested route; does that sound like fun to you?

  5. Gee- you mean a visit to the Mall of America just didn't get you excited? HA HA!!!
    Enjoy the cooler weather in Duluth- you might even get to see some trees/bushes start to turn color!
    We're heading to Missoula via SD- Mt Rushmore in September!


  6. Welcome to MN from 2 MN-natives.
    We recognize your names from SKP-Boomers and plan to hit the road full at the end of this year.
    We especially enjoyed reading your comments on Duluth, as seen by someone new to the area.
    Have safe travels; we will meet up somewhere/sometime.
    Bob & Paige

  7. Linda, when we went to Costco yesterday, we took the GPS and a map. When the GPS showed a traffic slowdown ahead (which we had already deduced with our own eyes), we used the map to veer off the freeway. With the GPS screaming "recalculating", we struck out to the south. No, finding the least congested route is NOT how we like to spend our time!

  8. Laurie, Don't be surprised if the Dentist refers you to an oral surgeon to remove gum tissue to be able to fix your tooth. Same thing happened to me. Good luck and let us know how it goes.

  9. We have a Costco about 30 miles from our the 3 buck Chuck...(used to be 2 bucks, right?)..You day you fill your you have a double door regrig?? Or do you take a small chest freezer with you..We have known people who make room for a chest freezer...they fish, clean them, and freeze them..A little more intensive than I would like, but it would be nice to have some fresh fish once in a while!!!

  10. @Dennis and Donna: we bought our MH used, and it came with a chest refrigerator/freezer in the basement. We didn't think we would use it (we have the quad door refrig/freezer upstairs), but it turned out to be great for storing white wine, sodas, etc. We also stick extra vegies in there if we overdo it at the farmer's market - and it sure comes in handy when we have a refrigerator malfunction! We don't use it as a freezer... even WE don't carry that much food!