Yikes, I am very far behind on posts, but crappy RV park Wi-Fi’s thwarted me. We finally landed a high speed connection, so I can upload photos and videos. Mr. Musk now offers Starlink for RV’s and if we were traveling full time, we’d sign up, but it’s a little pricey for a few months a year.
Right off I-90, we stayed at our first free “Boondockers Welcome” site, The Quiet Farm. Farmers Eldon and Reta have lived in Blue Earth, Minnesota all their lives, traveled extensively in RV’s, and now open up their farm to RV’ers. Very sweet and friendly, they even served us ice cream with homemade rhubarb topping for dessert.
Then we headed north to Duluth, Minnesota, located on the southwestern tip of Lake Superior. Craig was hankering to see the Great Lakes freighters again so we stayed in a marina parking lot that doubles as a campground just a couple blocks away from the huge Aerial Bridge that raises to let the freighters into Duluth harbor to pick up more iron ore, grain, etc. From there, they can deliver to anywhere in the world. The James Barker freighter (1,004 feet long) in the video below has the LOUDEST horn on the Great Lakes, you can hear the echo as it salutes the bridge master.
Our buddies Jim and Sherryl drove up from St Paul to visit – when we see them we just pick up where we left off 🙂 Craig went Cuckoo-for-Cocoa Puffs over the Lake Superior Railroad Museum and even chatted with the Executive Director who creates museum YouTube videos that Craig enjoys. The director of the North Shore Scenic Railroad graciously upgraded us to four first class tickets for the two hour ride scenic through Duluth and along the lakeshore.
As a surprise to him, we headed south to the family cottage on Green Lake, Wisconsin to celebrate Craig’s brother Gary’s 60th birthday on July 3rd. We joined a bunch of neighbors and had a great time with them all. Happy B-Day, old man!
Then we popped up to Butternut Lake in the North Woods of Wisconsin to visit our friends Dave and Lynn. Dave is a folk singer and back in the 80’s Craig was Dave’s music manager for two years. They had a blast traveling around the upper Midwest singing tunes. Dave still has a recording studio where he records and mixes music, pictured below. It’s gorgeous up there and it was great to see these wonderful people. On the downside, the woods of northern Wisconsin are full of BUGS, especially mosquitos!!
Driving east we dropped down to DeTour Village, Michigan where we docked Joy Girl during the Loop and met Jill and Marc. They are the folks who own the bow section of Great Lakes Freighter John Boardman and hope to fix it up as a B&B. They’ve done a lot of good work in the 3 years since we’ve seen them! (As a reminder, the last photo is from our original post taken on Joy Girl’s flybridge.)
Kitty update! Overall, I think the kitties are faring better on the RV than the boat. Scully (tabby) isn’t carsick and is generally fearless. Roswell receives a sedative on the days we travel, so he’s a much more mellow fellow and recovers fairly quickly. And Woody doesn’t continue to bounce around when we stop for the day like Joy Girl did! As for us, we miss boating but are content to travel this way for now. Another boat may be in our future…
As devout pickleball addicts, we found a couple spots to play. Green Lake was so humid I just stood there and dripped with sweat before I even hit the ball. In Butternut Lake a friend invited us to play on his court created in his large man-toy storage shed. Ingenious! We brought our portable net just in case of emergency 🙂
Coming soon, the tales of our fantastic time on the beautiful coast of western Michigan…