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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Duluth and beyond

May 25

A faint light filters through the blinds. Is it morning already? I pull out my watch from under the covers. It is just a quarter past five!! Central Daylight Time it is! Gotto get used to that. 
I could get up and turn on the boiler ....yep lets do it.  A trip to the John and then back to bed. 

Next time I open my eyes it's 6am. We planned to get out early today, so there is no further excuse.
I turn on the furnace too, it's a bit chilly in here. 
Next thing is the coffee pot. Two rolls into the oven, then I can check on my emails. Our Verizon MIFI is working out here, which is pretty surprising given the remote location.

As Bea pops up from the bedroom, the rolls are done and the coffee made. My eyes are still bleary, but the hot coffee helps. 

At 7am we are ready to go. I back out the rig from between the trees and get it down to the Highway.
Traffic is still slow at this hour so I have some time to get the bus up to speed.

Minnesota is beautiful. Endless woods and many, many blue lakes. We stopped at Leech Lake. That lake is huge!! 

Stopping at Leech Lake, Minnesota
At the town of Walker, Hwy 34 comes to an end and we go on Hwy 200, which is in bad conditions. One place road work was going on. Apparently they are putting drain pipes under the road, anyway the passage left to traffic is so narrow and the edges so soft that I am fearing the bus will go over the edge.

yes - these are Dandelions
Finally Hwy 200 comes to an end as well and we turn onto Hwy 2 which leads to the City of Duluth and beyond into Wisconsin. When stopping for a break I am inspecting the bus tires. I have been watching them for a while and getting increasingly worried, especially about the front tires. They show ugly cracks and could delaminate any time. I decide that I have to replace them at first chance.

Bridge from Duluth to Superior
Duluth is an ugly industrial city but a major harbor on lake Superior. The Hwy 2 bridge is closed so we have to go farther into town to go over the Hwy 53 bridge, which gets us into the City of Superior. 
Old warehouse at the harbor
at the tire-shop
When getting off the ramp down from the bridge I see a tire shop down by the harbor. We pull in and ask for service. Turns out they have my big 22.5 Michelins in stock. So we get it done and 90 minutes later we leave with 2 new tires but with 1100 Dollars less in our account. OUCH!!

We are now in Wisconsin. Wisconsin's motto is "The Dairy State", hinting about the major agricultural businesses, the dairy farms. We see a lot more farmland than in Minnesota, but also far-stretched swamp-lands appear along the road. 
It takes only 2 hours to cross the northern part of the state and suddenly we are in Michigan. We notice that fuel prices are much higher than in Wisconsin. Is the state of Michigan more tax- greedy than their neighbors? 

Anyway, east of Bessemer we see a Campground on the left side of the road. Since the day has been a long one we could use a good rest and pull in.

The office is in the main house and inside I meet a lady whose accent seems known to me. So I ask her about it and yes, my feeling was right. She is from the former German city of Danzig (today:Gdansk Poland) Our further conversation is in German mixed in with some English. Inge has left Germany in 1957 and from the walls look the faces of her beautiful daughter and grand kids.

Inge shows us our spot and drives ahead with her golf cart. We park on the huge lawn beside an electric outlet. 
Now we can relax and have another delicious supper.

After supper Bea goes out to catch a few pics from spring flowers. How do you like them?

Read more tomorrow: Back into Canada

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