Sunday, August 25, 2013

August 25, 2013, Sunday – Wow, has it been a long time since I’ve been on here! 

To continue from where we were back in June – Fort Peck Downstream Campground. It’s a pretty, green campground, lots of room. Only $18 a night with 50 amp. We were only able to stay 2 nights as it was booked for the weekend. So we decided to go on to Cottonwood Campground north of Medora in the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. There are no hookups, but we’ve always like Cottonwood. It isn’t real big rig friendly. We spent 3 nights there @ $10/night. I was disappointed this time. The grass was real tall, looked like they hadn’t mowed some areas at all. They mow only around the immediate camping area and picnic area. We were parked on the asphalt and our picnic table was in the grass and it wasn’t mowed around the table so we didn’t use it. There were a few trails mowed, to the restrooms and the amphitheater area. It was completely  full Saturday and they even let some campers park on the parking lot area. There was a pickup and horse trailer that came in about dark and parked in the lot. The people got out and went to the amphitheater for the ranger program. After that the guy from the pickup came over to our grill/picnic table area and was going to start a fire in the grill area. Curt told him that that was our grill and we didn’t want a fire in it. He asked us what we were camping for if we didn’t have a fire?  Shortly after that we saw a park ranger coming toward us with a flashlight so Curt went out to talk to him and told him what happened. The ranger said they’ve had problems with his gentleman before and he couldn’t park where he was at and was told to leave. That morning we had a couple and their dog tenting across the road from us. The dog was let out of the tent in the morning and was running around for about a half hour before they got up and he went back. When I looked out the window a little bit later the couple was standing by their car, which was parked by a couple of bushes, and the man was peeing in the bushes. The restroom was a campsite away. Really?!  Curt told the ranger about that too. He said that things have changed a lot in the last year. I guess. They also had found 3 rattle snakes in the campground that weekend.

Sunday we went to Dickinson and checked in to North Park Campground. We paid for a week and told them we weren’t sure how long we would be there, probably 2 weeks, if we could pay on an as-you-go basis. They had no problem with that. We had some friends come over for the evening and I talked to my dad for father’s day and we were meeting the next morning for breakfast.  The next morning I found out my stepmother had a stroke during the night and that changed everything. We spent two weeks in the St. Alexius Medical Center parking lot in Bismarck and then 3-1/2 weeks in Dickinson for/after a funeral. Got to see a lot of relatives, not that that’s the way we want to see them though. The town keeps growing due to the oil activity and it’s changing a lot.

In Montana we had gotten a rock chip in our RV window. While sitting in the parking lot at St. Alexius it cracked all the way up. We contacted our insurance and got a windshield ordered, which we had put in in Bismarck after leaving Dickinson. We stayed at Sweet Briar Recreation Area a couple of miles out of Bismarck the night before. It’s a small lake, kind of cozy. There are some fire rings and picnic tables, areas to fish and put a boat in. There were two other campers that night in the area we were in. You’re able to drive around most of the lake to park/camp, if you don’t mind the roads. We did it with the Jeep once and decided that we wouldn’t do it with an RV.  The camper that came in after us was a pickup pulling a trailer. It looked like a car trailer, and when they opened up the back there was a motorcycle and lots of boxes in there. They unloaded almost everything and laid a mattress down. There were cupboards inside for a living area.  The next morning they loaded everything back in. He had a fire that night, I don’t know if he cooked on it or not, but it was really windy out. The next morning they had a fire again and they left with it still burning and it was windy again. Curt took a bucket and went to the lake to get some water and put out the fire. On his second trip there he fell in the lake (the rocks were slippery I guess). I had just gotten up and looked out the window and he was walking towards the RV and was soaking wet. I couldn’t imagine what had happened. We took off to Bismarck to get our windshield put in. They had originally told us that it could take up to 5 hours; having it put in and waiting for it to seal. We were only there an hour. So on to Fargo we went.

On Saturday, the 27th, we went to Curt’s sister and brother-in-law's cabin in Minnesota. They’ve completely redone it and it’s gorgeous. They had a lot of people out for the weekend, which they usually do, including their family. We got to see all of their kids and their grandchildren. It was a cold and windy weekend, but Sunday night it was beautiful out (like usual, on a Sunday when everyone has to go home). We weren’t able to park in their driveway, but we were able to park in a neighbor’s. We stayed the week there, fishing with them. A couple of days were so nice and calm. We caught a lot of sunfish and a few rock bass. They were small, but we kept them and ate them. It was a calm, relaxing and fun week.

On to kids and granddaughters! Lots of giggles and screams! We were able to park at our daughter’s place thankfully. They did have to do a little tree cutting. Our son and daughter-in-law flew in from Virginia for a week. We had fun hiking, geocaching and sight-seeing, building volcanoes, reading books and playing computer games (of course). And eating constantly. We went to Canterbury Park to watch the horse races. The kids  got pony rides and their faces painted. We went to Como Park, Zoo and Conservatory one day. There’s lots of walking to do there and I’ve always enjoyed the place, and, it’s free. We did hiking and geocaching at some of the county parks.

On to William O’Brien State Park, we stayed there from the 12th through the 18th. It was a nonreservable site, so we were able to keep paying for it nightly as long as we wanted. It’s $28 night with electricity, $22 without. We went with the electricity. Korene and Jason and the girls came for the weekend and we did some more hiking. There was a kid’s program Saturday afternoon where they made a fishing rod with a pop can and fish line and it actually worked. The fish were pretty tiny. After that the girls played on the beach for a while. It was pretty warm that day. We hiked almost every day we stayed there.

We decided to go up north toward Duluth. We went to Pokegama Lake RV Park at Pine City, MN. It’s a Passport America campground for $17.10 a night for full hookups. They have a pool, a pavilion, office and game room and a golf course. It’s across from Pokegama Lake, which looked very green from where we were. I washed clothes and did some baking and extra cooking in case we weren’t going to have electricity in the next few days. We went on to Cloquet Walmart and then Hermantown Walmart. Hermantown is about 20 miles from Canal Park  and downtown Duluth. With the prices of the campgrounds in the Duluth area, we decided to just drive and spend the day in Duluth and it probably would be cheaper. And being a weekend (our timing wasn’t too good) everyone was booked for Saturday. We parked on the other side of the lift bridge (free) and walked across to Canal Park. There were a lot of people (Saturday) but we were able to take pictures of the ships coming in  and go through the visitor center without problems. It amazes me the size of those ships, and the ones we saw were supposedly the smaller ones, at only 700’s feet in length, compared to some at over 1000 feet.  From there we decided to look at some of the campgrounds that we had looked up on the internet and see if it was someplace we wanted to spend $35 or so or not. One is right off of the one on the other side of the lift bridge, but it’s got a marina in front of it and you’d be facing the wrong way to see the bridge or the ships. It would have been hard to get the motorhome to it also.  We took Hwy 61 and then the Scenic North Shore Drive up to Two Harbors and then 61 back down again.

Today, 8/25/13, we are TettegoucheState Park near Silver Bay, MN. We got one of the last two electric sites, #33. Tomorrow we have to move to #20 because that one will be free and this one is booked for the week. Some of their sites, like 33, are backing up a hill and hoping that you fit on the level part. It was suppose to get in the 90’s today; I don’t know if it made it that high but it was really humid and I’m glad we have electricity. It’s $28, 30 amp, and we’re able to use the air conditioning. Hopefully tomorrow is a little bit better so we can do some of the hiking to waterfalls. We did get a thunderstorm tonight with tiny hail, and it looks like there’s more coming in the forecast. Hopefully it breaks up around us.

I'll add pictures when I get through them all.