Jul 242011

Yesterday was a totally nonproductive day. I accomplished absolutely nothing at all, and basically just used up space and oxygen. If I didn’t know any better, I’d think I was a member of Congress!

The predicted thunderstorms arrived late Friday night, and all night long the rain pounded down on our motorhome. The wind was making the old Winnebago rock and roll, and we were treated to a remarkable light show as the storm slowly passed through. I slept restlessly, one ear listening for tornado sirens or warnings, but by about 3:30 a.m. it had eased up quite a bit. Then, about 7 a.m., the big Rottweiler and the pit bull who belong to a tent behind us started barking, and didn’t stop until after 9:30. The dogs don’t seem to be aggressive at all, but I sure didn’t appreciate the owners ignoring the noise they were making. Am I just becoming a grouchy old fart?

The day was still overcast, it rained lightly a couple of times, and there was a steady breeze. Not a good day to do much of anything outside, so we just stayed inside. Terry did some laundry and housecleaning, and I helped by lifting my feet so she could vacuum under me. 🙂

I had a lot of things I could do, from writing, to working on my blogs, to tweaking the schedule for our Eastern Gypsy Journal rally, but I was just too darned lazy. I answered a few e-mails, and then in the afternoon I took a nap on the couch, waking up just in time for dinner. Since I had not accomplished anything all day long, I spent the evening doing the same thing. And that was the extent of my nonproductive day. I think I will run for Congress! My campaign slogan will be “Vote for me and I promise not to do anything!” At least you’d know what you were getting, right?

Now, my buddy Dennis Hill from the RV Driving School isn’t the kind of guy to waste a day. He’s always up to something. In my blog a week or so ago, I included a picture Dennis sent me from Alaska, with him wearing his bright orange Gypsy Journal shirt, with Mount McKinley in the background. Now here’s another picture of Dennis in the same shirt, this time at the North Pole! Do you remember that chick flick, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants? Maybe we’ve got something similar going on here.  Check out Dennis and his wife Carol’s blog, Dennis & Carol’s RV Adventures, for some great pictures of their current Alaska trip.

Dennis Hill North Pole  

Several people have asked where we’ll be in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan, hoping we could cross paths. I’m not sure if I responded to everybody, so here goes – we’ll stop in Fargo today to get a couple of stories, and then we’ll be heading for Duluth, Minnesota or Superior, Wisconsin, which is about ten miles from Duluth. Depending on  how late it is when we’re finished in Fargo and how far we travel from there, we’ll find someplace to spend the night along the way. We’ll spend a day or two in Duluth/Superior, and then take U.S. Highway 2 across Wisconsin and into Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where we’ll pick up State Route 28. I’d like to stop at Sault Ste. Marie for a couple of days, to check out the Soo Locks, and then we have to head for Traverse City for Terry’s annual oncologist checkup and to visit my cousin Terry Cook and his family there. Our next stop will be Muskegon, where I’ll aggravate another cousin, Bernie and her husband Rocky, for a few days, or until they serve me with a restraining order. Then we’ll head for Elkhart, Indiana, where we’ll hang out until it’s time to go to Celina, Ohio for our rally. We’re set for places to stay in Traverse City and Muskegon, but until then, if anybody has any suggestions across Minnesota on US20/SR 210, and in Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula, let me know.

It’s been asked if we can have a craft show one afternoon at the rally. I have no problem with that, so if some of you crafters would like to have a craft show, send me an e-mail at editor@gypsyjournal.net, or leave a comment below, and we’ll set something up.

At least Bad Nick did something yesterday, posting a new Bad Nick Blog titled Will Work For Pay. Check it out and leave a comment.

Thought For The Day – I love being married. It’s so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life – Rita Rudner

Click Here To Register For Our Eastern Gypsy Gathering Rally!

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  21 Responses to “A Totally Nonproductive Day”

  1. We camped down river from the Soo Locks and saw all the “big boats” as they headed for the locks. We would hop in the Jeep and drive up to the viewing area and watch them lock through. It was so fascinating we spent two extra days there. We also really enjoyed the city of Sault Ste. Marie and it’s “retro” personality. Great photos ops there.

  2. I think Greg may be right.

  3. Don’t know if you still boondock, but if you do, the Wal Mart in Fargo is a good overnight, and it is handy to the Space Aliens Cafe. We have also stayed at the KOA in Moorehead City, but it is kind of out of the way, at the end of a bumpy dirt road. Also don’t know if you plan to head north, but, if you do, there is a nice campground in the Chippewa Natl. Forest, just east of Bimidji; again, dry camping. Don’t miss Babe, the blue ox, in Bimidji. Also, don’t miss the Ore boat tour in Duluth. Best place to stay in Sault Ste Marie is the Elks Club, right on the river. Follow Lynn’s advice, or, better yet, buy a scanner so you can listen to the boat traffic and know when and where to look for the boats. The pilots announce their progress up and down the river, I think on channel 13, although I don’t remember for sure. And be careful of that big scarey bridge at Mackinac! It’s high and oh so loooong. Enjoy, and travel safe.

  4. Nick,
    When camping in Duluth there isn’t a lot of choice, however drive N on US 61 along Lake Superior shore for about 20 miles. Penmeralta Camp Ground is very nice with easy access and nice Owners. Another option is Knife River Camp Ground along same route, a little more difficult and not as nice. I have used both before Daughter put in F/H site as I spend my summers here. Sat TV and Verison & AT&T work great as I use both. Duluth-Superior are fast/easy to get to, but beware Expressway single lane traffic through Duluth Downtown area due to heavy construction. Enjoy the Twin Ports, the North Shore of Lake Superior. Next time you pass this way plan on traveling the N Shore to the border or the circle route around Lake Superior. Call me if you need anything I’ll Email number. I grew up in Two Harbors.

  5. Nick, that earlier blog included a picture of Dennis with Mt. McKinley in the background, not Gypsy Journal! (You must have written that sentence during one of your naps.) It’s great that you can take a day off once in awhile.

  6. Nick, We just came through the UP. The casino in Christmas has a few spots with FREE 50 amp. It is near Pictured Rocks NP. The Elks in Sault Ste. Marie is a great spot right on the river. I have a couple of blog entries on the area.

    Safe Travels

  7. We enjoyed going to the Itasca State Park near Bemidji MN and seeing the headwaters of the Mississippi River. You can walk across the river there. We stayed at the Lakehead Boat Basin in Duluth. It is right on the water where you can watch the lift bridge going up and down when boats come into the harbor. It is very close quarters for an RV and I wouldn’t advise trying to get in and out of a site on a weekend. It is close to all of Duluth’s attractions.

  8. Nick, we just left Elkhart Campground and Bob & Gita keep making improvements. The water quality is still an issue but other than that it’s still the best place to stay in the area. Safe travels…..

  9. I’m trying to convince Pete to come home from Alaska and go to the rally in Ohio in September. I would like to be part of a craft show and need info on what it would cost to be part of this if we come.
    You probably are a crabby old fart for disliking the barking, but then again, so are we. This is why more people should camp with cats.

  10. You asked: “Am I just becoming a grouchy old fart?” I don’t think so, Nick. I suspect you have been one for quite some time. LOL Actually, having a couple of dogs barking all morning would have made me more than angry. I’ve got a dog & she isn’t going to be allowed to bark; not more than one or two barks anyway. Obviously I’m a grouchier old fart than you!

  11. A quick reminder that all rest stops and state parks in Minnesota are closed because of the budget problems they are having. You and Terry deserve a day off enjoy them. Stay safe

  12. Minnesota is again open for business and they got all the rest areas and, I think, the state parks open before this weekend so you can let that worry go. Your timing is excellent. 🙂

    Be aware that Minnesota state parks were built long before motorhomes got so long and wide but many of them have, at least, added electrical hookups. They also have lots of trees so your Satellite is unlikely to get a signal there. Having said that, Spirit Mountain is on the south side of Duluth in case you want to try to maneuver into it but I’d check it out by car first. There’s a rest area basically across I-35 from Spirit Mountain but it has a steep access road. It is a great place to get an overlook of Duluth, though. The hill between that exit and downtown Duluth is a very low gear one.

  13. Nick, the earlier response recommending Penmaralter Campground (Two Harbors, MN) was right on. Very, very spacious, level, gravel sites, and really nice owners. We were for a week in June 2009.

    Don’t forget to stop at Betty’s Pies, just North of the Campground – baked fresh every day and scrumptious! They do serve meals too, and at a reasonable price.

    We also enjoyed the Duluth Harbor tour while touring the area.

  14. An interesting place to visit just east of Fargo:

    The Hjemkomst Center (“Homecoming”), 202 N. First Avenue, Moorhaven MN (218-299-5511), features a 76-foot replica Viking ship (modeled after the Gokstad burial ship) constructed in 1980…(in 1982) a crew of twelve sailed the Hjemkomst from Duluth to Bergen, Norway. The museum also features a replica of the Hopperstad Stave Church in Vik, Norway. During the last weekend in June, an annual Scandinavian festival is held at the center.

    And a good chain of family restaurants in the area is the Fry Pan.

  15. Were you in site 40 at Frontier Fort? We just pulled in here today and there is a tent behind us…uh oh! We probably passed you, we were in Fargo yesterday! Safe travels…

  16. Hey, Nick! You asked for suggestions in Minnesota near Duluth? We recommend the Mille Lacs Indian Museum (12 miles north of Onamia on the southwest shore of Lake Mille Lacs (U.S. Hwy. 169). It should be on the way to Duluth, depending on your route. We were there in 2003 and were very impressed. The displays are really nice. Of course, we’re probably biased as it was the first Indian Museum about the Chippewa / Ojibwa Indians (Chuck’s tribe) we’d ever been to. But even now, after all our travels, we rate it a great museum worth stopping for.
    Enjoy your trip back East!

  17. In Duluth, visit the Coast Guard Visitor Center next to the lift-bridge. We picked up a complete set of full-sizas COE Campground maps from the information desk. Watch the lake ships come through to take on their coal cargo from Gillette, WY. There is actually a parking lot next to the convention center by the park in that same area that allows RV camping for a fee. We opted to go north to Two Harbors, MN and stayed at a city park called Burlington Bay CG (N47 01.596 W094 39.662). Fee in 2008 was $26.40/night. We also recommend the Sault Ste. Marie Elks. They have 50 amp E/W. Because of zoning laws, they are only limited to their 4 or 5 designated spaces, no dry camping. They DO take reservations so give them a call ahead of time. They allow non-Elks but if you reserve, they will bump non-members out. Fee was $20 when we stayed there in 2008. We took the locks tour and went through both the US and Canadian sides. On the USA side our tour boat shared it with one of those 1000′ coal lake ships. In between those two places we stayed at the Ishpeming Elks for a $10 donation for 15 amp E only. Geocaches across the street.

  18. Nick & Terry – We have stayed at Indian Point Campground – this is run by the city of Duluth… It is somewhat rustic but does have some pull through sites. It is right off the Munger Trail and about a block from the Zoo but right on the St Louis River.
    Also, Lakehead Boat Basin which is located just across the lift bridge from Canal Park . There is a review of the Lakehead Boat Basin campground on the “We call it home” website.
    Enjoy your stay in Minnesota.

  19. Nick you should check out this place to stay while in Duluth. Its right on the water across the lift bridge. And while your in the area, head up scenic Highway 61 and check out the northshore and the Superior Nat. Forest .And the Boundary Waters Canoe Area will have many spots to get the boats wet! Have fun!


  20. The park someone mentioned at the Soo is Aune Osborn and it is a city
    park, very nice, with a good view as the freighters go by. When you see
    the upbound ones you still have time to drive into town and watch them
    lock thru. This park is east of town. Also a good place to eat near there
    is Antlers Inn.

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