Friday, May 01, 2009


Albert Lea, MN - The Trip!

May 30th - Leaving Rockford for Minnesota. This pic shows the marvelous weather. Had to do the disconnect routine in heavy coat covered by plastic rain poncho.
Much of our drive North across Wisconsin (I-90...joined by I-39 & I-94 for much of the day) was along flooded fields and rivers well over their banks.
Madison, WI came and went and we had the new large awning installed at Camping World in a Madison suburb. Driving NW we saw a number of quite unusual rock formations...such as this long wall of rock free standing near the road. It was perhaps 200 feet long and 70-80 feet high. It appeared to be about 30 feet thick. I would suppose this is all from the glacial period.
Rain, cold winds and moving wipers combined to make my shot of the Mississippi River a bit hard to see. This is the lock and dam just North of I-90 as we cross from Wisconsin to Minnesota. The river was almost a mile and a half wide from the flooding.
More wind those mentioned in an earlier post South of Rockford. This time there were literally hundreds. They were on one or both sides of the highway for more than 7 miles. Our KOA owner where we spent last night told us she thought they were owned by a power consortium which included Florida Power! (She is from Tallahassee)

NOTE: The shots of squashed windshield bugs in some of these pictures are free! Reminder again, to see the pics full size just click on them.

Finally...a surprise. When we stopped at Hayward...just outside Albert Lea...we decided to visit the Elks in Albert Lea. The town is 18,000 population, and the Elks Lodge has 1,800 members! They serve full-menu dinners from a professional staff of cooks and waitresses in uniforms. The dining room seated about 150 & the bar at least 100. They are facing a financial crisis...their cost-of-operations is quite high. Duchess was pleased to see the Lodge had both a Bull & Cow Elk outside. No prejudice here!

Today we drive across the rest of Minnesota, and most of South Dakota. It seems to be mostly featureless, but we've been surprised before!

Tomorrow...The Badlands of South Dakota! Can't wait...we'll be touring the park in "Sideroad Suzi" while the "Roadhouse" & cats rest in an RV park.

More tonight or tomorrow....


P.S. - Call from Rockford daughter Nancy tells us Little Ian began to crawl yesterday, the day after we left! Figures.

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