Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Day 43: Dunromin

Our last day on the road was uneventful. We left the campground shortly before 8:00 and continued east on hwy 17. Traffic was heavier and we encountered several stretches of construction but with minimal delays. We made one stop at a wayside south of Sudbury and arrived in North Bay at 11:30. First stop was at Pet Valu for Shadow's kibble. We ate lunch in the parking lot before moving to Walmart where we did some grocery shopping for home.
We arrived at Dunromin at 2:00. All was well. Dunromin did not look as neglected as after other 6 week trips. The grass was not quite knee high! We spent a couple of hours unloading the motor home of things we would need right away like food and some personal items. The rest could wait until tomorrow.
The final leg of our trip was 328 km. In 43 days we motored  12,031 km through 17 states. A super trip with so many incredible sights and great memories.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Back in Canada

The Soo
It was a refreshing 7º when we got up at 5:30. We were on the road at 7:50 and continued east on hwy 28. The highway followed the shoreline of Lake Superior mostly  for the first half of our drive. We stopped in Marquette at a Walmart so I could do a little more personal shopping. We also stopped at one rest area before reaching Sault Ste. Marie Michigan around 12:30. We ate lunch there and  topped up the gas tank @ $2.73 /gal. before taking I 75 north to the bridge to Canada. The toll was $6.00 Am.. We stopped at the Duty Free store for Kathy. There were construction signs and Expect Delays signs  as we crossed  the bridge; they were right. We were lined up for  20 minutes but once at the customs booth, we were through quickly. Just two questions to answer and we were back in Canada as of 2:10 p.m. It was too early to stop so we motored east on hwy 17 as far as Spragge. We did stop in Thessalon at a ladies shop which Jean saw advertised  on the hwy. She made three good purchases for her next trip in August to Scotland.We checked in at 5:05 at Serpent River Campground after motoring 481 km.. It is a former K.O.A. campground.
We are only 383 km. from Dunromin.

Monday, June 27, 2016

A Calmer Day

We had another motoring day, 547 km. in much better conditions. Winds were out of the NW and only 20 k.p.h. with gusts to 35 k.p.h. It remained mostly overcast all day and never got warmer than 16º. Today's route was much more interesting as we took hwy 200 east. We stopped at a nice wayside in Jacobson on the Mississippi River. Hwy 200 ended at hwy 2 which we took to Duluth. We crossed Lake Superior by bridge into  Wisconsin and
stopped in
 Superior on Barker's Island to have lunch. The island is very picturesque with some  interesting  sights like the S.S. Meteor (1896), a whaleback freighter on the Great Lakes that sailed until 1969 and is now a museum. There is also  a sculpture commemorating seamen of the Great Lakes.
We continued east on hwy 2, stopped for gas @ $2.22 / gal. in  Poplar. We crossed into Eastern time, entered  Michigan on hwy 28 and stopped at Michigamme Shores Campground just west of Champion at 5:30 new time. Our site overlooks the lake through trees. We must be getting near Ontario... lots of mosquitos!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Power Push East

7 a.m., wind's up
Today's forecast along I 94 and our route in Minnesota called for 35 k.p.h. winds out of the west with wind gusts to 60 k.p.h. in the afternoon. We got an early start but not before using our 8 cent / gal. discount gas coupon from K.O.A. at a local station. We were on the interstate at 7:55. The eastern half of North Dakota along I 94 is  mostly farmland. Jean's shutter finger got a bit of a break.
It was a motoring day with only comfort stops at rest areas.
As if the constant jostling of the motor home wasn't a give-away, the white caps on the ponds we passed were another sign of how windy it was.  We stopped at the Welcome Center in Minnesota, ate lunch there and decided to take a different route through the state, one that was keeping us in an easterly direction as long as possible with the  wind at our back. The wind was quite strong. We stopped at a Walmart for a few groceries and took hwy 10 east to Detroit Lakes. There we changed course and took  hwy 34 east. It was a good choice as it is known as the Country Lakes Scenic Byway and passes through designated State Forest. We were sheltered somewhat from the wind.

We stopped in Walker around 4:00 at Trails RV Park, a very nice campground with all the amenities. We have a large site and no immediate neighbors... nice for a change. A good motoring day, 489 km in spite of the wind. It reached 28º.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

North Dakota & Theodore Roosevelt National Park

 The wind had picked up again before we even left the campground at 7:45. It was out of the west and fortunately we were driving mostly east now  on I 94. Traffic was very light.  As long as we were going due east, we got a good push by the wind but whenever we turned north or northeast, we were broadsided.  It was the worst wind I have ever driven the motor home through. We made one  brief stop at a rest area for Shadow, very brief when I saw the sign warning about rattlesnakes! Yikes!   Eastern Montana is mostly flat grassland with rock outcroppings. Beef cattle appears to be the main livelihood. I 94 follows the Yellowstone  River. The wind made the drive exciting.  We stopped in  Miles at a Pilot station for gas @ $2.27 / gal. By the time we reached the North Dakota state line, we were almost exclusively heading east. We stopped at the Welcome Center for a map and literature and ate lunch before continuing through the North Dakota Badlands and Little Missouri National Grassland. We entered Theodore Roosevelt National Park and stopped at the Visitor Center at Painted Canyon. The canyon was very impressive. It was difficult to hold our cameras steady to take pictures; we thought it was even windier. We called ahead and made a reservation at the K.O.A. in Bismarck.
 Theodore Roosevelt frequented this area of North Dakota to hunt and was an avid conservationist . In 1947 Little Missouri Badlands was established as the Theodore Roosevelt National Memorial Park by then President Truman. In 1978 the boundaries were adjusted and the name changed. The park has three distinct areas to see.
We lost an hour when we  crossed into Central time and arrived at the K.O.A. at 5:00 new time. We knew we were getting their last site, "nothing spectacular" to quote the employee, more like an overflow site in the parking lot behind the pool but, hey, we have power, water and Wi-Fi, all we need. There were no other campgrounds in the area and 653 km today  was far enough. Shadow managed the long motoring day very well. Good job, girl!

Friday, June 24, 2016

A Stormy Day in Montana

 We had our first thunderstorm of the day before we even left Jellystone at 8:15. We stopped for gas at a Pilot station before getting back on I 90 east. That's when the second storm hit. We drove through heavy rain for the first 30 minutes. Harvee Too got a good power wash.
We had forgotten how beautiful the scenery is along I 90 in Montana.  The interstate follows the Clark River. We passed several smaller mountain ranges with names like Sapphire Range, Anaconda Range, Tobacco Root Mountains.  We crossed the Continental Divide in Homestake Pass (el. 6,368 ft.) and also drove through the Bozeman Pass (el. 5,750 ft.).  There was some construction, mostly repaving  with single lane restrictions but no delays. The speed limit on interstates in Montana is 80 m.p.h. but they drop it down to 55-65 m.p.h. in construction....whoosh, whoosh!
The rain caught up to us east of Bozeman but only briefly, enough to clean the windshield. Picture and video taking was getting trickier as the bug splats increased! Yuck! It became very windy; we were occasionally pushed around/rattled by passing transports. Hang on!
It was another good motoring day, 547 km. It reached 34.8º. We stopped at 4:00 in Billings at Billings Village  RV Park. The weather warnings were all to the north as  a cold front was moving in. It remained very windy all evening.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Big Sky Country

With no Wi-Fi, we were on the road early, at 7:00 under cloudy skies and intermittent showers. The rain had begun overnight. It was a warm 12 deg. Before leaving Washington state, we made one stop at the Wild Horse Monument along the Columbia River  near Vantage. The sculpture was created in 1989-1990 and consists of 15 life-size steel horses which appear galloping across a ridge.
We entered  Idaho and crossed through its panhandle and the very scenic area of Coeur d'Alene. We stopped at a Walmart in Kellogg to buy a few groceries and have lunch.
We entered Montana known as big sky country; it appropriately began to clear. We lost an hour going from Pacific time to Mountain rime.
We stopped for the day in Missoula at Jellystone Park, a campground surrounded by hills and very picturesque. It was a very good motoring day; we did 562 km..