We started our longest day on the road at around 9am. It took about 90 minutes just to get out of the North Woods and then we needed to cross Lake Superior near Duluth from Wisconsin into Minnesota. This put us on I-35 which we took until just outside the St. Paul/Minneapolis area where we once again crossed back into Wisconsin for our next stop. Yes, it was quite a journey.
It was fun to see I-35 again, as this is the freeway that is closest to us in Texas going right through the middle of the country even as far north as Duluth, MN.
We have been to Duluth on previous trips and it didn’t look like much changed. It’s quite industrial as many large ships come into port here from Lake Superior. The roads are old and narrow and we were glad to get out of the city and into the rural areas south of the city.
We stopped for breakfast at Peggy Sue’s about an hour south of Duluth to take a break. I found the restaurant on our GPS and then checked out the address on Google Earth. There was a large dirt lot across the street that would be perfect for parking the RV in this very small town…. As long as no building took place since the picture was taken. Well, we were lucky. It was still a dirt lot with plenty of room for our RV and lunch at Peggy Sue’s was pretty good.
From here, I drove to the next rest stop which was 76 miles away, so Jay could rest for a little. The plan was as we got closer to the city, then Jay would take over driving again. Of course, as soon as I got behind the wheel, we were in a construction zone, as usual. I took us through 2 very long ones and finally the rest stop was in view. It was an easy drive from there to the state campground which is only a few miles from our friends RoxAnn and Joe’s house, which is just perfect.
Then when we got to the campground I realized my mistake. I thought our site had electric AND water but found out we only had electric. I really messed this up big time, as we barely had any water in our tank and it surely wouldn’t last us 5 days. So we went into real camping mode with bottled water for everything including flushing the toilet and showers at the campground showers, which are a car drive away. Oh well… it’s only 5 days and we would be spending a lot of time at our friends’ house.
Once we were set up, we headed over to RoxAnn and Joe’s house. We had seen pictures but the 80 acre property with a view of their lake is so much more beautiful in person. We relaxed on the back patio and then Joe took Jay and I out for a ride on his “Gater” to see all of the property that was cleared. We had brats for dinner and s’mores for dessert made over the fire pit. It was a fun night catching up with our friends since we hadn’t seen them since they left Sun City in April.
On Saturday the four of us headed into Stillman, MN which is on the beautiful St. Croix River. We checked out the shops, made reservations for Sunday brunch at the Lowell Hotel, bought tickets for the steamboat ride on Monday, took a trolley tour of the area and had a wonderful day out. Then after a couple hours of rest for all of us, we headed out to dinner and had a really interesting Greek dinner with samples of all different types of Greek food. To burn that off, we played a game of croquet at RoxAnn and Joe’s before calling it a day.
On Sunday, Jay went bike riding in the morning, but we had to get to RoxAnn and Joe’s by 11:30, so we could make our noon reservation for bunch at the Lowell Hotel. This hotel is really beautiful and old. It has 13 columns on the front of the hotel as a reminder of the 13 original colonies. Lots of history here including visits from Laura Bush and the Obamas. Brunch was a fabulous buffet with interesting dishes and wonderful service. We really enjoyed it.
Afterwards, RoxAnn and I relaxed on the porch swing while Joe and Jay worked on the horse fencing. It got up to 90 degrees today, which is very warm for here, so after the guys got done with their work, it was time for showers and naps.
Then, as if we hadn’t had enough to eat already today, we all headed out to dinner at Meisters, which is on Cedar Lake. We sat outside on the patio and it was so fun to watch all the boats, many of which were stopping at the docks at Meisters, so the people could have dinner.
We had a nice light dinner and just as our food was completed, the power went out in a large area around the restaurant. We were lucky to be the last ones to get our food!
On Monday morning, we met RoxAnn and Joe at their house to follow them to the Pheasant Hill Golf Course. We had fun playing 9 holes and surprisingly, we all did very well. From here we headed out to lunch and then headed back to the RV to check on Rocky.
We had a full evening with a dinner cruise on one of the paddle wheelers. We had a fabulous two hour cruise on the St. Croix River, leaving from Stillwater, MN, which we visited the other day. We were surprised that the food was so good and enjoyed eating on the upper deck and taking in all the scenery. A really fun day.
On our last day in town, we took a drive with RoxAnn and Joe to see where they used to live in Edina, MN. We stopped at the Original Pancake House for breakfast and had a fabulous meal. Then drove the local streets checking out all their previous homes and also the lakes in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. There are some beautiful lake homes there but RoxAnn and Joe are much happier in Wisconsin.
In the evening, we had dinner in downtown Hudson, the town in which RoxAnn and Joe live. We had fabulous seats in the shade on the patio and it was a wonderful meal. Afterwards, RoxAnn and I walked the old bridge into the St. Croix River and then joined Joe and Jay to listen to the Minneapolis Orchestra playing in the park. What a huge turn out!
Well, our time here is over and we had a fabulous time with our friends. Many thanks to them for their wonderful hospitality. We’ll see you two in October when you return to Sun City.
Now on to our next stop, Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin.