Belvidere, SD to Albert Lea, MN
Jul 29, 2010
|Thursday, Day 43
I look back at previous entries & am shocked at some of my mistakes – usually do the entries pretty late at night – but gosh – I will sure have fun getting everything right once we get home & I get caught up on sleep! Some of what I see are goofy things the Good Sam site does too – I am still learning on that & finding ways to get around some of its quirky little ways! Well, probably only a couple more days of journals on the go – we expect to be home on Sunday nite – if all goes as planned.
Leaving Belvidere KOA, loved the campground, very nice people. We had breakfast at their small café before we left town, it was good & very reasonable. We had some thunder in the distance last nite, but nothing too major – just all nite rain! It was down to a lite drizzle when we went for breakfast, then dumped on us just as we left the building – hard to hurry (I won’t even attempt running) w/a foam container of breakfast & coffee in my hands – along w/a folded umbrella that I couldn’t use because I had so much to carry. Ron ran on ahead & had the door open for me at least.
Before we left the campground I had an interesting conversation w/an elderly gentleman. He was coming from his shower & greeted me w/”Good morning smilie”. We chatted for a minute & I asked where he was from (they were camped right next to us in a van conversion camper). He said they were on a perpetual honeymoon, both had lost spouses, they had known each other for years & have been married for 5 mos. I asked where home was & he laughed, said it’s wherever they park – they’d sold everything & were traveling where the road takes them . . . they want to see the USA! He was such a sweet fellow (probably ~80) w/a great smile - but I did have to keep from laughing at the 2 of us standing there talking. He didn’t have a shirt on yet & the top of his undershorts was pulled up over his belt – I am sure we made quite a sight! In a couple of mins. we went our separate ways. Sure do meet the greatest people when RVing! I sure wish them well, living in such tight quarters is hard . . . but love can conquer all things. It was a good way to start the day.
We soon crossed time zones – now on Central Time! Drove thru showers & hard rain off & on most of the day – by the time we got to Albert Lea it was getting much brighter & hotter. Had a variety of terrain today, from gentle rolling to large hills – but no mountains or glaciers to be seen! Traveled thru lots of large ranch & farm country – the crops look good – mostly corn, beans & hay – they’ve had a lot of rain & there are some low areas that are just mud w/some standing water.
Passing thru Vivian we encountered dry roads, but very strong winds which tried to push us side-ways on the highway. Tough driving conditions. Past the exit for the town of Winner, SD & then Presho – we camped there several years ago at the New Frontier RV Park, had our stormiest night ever there – but the campground was nice w/fantastic log restrooms - we spent 4 hrs in the women's restroom until tornados W & N of us passed thru!
Crossed the Missouri River at Chamberlin, it is very wide here (probably a dam nearby) – we’ve always come from the E before – love the rest area on the SE side of the hwy – Lewis & Clark history center – great place for a good break (one of our favorites), w/an awesome view of the river. In my mind I see the fear on the faces of the families going down that steep cliff in their wagons – it is very steep in today’s “buggies” – on good highway! Got gas in Chamberlin: $2.89/gal = $66.22 (87 octane still).
Went past Mitchell, SD – home of the "World’s Only Corn Palace". We’ve seen it twice before, so passed by today – but it is quite a place. This whole area is big sky country, we can see forever – and all we see is grey clouds – at home we see a storm a few mins. before it hits us – here they can see it for a day or more before! Encountered a really long construction zone after Mitchell & E of Mitchell we crossed the James River, it is very high – over the banks.
Took a 10 min rest stop w of Salem/Yankton – the rain even let up for a few minutes so we could walk around. No wind & the temperature is quite comfortable. Stopped again for gas in Luverne, MN - $2.69/gal = $56.05, saw a turkey along the hwy right after getting back on I-90. Little town of Welcome had 2 huge wind turbines near the hwy – they are pretty cool – so big! This is really nice farm country.
Past Blue Earth – home of the Jolly Green Giant – he stands 60 ft tall over the farm fields.
Stopped in Albert Lea at the little mall right off I-90. We walked for a bit & then ordered pizza to go, it’s still early for dinner (by Mountain Time)!!! Just a few miles down the road we checked into our 2nd KOA Kampground – at Albert Lea/Austin. We pulled off the hwy onto what appears to be a little farm road, down a tree lined gravel road to the Kampground – we were saying how nice it was that we wouldn’t hear the hwy traffic tonight, when we realized that we had come almost full circle & were right next to the hwy! Well, at least we haven’t heard any major plane or train noise! Haven’t had any rain all evening – even ate dinner on the picnic table w/grass under our feet. This is also a very nice place w/very friendly people. The fellow that helped us to our site, was saying that yesterday they had 2 storm fronts move thru – w/50 mph winds – glad we missed that excitement! It was quite hot when we got here, but it’s now almost 1 AM (CT) & has cooled down pretty good.
Our day is going to start out pretty relaxed in the morning – we plan to have a "special" breakfast in Austin, MN, see their “special” museum & then drive over 300 miles thru mostly farm country to Door County, WI. It will be a long day. . . We have been thru the Austin area several times on our travels – but never timed it right for the museum, which Ron is quite interested in. So we are delaying our departure from the area until after we tour the museum – which doesn’t open until 10 am (bummer!!!) – don’t think it will take us too long to do the tour tho.
Question for the Grandkids – What is Austin, Minnesota famous for??? Ron loves it – me not so much. Have you ever tried it? I cannot believe they have a museum to honor this “All American” item!
Good nite all