Where Did the Summer Go? My, How Time Slips Away!!! Part II

Well,  finally taking the time to finish our summer blog travels . . . now that it is January 2016 🙁 .  Have been pretty busy up until now . . . so finally here is “Where Did the Summer Go? My, How Time Slips Away!!! Part II”.  We left off with part I in Columbus, OH, from there we made good time to MN with a few stops along the way.  One in particular was Clear Lake, IA were we stayed for a week while we awaited for our reservation date in MN.  While there we found the place “Where the Music Died” . . . the field where Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson and their pilot Roger Peterson died in that fateful plane crash.


The only thing that commemorates this site is a pair of “Buddy Holly” horned rimmed glasses as a memorial just off a small gravel road along the fence line of the field.


Not a lot to do there except take some goofy pictures of ourselves 🙂


Lisa @BH


While we were in Clear Lake, IA we took time to visit “Downtown” and had supper at the Anchor Inn across the street from the Surf Ballroom where Buddy Holly and the boys played there last show.

Lisa @BH2

Lisa @BH3

Leaving Iowa we finally headed to Minnesota on July 17th and made it to our Minneapolis “home” at Dakotah Meadows RV Park at Mystic Lake Casino where we would stay for two weeks until heading further north.


While staying at Mystic Lake those first two weeks they had “The Great Midwest Rib Fest” with Nitty Gritty Dirt Band one night and Joe Diffie another.  There was no admission but the food and beer was pretty spendy (Beers $8 🙁 ) but it was a fun time.


joe diffie


We had the pleasure of the company of our niece and grand nieces one of the nights . . . Sarah, Leyla and Evie and also a quick visit from Matt.


While in the Mpls. area for those first two weeks we had the opportunity and pleasure of visiting many family and friends.  One night we met my sister Deb and her son Colin and our niece and nephew Julie and Pat for dinner at the Twin City Grill in the Mall of America.  Had a fun time catching up with them.  We also made a trip or two out to our old neighborhood in Rockford, MN to visit our best Rockford buds (Jim & Deb) and other old neighbors.


Also had the opportunity to visit my former colleagues at Nestle a few times . . . too busy visiting and no pictures 🙁 .


August 1st we headed north to Hinckley, MN were we stayed at Grand Casino RV Park for about a week.  While there we took a couple of trips into Wisconsin where some of Lisa’s family live.  On one trip we visited the graveside of Lisa’s Mom and Dad.



We wandered around the cemetery and found many other of Lisa’s relatives . . .


The main reason we stayed in Hinckley was so we could attend a surprise 40th Anniversary party for Lisa’s Aunt Delores and Uncle Monty which was to be held in Solon Springs, WI about 60+ miles from Hinckley.  Most of Lisa’s family journeyed to Solon Springs for the event.  Many of us got there before the guests of Honor so we were able to surprise them.

A surprise anniversary gift from us to Aunt Delores and Uncle Monty . . .


The party was held at a park near Solon Springs alongside a beautiful lake.


We had a great time seeing everyone again and spending the afternoon picnicking and playing horseshoes and other games.





And everybody had a good time!!!!


From Hinckley we headed further north through Duluth and traveled MN’s North Shore Drive along Lake Superior (“Gitche Gumee”) to the quaint little town of Grand Marais, MN.  Just for the fun of it here are some little known facts about Lake Superior or as I had mentioned previously “Gitche Gumee”.  Actually, The Ojibwe call the lake gichi-gami (pronounced as gitchi-gami and kitchi-gami in other dialects), meaning “be a great sea”.  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote the name as “Gitche Gumee” in “The Song of Hiawatha”, as did Gordon Lightfoot in his song, “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”.  According to other sources the actual Ojibwe name is Ojibwe Gichigami (“Ojibwe’s Great Sea”) or Anishinaabe Gichigami (“Anishinaabe’s Great Sea”) . . . OK . . . enough history lesson for the day 🙂 .

In Grand Marais we stayed at the Grand Marais Campground and RV Park.  A very nice campground right on Lake Superior.  We have stayed at this campground many times before when we lived in MN.  It is right along the harbor in town so walking into town for breakfast, lunch, dinner or shopping was very easy. 



On a few trips into town we stopped and had donuts at “The Worlds Best Donuts Shop”


And also stopped by my favorite Bait Shop . . . The Beaver House to say Hi to our friend Ty, the owner.


We planned our stay in Grand Marais to coincide with my step son Bill and his family . . . Rachel and our grand kids Hailiey and Brayden and our friends Tim and Mona who were spending the week at Trout Lake Resort on the Gunflint Trail.  For many years when we lived in MN we spent a week every summer at Trout Lake Resort.  It was great to see Nancy (the owner) and the “Boys” Rusty and Guy again.  Always a great place to get away from it all and do some great Rainbow trout fishing.  We visited everyone a number times at the resort and had fun times.  Even Tessy and Tucker got do some playing in the lake.


One day we even took the pontoon out for an afternoon of sun and fishing.





I was able to get some time to go stream fishing for Brook trout with Bill one day.  We went to one of our favorite trout streams back off the Gunflint trail . . . Kimball Creek.  Had a great time but no real keepers as far as the Brookies go 🙁 .   Beautiful scenery and got some good pictures .





Another day Bill, Rachel, Hailiey and Brayden came into town and we wandered around some of the shops and then walked out to the outer part of the harbor.





We all decided to walk out on the breakwater to the lighthouse.


Look closely at this next picture and see the guy “Under” the pine tree 🙂





All in all it was a fun day with Bill, Rachel and the grandkids 🙂


When not having fun shopping, fishing and visiting we would take a stroll along the shore with the “Kids” only steps from our campsite.





Being only miles from the Canadian border and right off Lake Superior even though it was August the evenings did get a bit chilly.  Made good opportunities to have a campfire . . . the Mr. Tucker took full advantage of these chances to snuggle with his “Mommy”.



Well, after the fun week in Grand Marais we headed back to our Minneapolis home base at Mystic Lake were we would spend the rest of our time in MN before heading south again for the winter.  Shortly after arriving back at Mystic Lake it was time for the “Great Minnesota Get Together” for those in the know, AKA the Minnesota State Fair.  The Minnesota State Fair runs for 10 days at the end of the summer with the last day on Labor Day.  We always went at least once every year when we lived in MN and have been back for the fair every year since we’ve left.  This year we made two trips to the fair and had a fun time!!


The Minnesota State Fair is famous for almost anything “On a Stick”.  Of course the traditional Corn Dog on a stick and the Foot Long Hot Dog on a stick.


Deep Fried Olives on a stick.


Bacon Wrapped Shrimp on a stick.


Meatballs on a stick.


Deep Fried Ice Cream on a stick.


One of my favorites . . . Pork Chop on a stick.


Yes, and even Hot Dish on a stick.


And so many more “Things on a Stick’ that you can’t even count them.  Our first stop was to get my MOST favorite “Bacon on a Stick”.


As usual the fair was packed so it was a challenge navigating the crowds.  For those not “In the Know” regarding the MN State Fair . . . Even though it is not the largest state fair in the country (Texas is) the MN State Fair covers 320 acres with 8 miles of paved streets and 140 permanent structures on the fairgrounds.


We visited all our favorite haunts, The Grandstand building.


The International Bizarre.


The Leinie Lodge.


And all the animal barns . . . Sheep Barn


Pig (Swine 🙂 ) Barn.


Cow (Cattle) Barn.


Horse Barn.


Can’t forget all the other barns . . . Rabbit (Bunny) Barn and the Goat Barn.


In the Chicken barn only stuffed Chickens (not the edible ones) were on display because of the Avian Flu.


Every year, the current Princess Kay of the Milky Way is immortalized with a 90 pound butter sculpture.  We just happened to get to see this being done this year in person.


And anyone that goes to the Great Minnesota Get Together has to see the Crop Art . . . a line from a song about the state fair . . “ya gotta see the Crop Art it’ll blow you away” . . . so of we went.






We had a great time each day and ate lots and lots of “fair” food 🙂 and saw almost everything there was to see .

Well, after the fair closed on Labor Day ( which was our second anniversary of “Livin’ the Dream”  . . . life on the road) we still had a few more weeks of stay in MN.  One day we had the pleasure of being invited out boating on Lake Minnetonka with good friends David, Stephanie and their son Benjamin for a trip to Lord Fletchers on the Lake for burger night.


On the way to Lord Fletchers when David said “which way” it seemed these two had different ideas on which way to go 🙂


This was the second year that David, Stephanie and Benjamin invited us out boating to Lord Fletchers.  It was a bit choppy out on  lake but with David driving I wasn’t worried.


But, when Benjamin took the helm I was bit rattled . . . Just Kidding Benjamin 🙂


We arrived at Lord Fletchers safe and sound.


Last year when we made this trip we came across some graffiti under one of the bridges . . . and there it was again.


All and all we were in MN for over two months and had a great time.  We would like to say “Thanks” to everyone . . . Bill, Rachel, Hailiey and Brayden,  Tim and Mona, Deb and Jim, Greg and Cindy, Dick and Debbie, Ralph, Rose and Rob, Deb and Colin, Pat and Julie, Sue and Marlyn, Matt, Sarah, Leyla and Evie, Aunt Delores and Uncle Monty, Becky and Dewayne, Harry and Claudia, Nancy, Rusty and Guy, Ty, all my former Nestle colleagues and all the other friends we had the pleasure to visit with. We had a great time.  Just before we left there was a formation of early WWII Training airplanes that flew over us . . . Kind of like everyone saying goodbye and safe travels.


So the middle of September came along and it was time to hit the road.  Lisa wanted to stop at the Crater of Diamonds State park in Arkansas to “Find the Family Jewels” on the way south but one thing we learned while summering in MN through a few heavy thunderstorms that the leak in “Homey” wasn’t fixed yet.  So it was off to Forest City, IA where Winnebago is made to get him fixed once and for all.  Stay tuned for the next chapter of K.A.R.E. project (Kremer American RV Exploration) as we visit Winnebago, St. Louis, Memphis and points south on our travels back to Florida.



5 Replies to “Where Did the Summer Go? My, How Time Slips Away!!! Part II”

    1. What a great adventure you two live. Thanks for sharing photos. Seems like yesterday we were hiding in those “rocks” in the GM harbor-the best fun ever! Soo sad we missed seeing you-next summer for sure!! Safe travels!

      1. Hey Pam . . . I remember those days of playing on the rocks in GM . . . it does just seem like yesterday 🙂 We also are sorry we missed all you guys this year . . . This coming summer we aren’t planning on spending as much time in MN as we did this past year so lets for sure plan some time together this coming summer.

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