Today we are resting at a well-planned and pleasant Baker Park Reserve just outside Minneapolis, MN. It has the best shower and restroom facilities that we have seen in 30 years. Our most recent campground was a disaster. We had stayed at Interstate Campground on the Minnesota side about four years ago.
This time Tom booked us at Interstate on the Wisconsin side. Most of the state campgrounds in Wisconsin were designed a hundred years ago and the facilities have not been updated or maintained. (This is hard to believe about Wisconsin.) Trees have grown and RV spots have shrunk with limbs hanging and harming vehicles. Restrooms were marginal and there was no water for the campers. The Ice Age National Scenic Trail and scenery were the best!
Last night we dined on Indian food with Tom’s college roommate and his new companion, Steve and Dixie. Both had lost their spouses and then found each other –a compelling love story. The conversation was intriguingly international. Steve worked for the State Department in several countries. He is now working as an international business liaison for the State of Minnesota. Dixie is a Graphic Designer. Both had recently traveled to Iceland and are heading for London soon. They picked us up and the party began. The only problem was –it was too short! The slides of Iceland were to die for!
After the Mecca/Makkah experience at Kohler-Andrae, we headed to Suamico just north of Green Bay. This is such a pretty area. We caught up with my cousin Nelta and her husband Charlie. They fed us the minute we stepped in the door. The fare was just-baked zucchini bread and hot chicken sandwiches. Nelta could move in with us and cook for us if Charlie did not need her. They sent us off with Maple Syrup created by Charlie and a loaf of that bread. So good!
Northern hospitality is amazing! Charlie is recovering from six broken ribs sustained after a freak fall. They manage their own duplexes as a way of providing retirement income. When we were there, they were dealing with a woman who was sent to jail. They had to evict her. The story is not pretty! We had such a good time with them that we are coming back next year to visit the new Packard stadium and more!!!
Tom wanted to chime in with a few words about his own experience at Terrace View Campground. He calls this part, “Paradise Found.”
We discovered this campground in Passport America, and chose it simply because it was a good stopping point between two destinations, not a destination itself. When we made reservations, and called to check on possible flooding, a nice, talkative lady, who seemed to be up in years, always called back. If fact she even called when we had not arrived by 5:00 PM on our arrival day.
We found Terrace View about one mile off the end of Interstate 51, near Tomahawk, Wisconsin. As we pulled in, the owner, Lin, was shooing the wild turkeys away that were right in front of us. She instructed us where to park, and told us to get set up, before coming to pay. She honored the “old” Passport America rate of $15.87.
We learned that she had owned the campground since 1967. At age 19, Lin and her husband Ken (a soap chemist), both from Aurora, IL were camping at Terrace View when they noticed a sign that read “For Sale.” Upon inquiry the current owner asked them to come back in the morning, likely assuming they were not serious. In the morning they did come back and agreed on a price and down payment. They have been running the campground as owners for 48 years.
On my inquiry, Lin indicated that in 1967, they knew nothing about running a campground and even very little about camping. They called their campground “Old Style Camping.” Ken passed away this year, but Lin is keeping the campground running. It is a nice setting on Lake Muskellunge with daily, seasonal, and yearly sites available. Kayak rental is $5/hour, life jacket included, and of course you can pay after you go kayaking. Lin and Ken seemed to have found and created their own bit of Paradise.
Much better than life in a cubical or an office….
This is a long blog I know but I only have one more story. We set our goal for this trip to see Lake Superior again, and we did.
We made plans with Sally and Jim, our neighbors and friends, to see their homes in Drummond and Hayward. I had been thinking of purchasing a summer place and wanted to get a feel for their lives in the communities. They had just sold their home on five acres near Hayward. I did not imagine that the setting would be so beautiful because it was supposedly “in town.”
Their new house in Drummond is a magnificent log-home on a very quiet and private lake. It is a perfect setting for a writer or anyone who wants to recharge.
Their hospitality was beyond generous. They fed us the first evening and for the next two days we toured (Sally drove) around the areas including Ashland and the rim of Lake Superior.
We never imagined that people would hide their restaurants down long lonely lanes behind groves of one hundred feet tall trees. Nor could we imagine that people preferred gravel roads to paved because it kept people off of them. We could not live in most of the areas around Drummond because the roads would harm our motorhome. So the gravel philosophy works. Go figure!
This has been a great trip from beginning to end. We passed through many little towns with hundred-year-old buildings that had been repurposed.
Tom grew up in Wisconsin and did not know (nor I) that there are 15,000 lakes in Wisconsin. Take a look at Northern and Eastern Wisconsin on the map. You could probably afford to buy one of those lakes. He He!
As always, this post is copyrighted by Marla J. Selvidge and Thomas C. Hemling