Friday, September 5, 2008

Day 4 across Minnesota and Wisconsin

Thursday, Sept 5, 2008 (Great grandpa Chapman's birthday, this date 1915) we left Fargo, ND on a totally overcast day, temperatures in the 50s, with considerable ground fog. Conditions were good, however and the fog was not dense enough to deter our progress, and soon cleared as we took the "road less traveled" off the Interstate, heading east across Minnesota on US 10, connecting with State highways to the shores of beautiful Leech Lake with its 600+ miles of shoreline. We stopped there at a famous 80-yr- old restaurant on the south shore for a light lunch and took a picture at a historic marker also on the south shore that memorializes a failed attempt in the late 1800s by US troopers to arrest a Chief of the Chippewaa Indians at a place on the lake called Sugar Point. The confrontation with the Indians resulted in death for 6 of the troopers and 17 wounded (It says the Chief successfully evaded capture). Leech Lake is supposed to be the supreme fishing paradise in all of Minnesota with its 10,000 lakes.

We continued on our eastward trek along US 2, passing over the bridge at the soutwest tip of Lake Superior at Duluth, staring in awe at the expanse of Lake Superior, even at that relatively narrow finger of this largest of the Five Great Lakes, it looked like the ocean, not a freshwater lake. It is so huge! The docks and waterfront at Duluth are crowded with interlake shipping, with massive loading structures, cranes and all the facilities that are necessary to aid the loading and un-loading of grain, iron ore and the many other products and raw materials that go by ship across these vast in-land waterways. We tried vainly for a picture of the impressive waterfront but we were on a busy highway bridge with no opportunity to stop at the appropriate vantage point, sorry.

We stopped for the night at the little village of Ironwood, Michigan, just across the border of Wisconsin, so our travels through Wisconsin were short and brief, touching only upon its northernmost border along the south shore of Lake Superior.

We found a very clean, newly refurbished Comfort Inn in Ironwood. The desk clerk, learning we were on the eve of our 46th Wedding Anniversary, suprised us with a room that included a Jacuzzi tub! She also gave us an outstanding rate reduction! There are nice people in the world! Isn't it great?

Our travels today were along rural state highways, through heavy forest of both conifer and hardwoods of every variety, broken here and there by small clearings with farms and small villages. Every mile or so, there were ponds, lakes, rivers, streams, marshes and wet-lands on either side! What a fun experience traveling through country so different in every way from the vast open spaces of the Dakotas!

After checking in to our room at the Comfort Inn, we had a delightfully satisfying meal at the local restaurant, the Tidewater, located just a short distance from the hotel.

We feel blessed in every way today, and look forward to our arrival on the shores of Lake Huron, overlooking Mackinac Island and the Grand Hotel tomorrow! We have reservations there, beginning Sunday through Tuesday! We promise more pictures from Mackinac!