Rainy times in Minnesota

The last two days I’ve been woken up early by heavy rains and strong winds.
Sunday morning I was awakened around 3:30 AM by strong winds and heavy rain.
And again today Monday at around 4:00 AM the rain came down strong and it’s been raining all day today. I think I’ve had more rain in the last two weeks since I’ve been in Minnesota that I have in the past year. Most of it is fallen at night and has not been bad during the daytime. All my travels over the past year it seems like my timing has been just right and I missed any bad storms & rainy day in a roll.

We been averaging about 2 inches a day when it does rain which has affected the lake and river levels quite a bit. As the lake levels go up the park rangers have to open the floodgates to try to keep the Lake at manageable levels. The first week I was here we had two nights of heavy rain and then a beautiful Fourth of July weekend. Overall I have nothing to complain about the weather’s been very nice mild and sunny and most days and not overly breezy. The last two days were the only days that we get measurable rain during the day. On Sunday it rained till midday then cleared off and we had a beautiful evening but today Monday it’s been gloomy and will rainy all day. That’s okay it gave me time to make a batch of cream of mushroom soup which I shared with the park rangers that were here today. I also made cookies on Sunday so if nothing else I’ve been eating good the last few days.

Last week Thursday I did a daytrip to Duluth, Minnesota and Superior, Wisconsin referred to as the twin ports. There a little over an hour drive from where I’m at. Thursday was a beautiful day to drive with the top down and and enjoy the beautiful weather. Over the years I have been to this area numerous times, there are a lot of things to see and do in Duluth and Superior area. I stopped along the way had a couple meat markets in small towns and found some delicious brats and smoked fish. One thing with being back in the Midwest I get spoiled with all the great meat markets and cheese houses around the area. One place we stopped was Pattison State Park in Wisconsin, just a little over 10 miles south of Superior. This is a very nice park that I’ve been to numerous times over the years with the wife and kids. The highlight of the park is the Black River and Big Manitou Falls, the falls consist of 165 foot vertical drop. This is the highest waterfall in Wisconsin and the fourth highest east of the Rocky Mountains. I didn’t have my camera with me and it’s kinda hard to get a decent picture with just my phone but here are some of the falls.
Alongside the creek just above the falls.20160706_144951From a scenic Outlook looking back towards the falls.20160706_145804
Here’s a a sign explaining the geological history of the area.20160706_150157The park is 62 campsites 18 of which electric hookups and most will accommodate fairly large RV’s. Most of these campsites can be reserved and during the summer months weekends are booked along way out, but if you come during the week there is usually numerous sites available. There’s also a nice lake with good swimming beach for the kids.20160706_144405
I don’t think I’ve mentioned it before but here at the campground we got a camper cabin. It’s just a simple one room cabin with bunk beds and it has three singles one side of the cabin and a double bunk bed on the other side. The unusual thing is on Monday the fourth some one reserved it just for Tuesday night, this is unusual usually is families that reserved for the weekends or during the week because they can put up tents also on the site and makes a great group location. What it ended up being is to gentleman that are kayaking the Mississippi book it. They had left their last stop early in the morning around 7:00 AM figuring that they would do the 35 miles on Tuesday and arrive late in the afternoon and have a warm dry place to stay, it took them longer than they had figured it would & didn’t get in until after six. They had not arrived by 5 o’clock so Tammy left the keys with me so that they could get in. But the thing is they came in on the opposite side of the park and did not see the sign on the office door, saying to come to my site and they were a little lost as what to do. But after using the shower buildings and getting refreshed they ran in the someone had told the come see me and we were able to get them set up. They started their journey over a week ago at the headwaters of the Mississippi at Lake Itasca already traveling a couple hundred miles. Jamie Buckley is the main guy on this journey and plans and going all the way to the Gulf of Mexico arriving there sometime in October. He’s doing this journey to raise funds and bring awareness to end polio through the Rotary’s End Polio Now campaign. He’s a 51-year-old retired banker from Maryland.
He started his journey in northern Minnesota is and will continue over 2300 miles to the Gulf of Mexico, this should be quite an adventure for him. The Mississippi is the fourth longest river in the world but not like some of the others is heavily traveled by commercial traffic and he will navigate through many locks on the lower Mississippi, but as first part of the journey in upper Minnesota consists of a slow-moving river that winds back and forth through much marshland and is slow going.
You can find more information about Jamie and follow his travels at his website http://www.tcozee.com/
His friend nickname T-Lite was going to stay with him to the end of the week, when they arrived at Brainerd, Minnesota and then he had a head back to Maryland but he might join him again towards the end of the trip when it gets closer to New Orleans.
Jamie reminds me of Forest Gump when he went running across the country, he is a very nice and laid-back guy. In the past few years is done a couple other great adventures he’s walked the Appalachian Trail from Georgia the Maine and the Pacific Coast Trail from start to finish. Here’s a photo of Jamie and his buddy T-Lite Jamie is the one on the left, you can see why he reminds me a Forest Gump.20160706_093739So far my camp host job as been very nice and relaxing, with minimal problems. I’ve met a lot of super nice people most of them are from Minnesota as I had said earlier this park gets used by people an hour or two away. I did the need a nice couple from Texas that are recent full timers and we exchange information I’m sure our paths will cross again.

That’s it for now thanks for reading, Rick


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