Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Not All Who Wander Are Lost
June, 2019 - Mount Denali, Alaska

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Moorhead and Bemidji

On Monday Korey drove us to Moorhead, MN to show us his new apartment and one of his offices. Korey and his roommate, AJ, moved into the apartment in May and then both left to work at camp for the summer.

It’s a very nice apartment with 2 bedrooms and 2 baths. They are on the top floor with a nice little balcony off the living room. The building is only a few years old. All the rooms are very spacious. They have a 2 car garage which is practically essential in the cold winters. There is also an indoor pool and exercise room. I think they’ll like living there. Now they just need time to unpack and get a little more furniture :)

Korey took us to the church in Moorhead where one of his offices are located. Korey actually has three offices he works out of. One at the church in Moorhead, one at the camp in Menahga, and one at the main office in Bemidji. I don’t think he’s ever bored.

Monday evening we took Korey and his girlfriend, Cathryn, out to dinner at a restuarant called Granite City to celebrate Korey’s birthday. The restaurant has it’s Kevin, Evelyn & Korey at Granite City for Korey's 26th Birthdayown microbrewery. The guys enjoyed the beers. Here’s a picture at the bar. Cathryn wasn’t there yet when the bartender took the picture for us. Happy Birthday, Korey! I can’t believe my baby is 26 years old!

Both guys ordered the “bedda chedda” burgers. I have never seen such a large burger with so much cheese piled on top. They managed to eat the whole thing and said they were very tasty. I had a french dip type sandwich. It was just OK. Cathryn had the chicken wrap and said it was a bit dry. The guys really liked the restaurant. I wasn’t as impressed.

After dinner we went to Cathryn’s parents house for birthday cake. It was the first time we met them. They are very nice people with a beautiful home. They live a few blocks from the Red River.

You may recall that two summers ago there was terrible flooding along the Red River in Fargo and Moorhead. The water came close to their house, but they were spared from any flooding. Many of their friends and neighbors were not so lucky. There are still houses along the river that are up on blocks waiting to be moved to a different location.

Yesterday Korey drove us to Bemidji to see another of his offices. I also wanted to see the statues of Paul Bunyan and Babe, the blue ox. Here’s Korey with the statues.Paul Bunyan, Babe & Korey Paul is 18 feet tall and weighs 5,000 pounds. Babe weights 10,000 pounds. The span between his horns is 14 feet wide.

The tourist center next to the statues has a variety of Paul Bunyan memorabilia including his axe, gun, fishing pole and boxer shorts :)

The FireplKevin & Evelyn at Fireplace of States Bimidji, MNace of States is also located in the tourist center. It is made out of stones from every state in the Union, every province of Canada, and from Mexico and other countries. One of the stones is from the original US Capitol in Washington, DC. You can see Paul Bunyan’s hammer and fishing net in the picture.

We’re now headed to Fountain Lake Campground in Waupaca, WI to visit our friends Dick and Wanda who own a lot at the campground. Each year a group of 10 of us get together for the 4th of July at Fountain Lake. Lots of game playing and eating takes place while we’re there. (Maybe a little drinking, too!) We’ll all have a great time. The weather is forecast to be spectacular!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Heartland State Trail

We discovered this great trail here in Park Rapids. We don’t have our bikes with us, so we decided to walk along part of the trail. Yesterday we walked for about 1-1/2 hours. Today I decided we should try for 2 hours. We figure we walked over 6 miles today. I’m pooped! Here’s a description of the trail from the website. What a great find!

“The Heartland State Trail was one of the first rail-to-trail projects in the country. It is a 49 mile multiple use trail between Park Rapids and Cass Lake. The trail is located entirely on a level abandoned raHeartland Trail 1ilroad grade except for a four mile segment north of Walker, on sharply rolling terrain. The 27 mile segment between Park Rapids and Walker has a paved surface. This segment also has a second grassy treadway for horseback riding and mountain biking.”

Heartland Trail 2

Yesterday we drove about 12 miles south of here to Menahga to check out another campground. It was nice for tents and smaller campers. There were just too many low hanging branches to risk taking our camper in there next time we visit.

St. Urho 2

We also stopped at the St. Urho statue in Menahga. This area is very Norwegian. The town has chosen to honor St Urho, patron saint of the Finnish vineyard workers. You can read all about him below. Can you say Uff-da! (No offense, Cathryn!)

St. Urho 1

We also spent about an hour yesterday walking around the downtown of Park Rapids. It's a quaint little town with the typical tourist shops and some Northwoods shops. I'm happy to say I didn't buy anything except a birthday card for Korey's birthday tomorrow.

One last thing for today. I have seen a couple of black squirrels up here. I’ve never seen one before. This was the best picture I could get. Black Squirrel Park Rapids

Time to get going. Korey will be here in about an hour!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

We’re in Minnesota

We left Astico County Park yesterday for a 10 day vacation.  My mother was a bit confused.  She couldn’t understand how we could be going on vacation when we are already on a big long vacation.  I really think she believes we are going through some type of mid-life crisis and will end up back in a house with jobs.  I sure hope not!

Kevin drove 9 hours yesterday to get us to Park Rapids, MN.  That’s just too long.  I’m still trying to convince him that 4 or 5 hours a day is enough.  We had three instances of people pulling out or stopping suddenly in front of us.  My heart can’t take 9 hours of that.  I spent the entire trip listening to an audio book and playing games on my laptop.  I keep my head down and try not to look :)

Our son, Korey, works in Menahga which is about 10 minutes from the campground we are staying at.  He is at a wedding today but will join us tomorrow.  We haven’t seen him since Easter so I’m excited to be able to spend a few days with him.  He has a few days off work due to the 4th of July weekend so he will be with us until Tuesday evening.

Korey works for Pathways Camping Ministries.  His job title is:  High Adventure, Challenge Course and Retreat Director.  The organization has three camps, but he spends most of his summer at Camp Emmaus in Menahga.  Much of his time is spent on the Challenge Course supervising the counselors and the campers.  In the winter he has an apartment in Moorhead, MN.  He travels to the camps for some weekend retreats and goes to the office some days.  Other days he works from home.  He absolutely loves his job. 


We visited him at the camp last summer.  I was amazed to see him scale the 32 foot rock climbing wall.  This was my son who was scared to death of heights when he was a child.  I tried climbing the wall last summer.  I barely made it off the ground.  It’s much harder than I thought it would be.  I won’t embarrass myself with any pictures of that event!  Here are a few pictures of him from last summer.


That’s Cathryn with Korey.  They’ve been dating for about 2 years now.  She’s a wonderful young lady.  Her family is from Moorhead, MN.  We will be meeting her parents this week.  I’m thinking this is pretty serious :)

Cathryn graduated from college in May.  She is taking a year off to work and then planning on attending graduate school.  She’s still a bit undecided on a career choice, but is leaning towards OT or Physician Assistant.  She loves working with and helping people.  I know she will be awesome in whatever career she chooses.

Today we will be checking out a campground in Menahga for future visits.  We are currently staying at Big Pines RV Resort in Park Rapids.  They really use the word resort loosely.  All they have is a building with bathrooms and washers and dryers.  There is no pool, store, beach, playground, etc.  They charge $36 a night for full hook-ups.  The reason we stay here is because it is conveniently located, the sites are big, and it is quiet.  There are only 4 other units in the park.  One is the camphost; the other 3 look like they are seasonals.

I hope you all have a great weekend!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Golf and Storms

After my disastrous golf game two weeks ago, I ordered a new driver on ebay.  I used it yesterday, and I did much better.  The driver has a very large head, and I seem to be able to hit the ball much better.  I also have a hybrid 5 iron/wood which I can hit pretty well in the fairway.  My chipping has always been OK.  I’m still working on not hitting the ball too hard while putting.  So, I can say I actually had fun golfing with Kevin yesterday.  I guess I really only need 4 clubs to play with.  Whatever works, right?

Last night some severe storms came through Wisconsin.  I’m so glad we bought a weather radio when we started fulltiming.  It was going off like crazy.  Our county was under a tornado warning, but we got lucky.  The worst of the storms went just south of us.  We had very heavy rain, but did not get the strong winds.  There were two tornados reported south and west of us. Luckily, they weren’t too severe.  Mostly downed trees and power lines.  We lost our satellite TV for about 45 minutes because of the dark clouds and heavy rain.  Without TV coverage, it was great to be able to listen to the weather radio.  I was also able to track conditions using the internet on my phone.  All of this recent technology sure makes fulltiming easier.

Last summer we bought an RV surge protector at a camping rally.  It’s the kind that you plug into the electrical box outside and then you plug your RV cord into it.  There was quite a bit of lightning last night, and the surge protector kicked off our power twice.  I’m really glad we bought it.  I’d hate to think what could have happened without it.  With two computers, two TVs, air conditioning and all the other electrical components, I think it was a terrific investment.

We spent the weekend camping with a camping club we belong to.  We had a great time.  The campground is in Amish country, and I couldn’t resist the excellent bakery.  They sell small pies so I bought cherry, peach and lemon meringue pies.  I also got a pan of pecan rolls.  I froze two of the pies as I am the only one who eats them.  Kevin doesn’t like the pies, but he got some carrot cake.  I won’t tell you what the scale said yesterday morning.  Some extra walks are in order :)

Our son, Eric came for a visit on Saturday.  We’ve been members of this camping club since he was a baby.  He knows many of the people, but hadn’t seen them in quite some time.  Everyone told us how great it was to see him again.  I think he had a good time.  Thanks Eric for the visit.  You know how much we love it!

We also bought a small table made by the Amish.  We bought one last year and liked it so well, we bought a second one.  It is made so the bottom slides under the couch so you can have it as close as you want it.  It is the perfect size for a laptop and there is room for an external mouse.  Neither one of us like using the mouse on the laptop.  P1000197I’m loving the Verizon air card we got for internet.  Both of us can be online at the same time.  Right now I’m sitting outside blogging while Kevin is inside playing games.  It’s hot and muggy today so the air is on.  I was freezing inside.  It’s so nice to be able to take my computer outside and still have a connection. 

Kevin and I are complete opposites when it comes to temperature.  Kevin is always hot.  I feel bad for him when he’s sweating up a storm.  However, when he is comfortable, I’m freezing.  Right now I sitting in the shade and am so comfortable.  I even have my legs out in the sun for a little tanning :)

Tomorrow we’ll be heading back to our old stomping grounds.  We both need haircuts, we’ll pick up our mail from Eric’s house, and will visit my mother.

Have a great day!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Canoe Trip

Yesterday we decided to take one of the canoes out on the river.  On our walks around the park, we had noticed there was some garbage along the banks of the river so we thought we’d take the canoe and see if we could collect some of it.

There were the usual suspects; wine bottles, beer cans, plastic bottles and bags, fishing bobbers, and one rather unusual item.  We found an inflatable air mattress along the shore.  It was still partially inflated, but we were able to wrestle it into the canoe.  I’m guessing someone lost control of it on the river and didn’t want to go out and get it.  It must have drifted back to shore.

We ended up with a large garbage bag full of stuff.  There was actually less garbage out there than I would have guessed.  For the most part, people are doing a great job keeping the river clean :)

We’ve only canoed together one or two times in our married life.  It was fun, but I don’t really like how tippy the canoe seems.  We’ll probably go again at some point, but I don’t think it will be often. 

The park does have some single person kayaks.  We may give those a try at some point.  I’m not the most coordinated or athletic person.  I’m not sure how well I’d do with a kayak by myself.  I’m willing to give it a try :)

Yesterday the sun was back!  It got quite hot and humid again.  This has been an odd summer so far; either rainy and cool or hot and humid.  I’m not complaining.  Last summer was cold all summer long.

Tomorrow we are leaving the park and going camping with the camping club we belong to.  I’m looking forward to some uninterrupted time with friends.  Also, our son Eric will be visiting us on Saturday!  I love when the kids come for a visit.  He wanted to come this weekend in honor of Father’s Day.  What a good son :)

Hope everyone has a fantastic Father’s Day weekend!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Rain, Rain Go Away!

The weather has been quite dreary for about 2 weeks now.  We’ve had very little sun and a great deal of rain.  Rivers and lakes are rising all over southeastern Wisconsin.  The sun is supposed to make an appearance tomorrow.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed :)

Because of the rain, we didn’t golf yesterday.  Last week, I had good luck using Kevin’s driver so I ordered a driver on ebay.  Hopefully, it will be here before next Monday.  I just know it will make me a much better golfer!  I certainly can’t get worse :)

I am happy to report that we finally have wi-fi internet in our camper.  We are both now able to be on the internet at the same time.   That’s very important so we can keep up with game playing :)

Our cell phone service is through US Cellular.  I could tether my cell phone to my laptop for internet.  This had been working very well, but we both wanted to be online at the same time.  Verizon and Sprint offer a service called Mi-Fi where your phone acts like a hotspot for wi-fi.  I tried getting my phone to do this.  I ordered a router from the but it wouldn’t work with my phone.  I think US Cellular is missing the boat by not offering the Mi-Fi feature.

I highly recommend the for internet or cell phone needs.  They are very knowledgeable, and really seem to understand the needs of fulltime RVers.  They let me return the router;  I only had to pay the shipping.  It was worth a try.

The next step was ordering an air card.  The 3gstore had a Verizon USB760 air card for $59.99.  This was a one-time lease fee.  The monthly fee is $49.99.  That’s $10 less than Verizon stores charge.  There is also no contract to sign so you can cancel at any time. 

I installed the air card on our new laptop which has Windows 7.  Then I downloaded a free program from which allowed the laptop to act as a hotspot.  I was able to connect my other laptop to that network, and we have internet on both computers.

I cancelled the tethering feature on my cell phone, but because I have a smart phone, I still have to pay for the phone internet service because of the contract I have.  I really don’t use the internet much on my phone.  Once the contract is up, I’ll switch to a regular cell phone.

It’s amazing how quickly technology keeps changing.  Six months from now, there may be an entirely better way to access the internet on the road.  That’s why I really like the fact that I didn’t have to agree to any contract with the air card.

There is a limit to how much data you can use each month with all air cards.  The limit is 5GB.  That means you can’t watch or download much video.  Approximately 3 movies would eat up all the data usage for the entire month.  Hopefully, they will come up with unlimited packages in the future.

We’re going to Texas Roadhouse for dinner tonight.  It’s a belated anniversary dinner.  Thanks for the anniversary wishes.  We appreciate your kind comments!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

33 Years

Yesterday was our 33rd wedding anniversary. We celebrated with a steak dinner and a bottle of champagne. It was gooood! This is a year of double digits. It’s 33 years on the 11th and we were married in 1977. Also, Kevin turns 55 later this year, and he was born in 1955. I think that must be an omen of a good year ahead :)

On Thursday, I donated blood at a Red Cross blood drive in Columbus. I just happened to see some signs in town last week, so thought I would go and help out. In the past, it has been a 50/50 chance if I could donate. My iron counts are always borderline. But, I ate some tuna for lunch, and my iron counts were just above the acceptable level :)

I was surprised how many people were there to donate. When I have attended other blood drives in “the big city”, there were never more than a few people donating. Small towns do seem to have a volunteer frame of mind. The best part was they had Culver’s custard for a treat at the end. I do love that Culver’s custard!!!

Our weather has been quite rainy lately. This area is already 2 inches above the average rainfall for the month of June and today is only the 12th. With all the rain comes a lot of humidity. I fear the mosquitoes are not far behind :)

I would guess the campground is only about half full this weekend. We did rent a canoe and kayak this morning. I’m thinking it will be a pretty quiet weekend.

Wishing everyone a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Strange Day

Yesterday was a very strange day.  First of all, it rained ALL day long and the high temperature was only 63 degrees.

Around mid-morning there was a knock on our door.  It was the County Sheriff asking if we had seen this guy that has been camped in the park for a few weeks.  We told him we hadn’t seen him that day, but that he came and went at odd hours. 

This guy is camped by himself in a pop-up that has more duct tape than canvas.  The sheriff came back a little later and gave us his card.  He asked if we would call him if we saw the guy.  It appears the guy does home repairs and was paid to put a roof on a house.  He took off the old roof, but didn’t put on the new one.  And it rained hard all day yesterday.  Get the picture.

A little later there was another knock.  This time it was a guy who has been camping here all week.  He said someone went through his car Monday night.  Some tool boxes were taken, but the guy said he found them scattered in the park.  Nothing seemed to be missing.  Strange!

This park has been very quiet since we have been here.  I don’t think it is an unsafe place.  I do think you get a different type of customer in a county park than in a private campground.  Of course, we’ve seen some pretty nasty private campgrounds with ancient permanent units looking like they could fall apart at any moment.  As the saying goes, “it takes all kinds”.

I must tell you my good news about DirecTV.  I got a call from Emily at DirecTV a few days ago.   After my remarks to the survey company, Emily called to see if she could help me resolve the problems I was having.  She fixed everything!  She was able to credit the cancellation charges back to our credit card instead of making us wait for a check.  She cancelled the extra receiver we were forced to pay for and gave us a credit for what we had already paid on it.  She was a miracle worker.  All the stuff everyone else told me was impossible because “the system” wouldn’t allow it, she fixed in 10 minutes.  I think the moral of the story is don’t give up :)   Unfortunately, I think there are many people who do give up or don’t even notice the extra charges.  That’s one way a company can make a profit :(  If I didn’t like my TIVO and satellite TV so much, I would have cancelled a long time ago!

Today was laundry day.  I have come across some interesting characters in my laundromat visits.  Most of the customers seem very nice, but a few times there have been some unsavory looking types.  Maybe it’s my sheltered small town life coming through.  Today there were two real idiots in there.  It was a man and a woman.  They had some type of mattress pad that had shredded in the washer.  They put it in the dryer and there were pieces of the thing all over the floor.  They spoke real loud.  I’m sure they were trying to impress everyone with their extensive vocabulary of swear words.  Grow up!

Today is a beautiful day.  This is more like it.  I hope all of you are enjoying the day as much as we are!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Golf Today – Oh My!

Kevin and I went golfing today.  I need practice!!!  I’ve never been a very good player, but I used to get out several times a year and would do OK.  The last time I played with any regularity was in 2007.  In 2008 I think I went 2 or 3 times, and I didn’t go at all in 2009.  Boy, did it show :)

There is a very nice course near us.  They have a Monday special of 9 holes with a cart for $10 a person.  Kevin asked me to play with him on Mondays.  I said I would give it a try.  On the first hole, I hit a poor shot off the tee and then proceeded to miss the ball my next 2 attempts in the fairway.  I must admit I shed a few tears and was ready to sell the clubs.  I get really nervous when there are people behind us. 

We let the group behind us play through and they were almost  as bad as I was.  I felt better and kept trying.  I actually hit some decent shots.  I had good luck with Kevin’s oversized driver.  I have a hybrid 5 wood, and I hit that club well in the fairway.  We didn’t keep score, but I know I got better as we went along.  I’ll try again next week :)

We had a nice weekend.  Some of our friends came and camped for the weekend.  The weather Saturday was great until late afternoon.  Then, the torrential rains started, and it rained a good part of the night.  We were busy all day Saturday with canoe and kayak rentals.

Yesterday I drove into town to see my mother and pick up our mail from our son’s house.  It’s an hour drive each way, but I listen to audio books.  Books make the drive so much more enjoyable.

Right after I got back, we had a thundershower.  Here’s the beautiful rainbow we saw right behind our camper after the rain ended. Astico Rainbow

I saw this family of geese on the river yesterday.  Aren’t they cute! Astico Geese

Friday, June 4, 2010

Beautiful Week

We had another beautiful week.  The weather was terrific.  It rained last night and this morning, and there is scattered rain predicted for the weekend.

This weekend is a special family weekend in the park.  All camping is $5 per night, canoe and kayak rentals are half-price, and it is free fishing weekend in Wisconsin so no licenses are required.  We are almost fully booked.  There are just a few tent sites left.  Hopefully, the weather will cooperate!

I took these pictures on our walk a few days ago.  I’m still experimenting with my camera.  I don’t know what kind of flowers these were, but they were pretty and the bees were loving them :)

P1000180 P1000182

I downloaded Windows LiveWriter and am writing my first post using the program.  So far, I’m liking it!

We ran some errands this week.  We made a trip to Camping World for some chemicals, and found a branch of our bank to deposit some refund checks from our car and homeowners insurance.

I also spent another 30 minutes on the phone with DirecTV.  After 45 minutes last week getting our accounts merged, I discovered that they didn’t merge the accounts and charged us the $120 cancellation fee on our home account, and they charged it to our credit card.  They have now credited the money back to our account, but they “can’t” issue a credit to our credit card.  They need to issue a refund check which will take 4-6 weeks.   What a racket.  I’m thinking I may actually have this straightened out by the end of the year :)  I won’t give up, though!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!