We finally rolled into Detroit Lakes a few days early since it seems the weather is improving earlier than expected. We spent 2 days at Country Campground, then on to Woodland Trails, about 30 minutes NE of Detroit Lakes. The campground is about 160 acres, of which about 20 acres are used, and they are spread out along Strawberry Lake. Strawberry is a 1,500 acre, spring-fed, all-sports lake that is in the top 1% of all Minnesota lakes for cleanliness and clarity. You can actually see the bottom in water between 15 and 18 feet depth. There is also excellent fishing with sunfish, crappie, bass, northern pike and walleye. We have use of a small boat with outboard so we expect to do some fishing in our off-time. Tom was able to catch a few small sunfish and bass one evening. Can’t wait to go out for the “big ones”.
Our duties here are fairly simple: Tom is responsible for cutting and trimming grass throughout the camp; Mary tends the lodge store on Saturday and Sunday. This gives us Monday through Wednesday to explore the area. The camp owners, Dan and Dawn Sullivan, have been here for about 16 years, and are really pleasant to work for.
Since we are really “out there”, TV and Internet are a challenge. There is Internet in the lodge which we can “boost” with a range extender. It’s not fast but we can get email, Facebook and look stuff up online. TV is over-the-air only and the stations are in Fargo so it too is a bit erratic. However, we really like it here and we enjoy venturing out, so we don’t want to trade where we are and the unique summer ahead of us for faster Internet and cable TV!
One of our first day trips was to Lake Itasca State Park and the Mississippi River headwaters. This is where the Mississippi starts its’ 2,552 mile journey to the Gulf of Mexico. Discovery of the headwaters was claimed by Henry Rowe Schoolcraft in 1832, but many people knew about it before then. In reality, there was an Indian guide named Ozaawindib who took him to it. In any event, the site was pretty cool and very interesting. Fun fact: the Mississippi starts at Lake Itasca and actually flows north and then east before heading south.
We also went to the city of Bemidji where we saw the 18 Ft. tall Paul Bunyan and Babe the blue ox statues. Bemidji is the first city on the Mississippi. We didn’t have a lot of time there, but we will definitely return later this summer. Also on our list are Duluth, Fargo and maybe even Canada. Stay tuned.