In early September we took a day trip with friends from Woodland Trails. These 3 couples, Wayne & Betty, Lon & Nancy, and Larry & Sherry, have all come to be great friends of ours this year. The 4 couples went to Otter Tail county for the day, stopping at Phelps Mill county park for a look at the 129 year old flour mill along the banks of the Otter Tail River (formerly known as Red River). The mill has much of the original equipment and all the original structure still in place, though it hasn’t been in use since 1939. The fact that it still stands is in itself unusual because most flour mills eventually suffer damage from fire. A dam and water turbine were constructed for the mill and although the turbine is no longer working, the dam provided a perfect photo moment.
We continued on for a stop at Inspiration Peak, another beautiful spot and a real chance to stretch our legs. Inspiration Peak is located some 400 vertical feet above their parking lot, a quarter mile trek up the hill. Once at the top we were presented an impressive view. Author Sinclair Lewis, a native of nearby Sauk Centre, Minnesota, said of Inspiration Peak, “there’s to be seen a glorious 20-mile circle of some 50 lakes scattered among fields and pastures, like sequins fallen on an old Paisley shawl.” Quite a view!
We finished our evening with dinner near Detroit Lakes, and returned to Woodland Trails. There was much discussion of the results from hurricane Harvey since all 3 couples winter in RVs at a park in Rockport, Texas. Each of them took some damage to their units and were very concerned. We hope their damage is minimal and that they get back to normal sooner than later!
On the 17th, Woodland Trails officially closed and all the units are winterized, boats and pontoons are gone, and the docks are out of the water. It is very much a bittersweet time for us. We have enjoyed our stay here and really hate to see the summer come to an end. On the other hand, we know our journey of American discovery continues with our trip to Arizona, so we are excited. We don’t know if we will ever return to northern Minnesota but the time spent with the Sullivans and all our other friends will always be a special, important part of our lives.