Our Way Home – Road Trip 2012

We arrived home Thursday from our 2012 summer road trip. We left Reno May 2 and drove across the US and into Canada. Our farthest point was Prince Edward Island. From there we returned through Canada and back into the U.S. at Sault Ste Marie. In total we traveled 9,294 miles and visited 29 U.S. states and 5 Canadian provinces.

We spent our last night in Canada at Sault Ste Marie. We hiked around the island overlooking the Marie River and looked at the Canadian lock that is still used for pleasure craft. The picture below is of the bridge at Sault St Marie that took us back into the U.S Monday morning June 8.


 This is the Canadian Lock.


After crossing the border we stopped to see the Soo Locks. They are part of the St Lawrence Seaway. The size of the ships that go through the locks is impressive. This is a picture of Duke on the viewing platform overlooking the Soo Locks.


 From Sault Ste. Marie we drove south to look a the Mackinac Bridge which goes over the water between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. It is the third longest suspension bridge in the world and has a total length of  26,372 feet.


We spent Monday night in Marinette on Lake Michigan on the Wisconsin border. On Tuesday we drove across Wisconsin to Eau Claire to visit Aunt Dorothy, my Dad's sister. Tuesday was the day of the recall election in Wisconsin and it was very interesting to see all the lawn signs and to listen to the commentary on the radio. We saw lots of dairy farms and of course had to stop to buy some cheese curds.


 On Wednesday we went with Aunt Dorothy to Chippewa Falls which is next door to Eau Claire. We had a picnic lunch in the park and then toured the Leinenkugel Brewery. Leinenkugel is a small brewery that has been in operation since 1867. After the tour we got to taste their beer.


The Leinengugel gift shop and tasting room is a gorgeous big building called the Leinie Lodge. I enjoyed tasting the beer. This is a picture of Duke, Aunt Dorothy and me in the lodge.


After two nights in Eau Claire we headed for Duke's home town, Manchester, Iowa to visit the family that are still there. We made several stops along the Mississippi to walk and to look a the Mississippi shipping locks. It never ceases to amaze me how much water is in the Mississippi and how big it is. I always visualize Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn on the river.

Just north of Manchester we stopped at one of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museums. It in Burr Oak, Iowa where she lived for part of her childhood.


After three nights in Manchester we moved on to western Iowa to visit Duke's sister and her family who live on a farm near Moville, Iowa. The town was celebrating its 125th anniversary. Duke's sister and her husband were in a town production of the musical Oklahoma on Sunday afternoon and we got to see it.  They were great!


From Moville we drove across Nebraska to Chadron. On the way we stopped at the Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historic Park. It was like nothing I have ever seen, Let me quote from the brochure.

"Nearly 12 million years ago, hundreds of rhinos, three-toed horses, camels, and other animals died and were buried by volcanic ash around the edges of a watering hole in what is now northeast Nebraska. Still locked in their death poses, the amazingly well preserved skeletons of these prehistoric beasts lay undisturbed, wrapped in a blanket of jagged glassy particles, until the 1970s when a scientific study of the fossilized remains began.''

This is a picture of the 18,000 square foot Rhino Barn that has been built over the site.


In these next two pictures you can see some of the skeletons and the workers working on the site.



On Tuesday we drove from Chadron to Rock Springs, Wyoming.


In the middle of Wyoming we stopped at Independence Rock. It was a major landmark on the pioneer trails going west. I had forgotten how many people went west during the mid 1800's. Between 1843 and 1869 almost half a million emigrants passed Independence Rock. Many of them carved their names on the rock and you can still see some of the carvings.


Of course Duke had to climb the rock. The dot on top is him.


I thought this guy's story was pretty inspiring. You can click on the picture if you would like a bigger version to read.


 Ón Wednesday we drove from Rock Springs, Wyoming to Elko, Nevada.

Along the way we detoured to see Flaming Gorge Dam and Reservoir on the Green River.



Finally yesterday we drove from Elko home. It was a wonderful adventure.

If you would like to see all of our pictures from the trip they are on Flickr here. I should have them all labeled in a week or so.

On Lake Nipissing – Road Trip 2012

As we continue our Summer 2012 rod trip Duke and I have stayed in one place for four nights! After moving to a new place almost every night for four weeks staying in one place would have been a nice change but staying at our cabin on Lake Nipissing has been idyllic. I say our cabin which is not strictly true.

Last Wednesday we left Ottawa knowing that we wanted to find a place to fish. We didn't have a destination but decided to explore a left turn off the trans canada highway. It was raining pretty hard. We checked out a couple of places but didn't find anything we liked. As we continued down the road I saw a place with freshly painted cabins. Duke did a u-turn and we checked them out. The place in called Lakair Lodge. The lady at the counter was very friendly and showed us a spotlessly clean two bedroom cabin right on the lake. We took it.


Above is our cabin and below is the view out our front door.


We woke up the next day. and went fishing. Lakair rented us a wooden boat and a motor and loaned us a map, net, and life jackets. We caught a few fish but only kept this one for dinner.


This is Duke's biggest fish that first day.


We packed a picnic lunch and found a sunny point to enjoy our lunch and relax.


Day two was overcast with a prediction of rain. The morning turned out to be great fishing weather. We caught and kept four fish. Duke caught a monster northern pike. It turned out to be by far the biggest fish of the trip.


I caught a clam!


In the afternoon it started to rain and we headed back to the cabin to nap, read and play cribbage.


The wind was really blowing and a large branch came down from a tree in front of our cabin.


On day three it was still raining but the wind had gone down. Instead of going out in the motor boat we rented a canoe and explored some inlets. We caught a few small fish but we already had enough big fish to eat for dinner so we didn't keep any of them.


 We left lake Nipissing this morning. I loved Lakair Lodge. Check out their website here..