Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Home Is a Good Place To Be

We picked up Finn at the kennel where he did a happy dance for us.  When we got home, it was time for garden inspection and I liked what we saw.

The peas are ready for another good picking.
My romaine lettuce is the best I've had in years.
Our menu for tomorrow is peas, lettuce, and freshly dug potatoes.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Leisurely Day After a Wretched Night

A huge storm came in last night which is never the best thing for tenters.  Thunder, lightning, rain all made for excitement as did the puddles in the corner of the tent.  Luckily we have a bed in the van too and that's where we slept .... er, I mean that's where we listened to the rain jangling on the roof.  The amazing thing is how quickly some of the rain soaks in and the rest of it rushes down to the lake making interesting rivulets.
Today we headed to Brainerd which is 78 miles from here.  The drive was lovely taking us through forest and farmland and passed many lakes with beautiful cottages and homes along their shores.  We attended a Rotary meeting in Brainerd sitting with some RYLA students who were there to report on the camp they attended last week. 
I looked in interesting stores in the downtown area including the one which had this sign in its window:
Inside the "shoppe" ... I HATE that ridiculous spelling ... inside the shop Daisy May made me laugh by sitting on this price tag.
Here's one of the other cats.  I asked the clerk whether people with allergies don't complain and she haughtily replied, "if they are allergic, we don't need them as customers because they are probably allergic to the soap and candle smells in here anyway."  Cats rule this shop.
Leah, I left the book on a bench which was protected from the wind but it didn't matter as the person directly behind me picked it up.  It's now in its 4th country which is pretty impressive.

This pretty mailbox is used by on of the stores downtown.
And here's the good invention.  Kraft now makes rectangular marshmallows so they fit graham crackers better.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Positively Park Rapids

We obviously love Park Rapids, MN and area as we have come here for 28 consecutive summers and stayed at the same campground for the last 27.

It was very foggy when we left the campground this morning to head to the Logging Camp for breakfast.

The Logging Camp serves a family style breakfast and has portions large enough that we could log all day without feeling hungry.

Bob went golfing after breakfast and I looked through the shops on Park Rapids' Main Street.  It would have been wrong not to stop at Monica's the quilt/yard shop that's been there forever.

When Bob dropped me off, the shops were just opening and most of them had an employee sweeping any overnight debris from the sidewalks.  I wish Weyburn stores would do the same.  In downtown Weyburn I usually have to walk through eddies of old Tim Horton cups, leaves, and other garbage.
And here are some of the businesses.  Look at the flowers!  I don't think the climate is too different from ours and they certainly get their share of wind.
Here's a market,
a bookstore,
a cosmetology school, 
and here is a fence hiding a parking lot.
This is a garden in an empty lot by a furniture/ decorating store.
Park Rapids has a great Main Street where there are two rows of parallel parking down the center and then angle parking on each side.  Legend has it that the street is that wide because it once had to accommodate the horses with their lumber wagons turning around on it.
Here's an empty lot on Main Street.  Think of the empty lot in Weyburn across from the mall - enough said!
Hot days mean cool treats at the Minnesoda Fountain.
When I saw this spelling error, I told Bob that if I was going to spell it wrong, I would put three p's in it as then at least it would  make sense!
The Minnesoda Shop has Trivial Pursuit questions on each table and Bob and I found we failed miserably on Baby Boomer questions even though we're from the baby boomer generation.
We love cruising the Farm & Fleet Store and found these unusual food choices. 
Then we found this more appetizing one from Southey, SK.
We have camped at Vagabond for 27 years and the Nelson family (three sisters and a brother) have owned it for 30 years.  They work incredibly hard to maintain the campground and I think it must be difficult to have a job where you watch everyone else having fun.
The campground is on Potato Lake
and it has lots of amenities such as the pool plus a beach volleyball court, tennis courts, basketball, shuffleboard, and a games' room although Bob laments that the games' room no longer has good, old-fashioned pinball.
There are boat rentals down at the lake plus places to dock your own boat.
And while other lakes have the Loch Ness Monster and Ogopogo, Potato Lake seems to have its own mysterious creature.

Here's our home away from home.  Whether you have a tent, a camper or a motorhome, I highly recommend you camp here.

Tourist Destination: Dorset ... Population 24

Every year when we come to Park Rapids we have to get over to the little town of Dorset for one meal.  The town has a population of 24 and is just a wide spot on County Road 226 but that wide spot has so many good places.  The town may only have 24 people but it's got about 200 employees in the stores and restaurants.
I wonder how the places can stay open but they must get enough tourists because they've all been there for decades.

Sister Wolf Bookstore was celebrating its 20th anniversary so the store not only had books but cake.  Win!  Win!

We always eat at the Dorset Café where I always choose the broasted chicken and Bob always chooses something else.  I've got to love a café where the salad bar has a crock full of blue cheese.
We're in forest country, the part of Minnesota which is called North Woods.  We were told that we still aren't far enough north to find moose even though every tourist shop has lots of moose items.
The perfect end to a camping day ... a fire and hotdogs.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Great Day in North Dakota

We dropped Finn at the Estevan kennel this morning and he and I hope the other dogs will shut up at some point or else poor, little Finn will miss his beauty sleep.  The kennel is pretty full and I love looking at the diversity of dog types, sizes, personalities ... kind of like people.

Our first stop was the North Dakota State Fair in Minot where, of course, I had to admire quilts.  Quilting friends can check out that eye candy at
The fair had this living tree walking around the grounds.  The poor guy inside it must have been sweltering as it was a very hot day.
This is how the cut flower entries were displayed.  In person I thought it was beautiful.  Now, as I look at the picture, it reminds me more of a graveyard.

Even you, my non-quilty friends, have to see the exceptional quilt which one Best of Show.
There were huge numbers of entries for houseplants including dozens of mother-in-law's tongue.  Who hauls these to the fair just to win a blue ribbon?
The 4-H entries were really cool.  I hope Sandy Stewart hasn't been throwing out her old horseshoes because she can be welding them into boot racks and other items.
Here are some projects Bob can make for Nathan.  If kids can make them, Bob probably can too.

I covet this bench!
I visited the sheep barn.
Some sheep started like this ...
... were clipped here....
... and ended up naked like this.  Notice the cute mop-top hairdo though.
Leah, in the poultry shed, I did not take photos of the hundreds of chickens;  I took only of the most handsome.

I hate, hate, hate pigeons but have to admit that some of the specialty ones have their own appeal.
The commercial building always have to have a cooking guy,
but they don't always have a teeth-whitening booth.  Who come to the fair to get this done?
My favorite in the commercial building was this mini golfer.  You even change his clubs depending on the shot.
You can keep repositioning the hazards to make the game more challenging.
It doesn't show up well here but Bob is checking out an outdoor shower on the palm tree.
The carnival at the fair was excellent.

From Minot we headed to the little town of New Rockford, ND to see some summer theater.  We discovered this place a few years ago and their shows are great.
They're moved to a church from their past home in an opera house.  This gives them more seating and they have a campaign going to replace the pews with theater seats.  Their seats are $300 so the ones at the Cugnet Centre are a much better deal.