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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Northern Exposure

(Craig/Karin) Flandreau, South Dakota is in the middle of nowhere! When we pulled into town, a road sign gave us directions to the casino. It read "Royal River Casino, first right past the water tower." The directions were very accurate:)
We planned to boondock but noticed that the casino had a small RV park next to it. We inquired about prices first. Since the water was not turned on yet, they rented the space for only $5 including electric hookup. They also let us use the hotel pool, hot tub and showers. Wow! Craig couldn't get the $5 out of his pocket quick enough!
The casino was rather small, but we really didn't care. Karin played a couple of dollars in one machine and cashed out for $30. After that we rode our bikes through the small town of Flandreau. The highlight was a Ben Franklin five and dime store! It's been a long time to see one of those! Ok, it had been turned into a thrift shop, but it was really cool to see the old signage.

The next day would be our final driving day for awhile. We headed for Karin's hometown of Spicer, Minnesota. Her father, brother, aunt, uncle and cousin live on the lakes and close to one another. The weather was the 70's. Ice was gone from the lakes. Many people where fishing on Nest Lake, searching for that great tasting fish, the Walleye! We parked at her father's house, a heavily wooded area with a skinny circular driveway. As Craig carefully pulled the trailer into the driveway, a low hanging branch whipped around and cracked the rooftop refrigerator vent! That afternoon, Craig purchased Goop sealant and and repaired it. Goop....another handy item for the toolbox!!
We met Karin's brother, Gary at his geometric dome house for the "Sunday Social". All of his friends meet there every Sunday and have a beer...or two....maybe three....or more :) What a great bunch! They are the "connoisseurs of beer". To celebrate, Gary popped open a 10 year old brew that he had made from birch sap! Ok, the fizz was gone, but it was rather tasty!
We biked 20 miles along the Glacial Lakes Trail that runs from Paynesville to Willmar. The trail was created from old railroad tracks that were pulled up and replaced with asphalt. We spotted several deer and wild turkeys along the way. This part of the country is very beautiful and very green!
We've been here for nearly a week, so we will hit the road for the final leg of our journey tomorrow. We need to be at the campground in West Virginia by May 10th, but are planning to get there a day or two early. We've traveled over 2000 miles now, with at least another 1000 to go. So far we've been very blessed in our travels. Our final stop will be the beginning of our workamping experience.

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