Saturday, July 25, 2009

Sandy Lake to the Mississippi River

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A bright & sunny morning. Stayed that way most of the day. We continued west on Hwy 210 to the Sandy Lake Recreation Area; a C.O.E. facility north of McGregor, MN. In McGregor we spotted the McGregor Baking Company & CafĂ©. Shouldn’t have but we pulled in. My goodness. What a bakery. We bought four breakfast pastries, Carol got one of every type of cookie they had plus we bought a turkey sandwich to take with us for lunch. The sandwich: slices of real turkey, not lunchmeat turkey, cream cheese, avocado, cranberry sauce, sunflower seeds, Swiss cheese, sprouts and lettuce all on 1” thick slices of multi-grain bread. Probably the best sandwich we’ve ever had. I vote this the best bakery of the trip but Carol still thinks the one in Hermann, MO was better. Close call. Fortunately, I guess, the road between here & the bakery is all torn up with construction or we would be tempted to go back. No more bakeries for a week of so at least.
The Sandy Lake Campground is very nice. Well worth a stop. We got the last campsite. With the weekend coming up the campgrounds are full of families. There is a large lake with fishing plus it permits water skiing.
There is a memorial to the Sandy Lake Tragedy of 1850. Wanting to get the Ojibwe Indians off their lands in parts of Michigan & Wisconsin so the timber and mining interests could take over, the Indian Agent in this area, told the Indians that if they came to Sandy Lake in October of 1850, he would give them food, blankets, money, etc. Some of the Indians came. A very harsh winter came early. There was no food or shelter. Over 400 died at Sandy Lake from starvation, dysentery and the measles. It’s said that only black slaves in America were treated worse then the Indians.


Continued west. The drive is through very rural MN along Highway 200. Crossed the Mississippi River near the very small town of Jacobson. At this point, the river is only about 100’ wide. We stayed the night at a Forest Service campground in the Chippewa National Forest; Stony Point. It’s mid-morning on a Friday, and as expected this time of the year, the campground was full. The host said some people were leaving today so just hang around and wait for them to pull out. We parked at the boat ramp, ate lunch then went back to try again. Sure enough, someone was pulling out and we got a nice spot. Like the campground we stayed at yesterday, the big attraction here is fishing. There is a boat ramp. Seems every other RV is pulling a fishing boat.


We headed our early this morning wanting to go to the Lake George Blueberry Festival. Got there about 10:30. What a disappointment in a funny sort of way. The only blueberry product we saw for sale was one guy selling his wife’s home-made jam. There was an Indian selling Indian junk and a few booths with similar Chinese stuff. The local fire department was selling tickets for a ham & bean dinner later in the day. Oh well. I did photograph the Post Office; the smallest one I’ve ever seen.
Continued on to our major stop for the day; Lake Itasca State Park. The home of the headwaters of the Mississippi River. Gopher & I walked across the river twice. The photos of some of the signs tell the story.
The plan was to spend the night at the campground but, as we had expected being a Saturday, it was full. We continued heading west on US #2 and stayed the night at a very nice city campground in Crookston, MN. Went to church and treated ourselves to dinner at Arby’s. Arby’s is our favorite fast food restaurant. They have a very good selection of sandwiches. Much better than your typical burger joint.

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