Truly Minnesota Nice

Day 28 – Emily’s Entry - May 10 – 9:05am – Lake Shetek State Park, Minnesota 

My hat’s off to Minnesota. I didn’t know what to expect, but I have been pleasantly surprised. The beautiful landscapes of lush farmland and serene lakes create images of a peaceful America.

Soft grass and yellow wildflowers cover our campground. We overlook peaceful Lake Shetek where mink, fishermen, and pelicans fish. We saw a mink last night swimming with its lanky, silky body along the shore.

The people are truly Minnesota Nice. We almost missed shooting the sunset because so many people stopped to chat with us. We asked one Minnesota couple we were talking to for a while if they expected people with California license plates to be so nice. The man replied sheepishly, “No. Not really.“ I’m glad we could change his mind. We all may be from different states and hometowns, but we all call America Home.

Day 28 - Corey’s Entry - May 10 - 11:25pm - Madison, Wisconsin

Traveling through the Midwest has been quite interesting. With a clean car and clothes smelling of fresh laundry, we drove out of South Dakota and into Minnesota. The difference between those two states starts exactly at their border. I was happy to be back on the road, dry, and headed to a campground. Lake Shetek is a beautiful place. When we arrived, the sun was out, but we heard reports of rain the next morning. So we rigged up our Eno rain fly to act as a roof. It covered from our bedroom/tent to the kitchen/back of the car allowing us to make breakfast and pack up without getting completely soaked.

We unpacked and went for a hike before the sun set and rains came. Loon Island sits offshore from our campground with a man-made pathway leading to it. The pathway is made of stones and dirt. The lake waves slap the sides of the pathway and anglers can be found along the sides. The campground even had huts designed for cleaning your fish. The tunnel entrance to Loon Island is nature’s creation. Tall lush trees canopy over you and leaves and branches reach for the sunlight creating the tunnel entrance. As we circled the island, we saw plenty of wildlife including minks, wild birds, and a heard of deer.

Standing around the campfire that evening we met several nice people who just wanted to chat. Emily had mentioned to me about something called “Minnesota Nice”. I definitely felt it after those conversations. There’s a simple, welcoming vibe to Minnesota. We watched the sunset on the lake and felt blessed to have a full sunny day.

CRACK! THOOOOMMMBB!! Our alarm clock this morning was boisterous thunder. Thankfully we had our Eno roof and we stayed pretty dry as we packed up. As the rain continued, we checked the weather and saw a storm in our future in Forestville, Minnesota. Upon arrival, there was a note at the campground check-in that we skimmed over, “… rain… cold night… hail up to 1 inch in diameter… 60mph winds…” Well, we didn’t want to mess with hail. Emily said, “It’s not like we’re going to drive to Madison tonight... Right?” I said, “Well, let’s entertain this thought.” And now we’re in Madison.