Monday, August 22, 2005

On the Lake of the Woods

We are camped at Zippel Bay State Park in Minnesota, on the shore of the Lake of the Woods (map). We had originally planned to stay at the municipal campground in Warroad, which is as far north as Odyssey has ever been, however the place was really unappealing, so we decided to press on.

There are actually three primitive campgrounds in this large park, and we are at the one closest to the lake. We are the only ones here, and it is dark and quiet. We can't see the lake from our site, but it is only a short walk, and it is quite lovely. We are in a stand of birches, which made getting into the campground quite a project. We had to back in off the "main" road (itself a narrow one-lane through the trees), and the squeeze was so tight I had to back and fill several times.

The guide said there was water here, and our tank was mostly empty. The water, however, is dispensed from an old-fashioned hand-pump. It's located only a few dozen feet from our site, though, so we rigged up three hoses, our electric water pump, and a wash tub to pump water out of the well and into our tank. Louise took a photo of the Rube Goldberg setup.

North of here is a finger of the US that juts above the 49th parallel. There is a section of land there that is only accessible either through Canada or via the lake itself, and I believe it is all part of a Native American reservation. I found it interesting that we could cross the lake from here and not be in Canada. I say that, but, of course, it would require a speedboat -- looking north across the lake, we see only water to the horizon.

Today we passed through Karlstad, where we saw an ATV-on-a-stick, some generic model from Yamaha or Bombardier, but with tracks on it instead of wheels. It was rotating like a trade-show display, and we thought it was an advertisement for an ATV dealer, until we noticed the Hummer H2 nearby, which also had tracks. Then we saw the Mattracks plant, and we understood. We gotta get us some of these for Odyssey.

We also passed through Warroad, as I mentioned, where Marvin Windows is located. They have a huge plant, which seems to be buoying up the entire economy of the region.

We have been traversing MN-11, a bit north of US-2, which we will rejoin near Duluth.

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