Want to see our Visited States Data, our State by State Bucket Lists or our Visited Parks and Campground lists?

Then click on the image above to go to our other website.


MONDAY - We finished up our 2-week visit to the state of Iowa today and I must say it was more pleasant than our previous 3-day visit to the state nearly 3-years ago.

This visit we spent time in three of Iowa's Top State Parks and other than a few stormy days the weather was quite comfortable with daytime highs averaging 72°F and nightly lows at around 49°F.

Today we're leaving Iowa behind and crossing into the state of Minnesota. We left the campsite a little early because this afternoon it will once again be raining on our travel day.

Just before crossing the state border we stopped at the only Walmart along our route to grab a few necessities and waste a little time by eating lunch so we didn't arrive at the next campground too early for check-in.

MInnesota State Parks charge a $7 Daily Vehicle Entrance fee on top of the camping fee. We saved money by purchasing the $35 Annual Entrance Pass because later this month and next we will have 13 more nights in other Minnesota State Parks.

Other states just include their entrance fees within the camping fee (like Florida) and there are many states that don't charge an entrance fee at all (like Iowa).

After registering at the office and purchasing our Annual Pass we got set up on our pull through site and disconnected ROVER from THE POD because tommorow we'll be driving into town to pick up our mail at the Post Office.

TUESDAY - This morning we drove into the small town of Altura, MN (pop.471) to pick up our General Delivery mail.

I love these small town Post Offices because they never have trouble locating our mail. They're usually one-man operations and the same person that recieves the mail, distibutes the mail into P.O. boxes and sorts out the General Delivery items like ours. Sometimes they are even the same person who goes out on a route through town and delivers door to door.

I always call ahead to verify my mail has arrived and inform them I'll be in shortly to pick it up. When I arrive at the post office there is never a line of people waiting to be helped and the person I spoke to earlier on the phone is the same person who is at the counter when I walk in.

They know exactly where they placed my mail, usually just below the counter, since they had it in their hands a few hours ago and knew I was on my way in to pick it up. After showing them my identification and them scanning the envelope to check it off as delivered I'm usually on my way back out the door in less than 3-minutes.

Today's mail has some very important items inside, like the tag renewal stickers for ROVER and THE POD, plus Social Security and Medicare statements to check out. We hadn't asked for our mail to be sent to us in over 3-months and that's all the "good stuff" that was in there, all the rest was nothing but trash.

The only time in the 6-years that we've been on the road where picking up our General Delivery mail didn't go smoothly was when I had it sent to Springfield, IL (pop. 113,273) where probably 50 or more people worked and not one of them had any idea where our mail was.

Three months later our mail was returned to Florida, but by then Trica's monthly paycheck had already been replaced and renewal credit cards had been cancelled and replacements sent. What a PITA! Small town Post Offices, you rock!

With our mail in hand we traveled over to the next closest town of St. Charles (pop. 3990) where we purchased new windshield wipers for ROVER, filled ROVER's tank with $3.09 gasoline, grabbed some tin foil that we forgot to pick up while at Walmart and even treated ourselves to lunch out at Del's Cafe, which was recommended to us by the employee at the auto parts store.

Right next door to the Market where we grabbed the tin foil we spotted this clever way to disguise an ugly tree stump in your yard. You first peel off all the bark, create a cool little roof, then hollow out the center of the stump and hang a pair of hinged doors. The next thing you know, you've created your very own "lending library" for the neighborhood to use.

Now that all of our errands have been taken care of it's time to head back to the campsite. Upon pulling into the campground we became a little unsettled when this plume of smoke was spotted over the general area where THE POD is currently residing.

The smoke was coming from high up on the ridge behind our campsite. We didn't see any flames, but there was plenty of smoke settling down into the valley where Whitewater State Park is located.

Rather than immediately panicking I phoned the Campground Office and asked about the smoke. The Ranger was quick to inform us that the local fire department was conducting a prescribed burn up on the ridge to burn off some of the underbrush that would help to prevent a wildfire situation if a fire did happen to occur.

We felt reassured that there was no danger to be worried about, but that didn't help alleviate the fact that we were breathing in smoke for the rest of the afternoon.

Would you like to be notified of new blog posts?