We made it to Minnesota and only about 2 days behind schedule! --oops! just too much beauty! The entire trip has been fantastic and I highly recommend a road trip to anyone who is ready to take it on, be ready for anything, and willing to just go with the flow... We have been on a tight schedule to meet my family up at one of the small islands on Burntside Lake in Minnesota and we ended up 1 1/2 days behind, but at least we were meeting an extended group of friends and family so everyone understood our 1500 mile drive and our possible delays.
We arrived in Ely, Minnesota (just a 5 minute drive from Burntside Lake). Ely is such an idyllic town with all the essentials at hand, ours being a nice cup of coffee. So we took part and then made our way to the island on the lake. We were able to share in 3 days of relaxation and fun and an amazing abundance of wildly good food and laughter (and just a bit of Aquavit!). There is nothing better than a crisp clean lake for a morning bath, collecting your own drinking water from a natural spring nearby, and nothing much else except fishing and swimming or canoeing. A bit of 'roughing' it - but the kids don't complain if their rituals are missed or forgotten, let me tell you!
Sander caught a giant 5 lb. Northern Pike, on one of his first casts of the line into the water...which was the very first time he actually fished! We all went totally wild and it was so fun for Sander as we gathered up the flipping fish in a net! Now, he has turned into a big fisherman, at each stop along the drive since he runs into the store to ask if they sell fishing lures... We are so happy that he has taken up such a wonderful sport! All he wanted to do the rest of the visit was go down to the large rock shore and fish for that elusive 10 lb fish!!!!
But I must say that our friends have a pretty unique setup on their little island, with an outside kitchen (which consists of an ancient oven, washing pots, chopping blocks, and no electricity - which accounts for this late post). Just about none of those 'day to day' necessities that you think you need, but you really don't! How about looking down at 20 feet deep water and see the rocks at the bottom.. now that's a clear lake! And, everyone works pretty hard to preserve that.
After a much too quick visit we are back on the road again and looking forward to passing through Wisconsin, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and then Toronto, Canada! After that we are on to the nearby Niagra Falls and then back home as we travel quickly through upstate NY and Massachussetts... it's all going so quickly but we are savoring every moment of this exciting trip - and the kids have thus far been wonderful, except for a few stern looks and the shaking of the head occassionally!