June 11-13 Clear Lake to Forest City, IA 30 miles

June 11-13 Clear Lake to Forest City, IA 30 miles

June  11

I left early and headed into the beautiful country farm land with no traffic. However, I was sure my GPS was playing games with me, so I went my way and realized after a while I was going south instead of north. Good thing I realized this, before I went too many more miles. After that, I decided to follow my GPS. To get me back on track I needed to go about 7 miles on a dusty stone road.

Johnabilt needed a bath anyway, so I just took my time going 11 mph and finally got back on black top. Today the road was smoother and felt so much better on my back.

I came up to Forest City around 10 am and I would have liked to have gone another 15 miles but there were no campsites, so I stopped at the only one I saw in Forest City, IA. It’s a State Park, but they have no water. They do have electric and I wanted to wash my rig, but when I got here it started raining and it has been raining all day. It’s so cool out, I have the heater running in the camper. It was 50 degrees when I left and I had the heater on in Johnabilt too!

We received the details for the event this Saturday in Estherville, Iowa. I feel honored to be asked to join the Gold Star Family Memorial dedication and say a few words about our mission.

I am pondering my thoughts. It is hard to know how you can comfort families who have made the ultimate sacrifice so we can be free. I don’t think anyone can fully understand their pain, unless you have lost a family member in the war. I want to ensure them they are not forgotten and we are forever indebted to their loved ones who paid the ultimate price for our freedom.

As it reads in John 15: 12-13, “My commandment is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”

I found a campsite about 30 miles north east of Estherville, IA, that has electric and water, so I think I will head up there in the morning. I am hoping that I can wash the rig for the weekend and then Friday I will head to a State Park west of Estherville, IA.

June 12          Forest City to Swea City    53 miles

I left the State Park in Forest City and headed north to pick up RT 9 west. Today all day I had smooth roads and it was so nice traveling with very little traffic  throughout the farming country on back roads.

We know now Iowa has some smooth roads. I just don’t understand why they say the cold winters and the frost push up the roads, because here I am close to the Minnesota state line and we have smooth roads that are well kept.

I found my state park, Burt Lake Campground north of Swea City, Iowa. It was on a dirt road just off of the main road. I was the only one here until two Park Rangers came. I came here because the website said they had electric and water. A lot of the state parks just have electric.

Of course the Park Rangers came up and wanted to hear about our mission. I gave them information and they seem excited and said they will go on the website and register so they get our blogs.

I mentioned to them that I didn’t see any water and one of the Rangers said, over there is a water hydrogen if you have long water hoses. Unfortunately, I only had two hoses and they were not long enough, but if I pulled up as close as I could, I could wash one side and turn the rig around and then wash the other side.

I was washing away and soon a gentleman came in on a tractor. He mows for the state. He is a Veteran and he wanted to come over and thank us. He signed our book and said he was delighted to do so.

I asked if the Minnesota state line was close and he said it’s only a mile up a dirt road.

So after I got settled in, I jumped on Smiley and we decided to explore and ride up into Minnesota. Guess what; it looks just like Iowa.  I wanted to get a photo with Smiley at the state line, but there wasn’t a sign. A gentleman drove up and said, “as soon as you get to the other side of the lake that’s Minnesota. The dirt road runs along the lake.” So, I rode a couple of miles into beautiful farm country all dirt roads and then turned around.

I spent some time relaxing. It’s a sunny but crisp day only in the 50’s. I had poor cell service there, and wasn’t able to send off a blog, that;s why there are three here!

In the morning I will head down to Estherville, Iowa, and find a campsite near the Memorial. There is a state park a little west of town.

June 13             Swea City to Estherville, Iowa      32 miles

It’s interesting how word spreads. I had people coming in the park last night fairly late and they said they saw us on Facebook and their friends were calling friends and said ‘you got to go see this!’

Had fairly good roads coming down to Estherville. It was a short hop, so I arrived before 10 am and got to stop and get supplies at a local grocery store. Good thing too, as I was down to crumbs! I am good now for another week or more.

Before I left the store, I had two Veterans come by. One shared a lot about the struggles he has had since coming back from Vietnam and dealing with PTSD.

I found the state park called Fort Defiance State Park. It’s about 3 miles west of Estherville, and back in, it is peaceful and at least I have Internet.

Not many pictures just  a lot more open farm land. It is beautiful and I have a feeling the scenery will soon start changing.