Monthly Archives: June 2017

Days 10, 11…Last Full Day…On the Way Back

Day 10, 2017 Last full day in Minnesota.

Wednesday was our day to visit the We then spent head waters of the Mississippi River in northern Minnesota. Outstanding park with 45 miles of hiking trails and sites. We really enjoyed our trip.


We spent the evening with our family at Dead Lake. Great family time the whole trip.


Day 11, 2017 Friday, Day 1 of driving home on the Northern route.

We left our hotel by 0615 and it was cold and windy. 40 mph wind and 53 degrees. Guess what? That was the whole day. Ramming the car directly into a 40 mph gale which led to 25 mpg gas mileage for the day. Add to that we climbed over a 1000 feet in altitude to our current location of Mills City, Montana. Now up to 2390 feet. Still not as high as home yet. P.S. Congratulations to the State of Minnesota for having the cheapest gas on our trip. $1.99.

We stopped for lunch in Dickenson, ND where we have sent four basketball players on scholarships…two woman and two men to Dickerson State University. We headed to a Thai 20170623_124149restaurant where the internet say the student from the University eat their food. So true, we ran into two football player from SoCal who had lots of questions on things on California. We enjoyed our visit.

Finally, one of our stop was at Teddy Roosevelt National Park in the far west of North Dakota. Georgious place with lots of bison.

Tomorrow, 530 miles to Pocatello, Idaho.

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Posted by on June 24, 2017 in Minnesota



Day 9, Turtle Races…Wild Weather!

Up this morning and we met the family in the resort town where we are staying, Perham, Minnesota.  Every Wednesday during the season they have turtle races for the kids.  The population of the town jumps from 3000 to 5000 as it off to the races. 

20170621_121336  20170621_121127After the races we headed to a favorite hangout on a lake called Zorba’s.  No it’s not Greek, it’s a pizza place with Mexican food.  Yep, one of a kind.  We all had a great couple of hours visiting and eating.

We hit our hotel for a vacation nap and then off to the Lake and then it happened.  I always tease Libby that she is a tornado magnet.  I am not kidding, every trip we take in the summer in states that have tornados, we hit tornados.  Well, we arrived at the lake and the weather alert on my phone went off..  Tornado on way.  It missed us by 15 miles including its golf ball sized hail.  We are back now in our hotel and the bad weather is SUPPOSED to be over in an hour.  Lets hope


Tomorrow we are headed for the headwaters of the Mississippi River at Lake Itasca. 

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Posted by on June 22, 2017 in Minnesota



Day 8, Libby Crushes Competition in Fishing Derby

20170620_191219Wednesday, June 21, 2017
7:17 AM

Tuesday started out mundane with shopping, washing clothes, filling the ice chest with ice and the drive to the lake. Things you just had to get done. Then the fun began.

With our newly purchased fishing license in hand we were ready for our first Dead Lake fishing expedition. Dave Simonson invited us into his boat and Libby put on a show catching more fish that the two of us guys together. Northern Pike, Crappy, Rock Bass and perch. That’s called” putting the hurt” on us. It was catch and release for the fish so they were happy. Great fun.

We had delicious food with the family and went to our favorite ice cream shop with the kids where I got my badly needed Dead Lake Minnesota replacement sweat shirt.

Great Day!

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Posted by on June 21, 2017 in Uncategorized


Days 6, 7…Leaving Dad and to the Lake

It was a quiet Sunday as we went to Church at St. Clara’s and did family visiting and enjoyed our last day with Dad. It was hard to say goodbye to him but we will be back in November for his 100th Birthday.

The drive up to the lake was interesting as we passed through a tiny village of 304 souls called Deer Creek and guess what we saw…a couple of yearling deer who were looking to run across the highway. They looked to be in prime condition. We hit a little bit of rain on the 154 mile drive.

We checked into our hotel and found out some things about food costs in the town of Perham, Minnesota(1356 altitude). We purchased two small California melons…cantaloupe and honey dew…$4.99 each…we purchased the same two in California for 0.99 cents each. Ouch. We then stopped at a new restaurant in town for lunch for two and it was $22.00 for a 1/2 sandwich and soup each. It was a “Locally Sourced” and “Artisan” and those few words add about 40% in cost in any restaurant. Again, ouch!

We arrived at Dead Lake where we have vacationed since I was 8 years old…66 years total. We visited family and had great food and conversations. Joel was fishing off the dock with the kids and swears the fish they were catching were being caught on chili cheese Fritos chips. Some in the crowd were disbelievers as he seemed to be hiding the worm container.

Libby really enjoyed holding the newest family member from Eathan and Laura. Kenna is a cutie! Great discussion’s and catching up on all of the family news like the Dulas boys are headed to the state tournament for the tractor pull competition. We are looking forward to the next three days at the Lake.

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Posted by on June 20, 2017 in Uncategorized


Day 5…Farming and Life is a Gamble.

June 17, 2017, Saturday

We woke up at 6 a.m. this morning and headed out by 7 a.m. to have breakfast with Dad. We were all hungry and enjoyed the bacon and eggs and the trimmings. We spent time in the morning with Dad and my brother David drove in and we played a couple games of rummy Dad’s favorite game. He beat us as usual.

We headed out to local truck stop to eat and Dad had his chicken with the trimmings. Then, our nephew Mike and his two kids arrived and back to the card table. Lots of fun.

When everyone left about 4 p.m., Lib and I drove out to our farm(40 acres of land split among Dad’s four children) and saw how farming can be a gamble. The corn and soy beans had been planted and were thriving and then came along a hail storm that stripped the crop nearly to the bare ground. Some will have to be replanted and others should make a comeback. The farmhouse where I grew up in has been vacant for many years and the hail/windstorm blew two trees down on the house. Sad looking site.

We then headed over to the where my mom is buried in the family plot. Generations of the Grussing’s are buried at a rural church and its old cemetery among the corn fields. The rain was falling and the area was green and rich with crops and our memories.

We finished off the day having dinner with Dad and talking about the past.

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Posted by on June 18, 2017 in Uncategorized


Day Four…Riding the Back Roads

June 16, 2017, Friday

It was back roads all the way today. 203 miles on what is called County roads where the biggest towns we hit in Iowa and Minnesota was 403 people. The corn and soy bean crops are growing well and we shared the back roads with farm tractors.

We stopped at a tiny Diner where they were serving fresh rhubarb pie made from rhubarb that grew just behind their restaurant. How do you like the Schwinn Bike from the 50’s redone completely in the Coke format?

Deer were seen running across the roads heading for their grazing spots.

We arrived in Clara City where my nearly 100 year old Dad was waiting for us.

He is doing very well. We enjoy dinner with him and the Father’s day two day party starts tomorrow. 1805 mile long trip from Palmdale. Great trip. Her now for three days.

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Posted by on June 17, 2017 in Uncategorized


Day 3, Sinking of the Titanic

June 15, 2017

Day Three…The Sinking of the Titanic

It was a relatively short driving day….508 miles…through a flat green beautiful state called Nebraska. The Platte River was full of water roaring down from the Rockies. Lots of beef on the hoof who look very happy in the tall grass.

The temperature made it up to 94 degrees and I smiled every time I filled with gas at $2.08 at least a third less than good ol’ Cali and their great taxes. Eating out is about 40% cheaper in mid-America than home. Nice traveling.

We made it to Sioux City, Iowa and were excited that we were heading to a great Italian Restaurant called “Tattoria Fresco” one of Iowa’s top places.

We drove to down town and what a mess; construction every where. We found the restaurant and headed in and we received a kinda strange look in our tee shirts and shorts. The young man said, “Are you here for Titanic Night?” Our response was “What.” Well, the Titanic Night was when you get very dressed up in a Tux and Long Dress and eat the 10 course meal the passengers had the night the ship went down. Only $50.00 per person. No room for under dressing California tourists.

Sounded like great fun but we were not quite dressed for the occasion so we ended up in the Olive Garden where I got a glass of wine to help me get over missing the 10 course meal.

An experience like above is why we love to travel. You never know what you may run into next.

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Posted by on June 16, 2017 in Uncategorized