After we had purchased our Excel, we thought it would be nice to join the WI Excel group. A year later, we were finally able to meet up with them for a summer outing in Duluth, Minnesota at the Indian Head Campground. Since we were planning a trip out to Washington, we decided to make this our starting point.
Although everything was extremely well planned and organized, it is still hard to be newbies and not know what to expect or how we will fit in. We felt a little awkward to begin with coming in with a truck camper instead of our Excel. But everybody was very welcoming and accommodating. And since Excels RVs are no longer being made, campers needing new rigs are buying other models. Those are called SOB’s (an RV term that officially means “Some Other Brand,” but of course you never know when it might mean something else also). Since we were in the truck camper and had our dog and cat along, we preferred to leave the animals at the campground, and we were graciously allowed to hitch rides with the others for the group activities.
The first day’s activities included the Sky Drive which goes up and up and overlooks the harbor and shoreline. It was a very scenic drive. We took a break up at Enger Tower. Enger Tower is an 80-foot, five-story blue stone observation tower atop Enger Hill in Duluth, Minnesota. We climbed it, and enjoyed the view. Then we strolled through the Japanese garden at the base of the tower which was blooming with many lovely flowers. Following that we enjoyed a tasty lunch at the Duluth Grill. Then went on to stroll through the rose garden. The rose garden is located along the four-mile Lakewalk and is actually built over the freeway and overlooks Lake Superior. It is quite a jewel in the city!
Day two began with a drive along Canal Park and a shoreline beach walk. Then we went to tour the SS Irvin, an old ore ship. It was a very large ship and quite an interesting tour. And lots of steps to walk up and down! Finally, lunchtime at Grandma’s with delicious sandwiches. After lunch, we visited the Maritime Museum, watched the Lift Bridge, and even got to watch a large ship leave the harbor to Lake Superior via the Lift Bridge.
Day three, we took a morning harbor cruise. There is lots of grain and ore industry going on in the harbor. It was again another very interesting tour. We took the afternoon to visit an urgent care clinic for a skin infection that Opa had that was not clearing up. That evening, the group had cowboy stew for supper at the campground. Delicious! And yummy deserts to top it off!
Day four, many of the members went off to explore the North Shore area. We opted to stay back and rest as Opa was not up to sightseeing. We also were heading up that way on the following day to meet friends in Grand Marais and we assumed that we would be exploring all of that area very soon.
We had a wonderful time with this group and are looking forward to more gatherings with them in the future. But, boy did they poop me out!