Observations in the last month and in no particular order

  • Lake Superior is the largest fresh water lake IN THE WORLD.
  • The sun rises and sets at different times depending on WHERE you are in the time zone.  When we first crossed over into Wyoming  we were in the most western section of the Mountain Time Zone and the sun was rising before 5am.  We were UP with the sun.  In northern Minnesota, we seem to be in the middle of the Central Time Zone….sun rise and sun set are feeling kind of normal.
  • I’ve never had experience with using propane canisters before.  We started off almost a month ago with two full 20 lb. canisters.  The propane runs our refrigerator when we are rolling down the road, the stove, the water heater at times and the coach heater when it’s cold in the morning.  We had no idea how long it would last.  We think that perhaps we had magic propane, because the first canister just ran out.  AND….$13.65 for long lasting fuel seems really cheap.
  • North Dakota grows a lot of flax and canola.  Beautiful periwinkle, and yellow flowers.  We should all eat more flax and canola oil if just for the fields of color.
  • We didn’t buy a TV for the travel trailer.  We normally watch LOTS of television and I thought I couldn’t live without CNN.  We haven’t missed it, and once again we are hooked on NPR.  I love getting up early to knit and listen to Morning Edition.
  • The Red River of the North, which is the border of Minnesota and North Dakota, flows NORTH into Hudson Bay.  It does not flow south into the gulf.
  • When in International Falls, LOTS of people are driving into Canada and most of them are pulling boats.  You should see the line-up of cars waiting to cross the border and because of new border rules, there is lots of inspection going on.
  • We asked the Voyageurs National Park Rangers if they ever wander over into Canada when they are leading the boat tours of the park.  An emphatic “no” was their response.  There is a heavy presence of Border Patrol, Park Police, Coast Guard, Forest Service, Canadian Provincial Police, Customs, International Falls Police and Sheriffs all patrolling the area.
  • The border of the US and Canada in these boundary waters was determined by the route the French Canadian fur traders took with their canoes to get to Montreal.
  • Ethanol…..made with corn, locally  grown US corn.  Our new truck can use E85 (85% ethanol) when it is available.  We first spotted an E85 pump in International Falls, and now again in Duluth.  It’s WAY cheaper, so we had to give it a try.  Okay.  It was $2.19 a gallon (regular gas is $2.84)….miles per gallon is significantly less, BUT the cost per mile is significantly less also.  So, since the truck works just as well using Ethanol, we will probably use E85 when available.  We will just have to fill up more often.
  • Loons have a beautiful and plaintive call.
3 Responses to “Observations in the last month and in no particular order”
  1. Rosalie Capps 28 July 2010 at 9:28 am #

    I love NPR, love Morning Edition. How delightful to know that you are listening, too. In fact, I pretty much tap into NPR all day long, except when I switch over to the BBC, a new station to the Texas Panhandle. Really, I was surprised to get NPR here. It is responsible for keeping me sane for the last eight years and keeping me here. Maybe that is a mutually exclusive comment, but you get the idea.

  2. Mel 28 July 2010 at 10:53 am #

    I remember when we used to camp (before TVs were part of camping) we would lay in bed & Dad always seemed to find some radio station that was reading stories (ghost stories sometimes). Do they have those kind of stations anymore?

  3. donna 31 July 2010 at 2:52 pm #

    Rosalie – there is something very calming about NPR. I (Donna) was hooked into CNN at home…with all the noise and arguing and hype, and I do see that I can give that all up. How did you find yourself in West Texas?

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