It would have been a great site.
You win some, you lose some. This one is a bust, but I can’t totally blame the park. Also, a lot of these places are just travel stops where I chose things that seemed to get decent reviews, might be by a water feature, or might be pleasant. This one could have been nice, except for all the things working against it.
Welcome to Wisconsin
First off, the driving was nice enough. We passed through Wisconsin, noting that Madeline Island looks like it would be a fun place to visit on a future trip. We also noted that Duluth is a legit big city. We passed by that from afar.
Sadly, as we travelled west, the smoke from the fires up in Canada got worse. We had been very lucky not to get socked in before now, but I guess we paid for that in rain. By the time we arrived at the campground, I wanted to ditch the non hookup site for an electric one so that we could run the AC, or at least the fan, to get filtered air. They had several spots available and I foolishly asked if we could go take a look before choosing. They said sure, but what they didn’t say was that the campground is three miles from the registration office. That was a silly waste of time. It also didn’t matter at all. The sites are all pretty much the same. So, after six unnecessary miles of driving, we pulled in and started getting set up.
During the three seconds it took to stop waving my arms so I could take this picture, I got bitten twice.
Let’s talk about the bugs now. Thus far, I haven’t been too put off by the bugs. Sure, I’ve gotten mosquito bites, but they haven’t been awful. In this park, there were constant swarms of I don’t know what the hell these things are. They are like yellow jackets in shape, but are mostly black and stripey. They are like ginormous flies or something, but more scary looking. They were everywhere. And there were mosquitos too. And MN mosquito bites create big red puffy welts. So we were swatting all of that away as we were unhitching. This park is permanently renamed in my head as Mille Bugs.
I don’t fully understand why this is bad, but it ultimately means: no AC.
For some reason, Richard had a premonition that we would have problems with the power. He did his usual pre plug in check, and all was green lights. But when he connected from the pole to Dory, the breaker at the pole tripped. This is not the first time this has happened and we’ve never uncovered the root cause. There went the AC idea, and while I was raising the roof, about six of the giant fly/wasp things flew inside.
Good thing we carry this at least.
We went into hypothesis and problem solving mode, and were very hungry. Richard came ready to handle weird power pole situations and carries an Optimate lithium battery charger that can be plugged in when Dory can’t. He knows how to use clampy things to tie into the main batteries, so he got that all set up and let it go. We didn’t need to worry about the batteries, but still had no AC.
Also good thing Richard knows what to do with all this stuff.
I made a skillet dinner and he went for a buggy walk to think and get out yayas. He came back with bites, but also information because Randy talked to him. I want to point out that this was on a Sunday afternoon. Randy texted me to reassure me it was ok. He said, “I would rather be bothered on a Sunday than be trying to figure out how something caught fire on a Monday.” We love Randy more than Walmart.
Whole experience could have been saved if Rum River had been true to its name.
The current collective hypothesis is that something in Dory is wired such that ground and neutral are bonded and that is causing any power pole that has a GFCI to trip. Do not ask me what any of that means. I barely know what GFCI stands for. There is another possible explanation which has to do with how the documentation on the Xantrex Inverter says it needs to be wired. But that investigation is beyond our scope for now. I think what we can say is that when we have a power pole that is old and crappy, everything should work. When we encounter recently wired or upgraded power poles, we will trip the breaker. I’ll let you know with our next stays.
Sun goes down on a smoky horizon. But… tomorrow is another day.
So basically, boo. We move along into smoke and triple digits on the horizon, with a very real possibility of not having AC. Stay tuned friends, and send us positive electrical vibes. Unless that trips something. Then I guess send us grounding vibes.
Total miles from Little Girls Point: 225.9, 16.9 mpg, 5 hours 29 min. Site 30 electric hookups, but didn’t work because reasons. Ok dump. Potable water. Minimal cell service for both. Deep shade. Tons of bugs. But on the upside, large private sites.