Sunday, September 5, 2010

Duluth Tall Ships Trip

As promised in my last post, we made plans to take the Chaska Shasta up to Duluth for a short trip to see the "Tall Ships" tour. I spent way too much time agonizing over which campground we should stay at -- heck, it was for one night -- even a bad campground is doable for one night, right? Anyway, we finally chose the Spirit Mountain Campground which is just west of Duluth. This was a terrific choice -- the campground is beautifully rustic -- you feel like you are in the middle of a forest, yet there are modern facilities (i.e. bathrooms and showers) within walking distance of most of the campsites. Our only complaints about this campground is that the bathrooms could use a little TLC (they were pretty worn down) and it would have been nice if there was someway to turn off the streetlights around the campground at a certain time of the night -- we had one right over our site that make it seem like daytime all night. Anyway, I'm off topic way too soon. This was the first campsite where we could hook the Shasta's water system up to a water line. Everything worked like a charm. Keeping to the traditional Shasta design, we have two spigots going into the sink. One that directly hooks to the water supply from the campground and one that is connected to the water tank. As I mentioned in previous posts, I have converted the "hand pump" spigot to an electric (12 volt) pump spigot. We don't drink the water from either source.

This was also our first "big storm" trip. It started raining about 11 p.m. the night we arrived and rained all night until probably 6 a.m. This proved to us why we want to camp in the Shasta -- we were dry and comfortable all night -- it was a bit noisy, but we felt safe in our little 10 foot home-away-from-home.

We only spent a night in Duluth, but got two full-days of sight-seeing in on this trip. It was fun and we would definitely take this same trip again. I scoped out a few other sites at Spirit Mountain that I would consider staying at when we return. We took a trip through Jay Cooke State Park -- Beautiful! They have a campground too, but the Minnesota state park system (in typical "Land of 10,000 Taxes" fashion) nickel and dimes campers to death with fees -- so it is often more economical to go to a private campground -- plus, it benefits the mom & pop businesses way more...Ok... off my soapbox.

This was the last family trip we took in the '66 Shasta that we had nicknamed Chloe -- Fall set in and with it, back to school, winterizing projects and eventually the Shasta went into storage for the Winter.  

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