Another overcast day greeted us, and the car was wet from overnight rain. Diana and I shared an order of the amazingly delicious cinnamon French toast made by the little restaurant attached to our motel. After we ate we drove to the Camp Inn facility to pick up our newly-improved teardrop.
We spent time with Mitch, the production manager and Cary, the co-founder of Camp Inn. They showed us all the upgrades and demonstrated their proper operation. They also pointed out the nice little refurbishments such as new weather seals around the doors and hatch, a shock-absorbing base for the propane tank and the new and really bright LED tail and brake lights. They had washed the trailer clean of more than two months of traveling and used steel wool to brighten the chrome wheels and hubcaps. They even marked our keys with special designations for each door. All the changes pleased us greatly and we look forward to enjoying them.
We finally took our leave of the palace of teardrop perfection, hooked up the trailer and headed for I-90 and points west. We did stop after a few miles at a Subway and shared a Veggie Delight sandwich. In a surprisingly short period of time we crossed over the Mississippi and entered Minnesota. We stopped on the west banks of the river and picked up a state map at the information center, then continued westward.
The landscape changed almost immediately as we climbed away from the Mississippi. Fairly substantial hills, dare I say, “foothills,” presented themselves and within a few miles we reached more than 1,600 feet. Then the hills smoothed out and we found ourselves driving through fields filled with freshly sprouting crops. We also began to see three-bladed wind turbines popping up on the horizon. One or two at first, then a half-dozen at a time, and suddenly 15, 25, 30 or more filling the air above the farms with their whirling and twirling. We used to think California had the edge when it came to wind-generated electricity, but other than Altamont Pass and the area around Palm Springs there’s nowhere in California with as many operating wind turbines.
We decided to stop in Austin, MN for the evening, and checked into our motel. When I got out of the car and went to fetch some things from the trailer, I realized I didn’t have the keys.
Ever since we started this trip we have had only one key to the galley of the trailer. It was on my key chain. And now I could’t find it. After much frantic searching it was clear that somewhere along the way between Necedah and Austin, I had lost my keys. I tried calling the Subway and the information center, but no luck.
So we had a nice, new trailer, but no way to access the kitchen and all the new equipment. I was down in the dumps, but Diana suggested I call a locksmith. I found one and talked with him. He said if I came by in the morning he could probably find the code for the lock and make new keys for us.
I went to sleep relieved with the probable solution to our problem, and thankful for my thoughtful traveling partner’s excellent help.