LOCATION: Round Lake, Minnesota, in southwest part of state
CAMPGROUND: A Harvest Host site — Round Lake Winery. We have stayed here once before, and we think it is the loveliest HH site we have been in. We are parked among the vineyards just feet from a beautiful lake. Their wine is good, too! They also have a bistro. As with most HH sites, there are no hook-ups. 5 stars out of 5 (more if I could give them!).
WEATHER: Hot, humid. High 89
DRIVE: 1 hour on Interstate 90
We were in no rush to get to the winery so we stayed until check-out (4:00) at Palisades State Park.
We drove in to the nearby town of Garretson, population 800 or so. Unlike most small towns, it is prospering fairly well. We went to Devil’s Gulch Park where we learned the history of Jesse James and his escape.
Jesse and his gang had robbed a bank in Northfield, MN (actually quite near Rochester where we used to live). A posse chased his gang west. Only Jesse and his brother were not shot, and rode their horses hard. Once near Garretson, the brother went one way and Jesse went another way, only to encounter this deep gulch. The legend is that he, as an experienced horseman, jumped the deep gulch which was more than 20 feet wide.
From there, the brothers reunited and hid in a cave in what is now Palisades State Park – where we are camped.
We hiked around Devil’s Gulch Park to see where he supposedly jumped across on his horse….(now a bridge):
Then, we went in to Garretson to use their library’s internet. It was closed, but we were able to get wifi from our pick-up truck parked in front.
We packed up at Palisades. It has been a good 4-night stay here. The campground is filling up fast with 4th of July weekend campers.
After a very short drive, we arrived at Round Lake. The entrance is breathtaking. You drive through vineyards, then the road curves to show the lake peeking through. We got settled in right in front of the lake.
This is the view from Joy…
Without electricity (so no AC), we opened up all of Joy’s windows. A nice thing about Airstreams is that there are windows on all 4 sides, so we can get a nice breeze. The breeze off the lake was cool and we are parked under a leafy tree with good shade.
We walked over to the winery to do a wine-tasting. We bought a bottle of red wine that is a blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and a local hybrid cold-hardy grape (developed by the University of Minnesota) called marquette.
We had dinner on their patio. George had their special bistro steak wrapped in bacon. I had a Cobb salad. We opened our bottle of wine. Just lovely!
Once it got dark, we sat outside and watched the lightning bugs. Life is so good!