June 30, 2011

Trip Start Jun 02, 2011
Trip End Sep 25, 2011

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Where I stayed
Grahms Island State Park

Flag of United States  , North Dakota
Thursday, June 30, 2011

Devils Lake, ND

Today started with the final drive from Grand Forks, ND to Devils Island, ND.   It took about 2 hours for 100 miles, which included several stops.  I was up at 6am to do a few things, and we departed at about 7:30.  Emma popped up at 6:30 and wanted to help me, but I told her to go back to bed.  She reluctantly did go back to sleep, and then stayed down until 9:30!  Soon after I started to drive, Madison came down and rode with me in the front seat.

After approximately 90 minutes, we arrived at Devils Lake, which is really quite a huge lake.   We have heard about the devistating flooding that many towns in North Dakota have experienced as a result of the huge snowfall that they got this year in Canada, and we observed it for the first time today.  Many roads are under water, and even towns are completely gone.  We are staying on an island in the middle of Devils Lake which is a State Park called Grahms Island, and the passage is down to a single lane in many places, and we can see the tops of houses and barns through the water in some places.  The passage to the island was slow, and on unpaved and rough roads.  Entering the island we had some concern when we were swarmed by dragonflies...I mean swarmed!  There were thousands of them that created a black cloud.  We were all amazed, and the girls a bit scared.  However, the reality was that for the time we were there they only flew above our heads, and they ate most of the mosquitoes.

We all agreed that this was the nicest and cleanest of the parks we have seen thus far.  It was very open and extremely well maintained, with very friendly and helpful Rangers.  The downside was that without a boat we were somewhat limited with what we could do!  It was very hot, so our best bet was to fish since it was cooler by the water, and that did occupy time.  We did get some bites, and Emma caught her first fish, which made her feel good.  It was an 11 inch Walleye that we released.  I caught a nice 16 inch Walleye that we kept. It yielded a couple of nice filets that I grilled and eat for dinner.

We lit a fire and made Smores at 8:30pm, and by 9pm is still felt like daytime!   My plan was to get the girls in bed by 10 so I could evaluate options for tomorrow, because I think we need to move on.  As nice as this park is, there is not enough to do.  Our challenge is that we are heading into the 4th of July weekend, and most places will fill-up.  I am in need of filling up a few days until Monday the 4th when we will get to the Southwest corner of the state and visit Theodore Roosevelt National Park for 4 days.
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