Saturday, August 17, 2013

We've been aphidized

When we left the Red River State Recreation Area in East Grand Forks, Minnesota this morning our motor home, tow car and kayaks were covered in tiny, teeny, sticky spots Jim called it “aphid juice.”  Others call it aphid honey, honeydew or aphid poop.  Turns out that last one is what it really is, in not so technical terms.  

No matter what you call it, we need to get it off our vehicles.  Right now we’re at Devils Lake State Park just south of Devils Lake, North Dakota, for a one-night stop. At the campground I used a bucket of water and a rag to rinse off the rig as far as I could reach. Tomorrow we’ll find a place where Jim can hose off the top.  We’ll also need to find a car wash for the tow car and kayaks, although the kayaks will get clean the next time we use them. 

And we can start carrying lady bugs with us for next time.

On the drive to Devils Lake on Route 2, we saw huge farm fields, and, as we got closer to Devils Lake,  a lot of small ponds.  Devils Lake is in the middle of  what's called the "prairie pothole region."  When the glaciers retreated they left thousands of small depressions called potholes, kettles or sloughs that collect water.  These wetlands stretch from north central Iowa diagonally across North Dakota to Alberta. (And thanks to the Devils Lake park brochure for that info.)
Our campsite at Devils Lake.  As we often do, we didn't make a reservation but took our chances -- although we did call first to make sure those chances were good.  Devils Lake has three campgrounds and we got the last spot in the west campground, which has a lot of shade.  The shade is appreciated because while it's been cool for most of this trip, the temps have been in the 80s the last three days.
The campsites are huge -- we probably have the biggest campsite we've been in since we were at Rockhound State Park near Deming, New Mexico.  One camp site near us has two fifth wheels, two big pick up trucks, two large boats and a convertible parked there, and they still had a huge picnic area with trees.  
Jim on a floating dock at the edge of Devil's Lake, North Dakota's largest natural body of water.  We drove over a four miles causeway to get to the park.  This is a big fishing spot and there must have been 30 pick up trucks -- most of them with boat trailers attached -- in the boat launch area.


  1. Once again, you and Jim are in an obscure corner of the country, that by some unnerving coincident, I too have, been. If you say you're in Chicago, and I say "I was there once too!"; no big deal. The same could be said of Austin, Tucson, and New Orleans. Heck, it isn't even shocking if it were, Des Moines, Topeka or Dubuque, but when we both have a common visit to Devil"s Lake North Dakota, well that's just spooky.

    The Devil's Lake Sioux had an Indian Reservation near the town of Devil's Lake. Brunswick, the company that I worked for, had a joint venture with the tribe to manufacture camouflage netting. This at the time was the biggest industry on the reservation, before the proliferation of Indian Casinos. At any rate, for about a year I was the liaison between the tribe's accountant, and the corporate accountants in Chicago. Made a number of trips there. Didn't get to visit it the way you are, but I still enjoyed being there. Looking at my Atlas it looks like it is now called Spirit Lake Reservation. Really!?! It was only 40 years ago that I was going out there, does everything have to change?

    Regarding your thorough knowledge of the geology of the Devil's Lake Region. Yes, I'm sure the park brochure helped, but I like to think that it just supplemented a solid Big Ten educational foundation.

  2. You should have talked them in to a joint business of making camo bowling pins.

    Also, wait til you read my next post. The park ranger here used to live in Lancaster. He pronounced it correctly, so I know it's true.

  3. Hmmm... Camouflage bowling pins, interesting, but how would you know if you knocked any of them down?