We still had one more day to kill before heading down toward Rochester Minnesota for our planned annual checkups at the Mayo Hospital. We talked about staying at the Expo another day but decided to pack up early and go down the road a mere 31 miles to the town of Durand. We decided to camp just outside of town is Tarrant Park, a city owned park that lies near the Chippewa River.
We pulled into the park and found a nice shady spot. After setting up we went over to the pay station and wrote a check for $25 for the night for 50 amp service and full hookups. What makes this stay a good one is that right beside the park is the Chippewa River State Trail. The trail winds along the river for nearly 40 miles between Eau Claire and Durand.
After setting up we hopped on the bikes and rode into town on the bike trail. It was a nice flat trail with some pretty scenery and it dumped us right into downtown. Durand is a small town so we rode along nearly all the streets since the ride into town was short. We stopped on the trail along the river to enjoy the view when suddenly a large bald eagle flew right over us. We stopped at this location because we read about a nice place for happy hour on the trail where folks gather on the deck to watch the eagles. How fun that we saw an eagle right away! It was too early for happy hour but we vowed to return and then rode back to the RV.
After lunch we decided to drive over to the town of Wabasha Minnesota. It was a nice drive through wooded land and rolling hills until we reached a very marshy section we found out later was part of the Nelson-Trevino Bottoms State Natural Area. There were lots of boaters out enjoying the day.
Wabasha itself was a neat little town with a nice vibe. It is located on the Mississippi River near its confluence with the Chippewa River making it another great spot for bald eagle sightings. Wabasha is home to the National Eagle Center but we opted not to pay $10 each to peruse its holdings. Instead we walked along the trail beside the water and later walked all around the town which has several really interesting buildings.
After enjoying our afternoon walking around Wabasha we headed back to Durand to the Happy Hour at Corral and Riverside Grill. At first we sat on the deck hoping for more eagle sightings but sadly saw none. With record heat in the area we abandoned the deck in favor of the inside air conditioned bar where we enjoyed ice cold beers and ordered our last Wisconsin fried cheese curds. These were from Ellsworth Cooperative and were award winning curds. We can attest they were indeed delicious and a wonderful way to spend our last night’s stay in Wisconsin before moving on down the road toward Rochester MN.
NOTE: We left the Rochester MN area and headed an hour NW to stay at the fairgrounds just outside of Minneapolis/St Paul MN.