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50 States Day 77


Day 77, Cloquet to Duluth to Park Rapids, 217 miles


"Worry is interest paid on debt, not yet incurred."



"Honey, we're canceling the Adventure," I said.


"We're staying right here."

'Right here' was Dick and Collette Jorgenson's home on Long Lake at Park Rapids.

Jet skis swept around the lake, boats pulled skiers and wake boarders, and

people fished off their boats closer to shore. I joked, of course, but what a

place to stop. We knew Dick and Collette from our church, (PP!) Canyon Ridge

Christian Church. Dick served as pastor, but left not too long after we got

there. Our friends, Keith and Pam Rowe, invited us to hook up at the Jorgenson's house. Anyway, we all ended up at their place. Tonight we'll sleep on a real live bed in a bedroom, with a full bath and a kitchen. Wow! What nice hosts, to treat us when they hardly know us.

We set out this morning and toured Duluth. This place is a port city, with Lake Superior the shipping venue. Traveling north, we stopped at Glensheen, the Congdon Estate. Chester Congdon became an attorney and worked for US Steel. He saw they bought up premium ore deposits and believed they would buy the middle grade deposits later. He bought large quantities of land and when the technology got there, US Steel bought his lands for 16-20 times what he'd paid.  

The building was 27,000 square feet and sat on 7.6 acres on Lake Superior. The tour took us through the bottom two floors and the building has been restored with most of the furniture intact.

What they didn't tell us about was the murders of heiress Elizabeth Congdon and her nurse, by Roger Caldwell, the second husband of her adopted daughter Marjory. He was convicted and retried, then plead guilty, served, got out and committed suicide. Marjory was charged with aiding and abetting, was acquitted on all charges and later served time for other arsons. Kinda messy!

The house, however, reflected the Congdon's Methodist beliefs, as the servants worked on the same floor as the family and ate the same food, something others of wealth never did. While a huge house, it didn't scream ostentatious either. However, it seems the Congdon's life of integrity didn't trickle down to all the kids.  

Back on the MotoBago, we rode to our destination, as usual much slower than

expected. We stopped for fuel, for air conditioning and ice cream, and liquid

refreshment. At last, we rolled into a slice of paradise on the lake. Nice to see this place, as when we rode through Minnesota highways, the houses and lakes aren't visible because of trees.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's Church Surch, a bit of a change up since we know the pastor, Dick Jorgenson. Thanks for following.


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