Members Of North Dakota Farmers Union Visit Iowa Great Lakes

Wed 5-16-2018

            (Arnolds Park)-- Some 150 or so members of the North Dakota Farmers Union have been visiting the Iowa Great Lakes in separate groups since late April. The final group of about 55 members is currently here. KUOO news caught up with them and their group leader, Diane Pelz of Bismarck, North Dakota, in Arnolds Park Wednesday. She says it's a mystery tour the organization takes each year...Pelz01 

            "We leave Bismarck, North Dakota on a Monday morning with 55 passengers and they don't know where they're going. When we pull up to a spot whether it be lunch or a place to tour, that's their first clue. We give them a booklet that has all of these clues and they try to figure out where they're going. It's a guessing game and they try to figure out where we're going next. The clue that probably gave it away this time was the one about where there were four women that survived a massacre so there were some people that googled the internet and they figured two spots in Iowa: one is Spirit Lake of course, and I can't remember what the other one was right now. That makes it fun."

So how did they find out about the Iowa Great Lakes? Seems as though Pelz is a native of Estherville. And she says this is actually the second time they've brought their mystery tour here. She says they're in awe with the area each time they visit...Pelz02 

"I think the biggest reaction is I didn't know it existed. They had never heard of it before. But they love it. They love the water. We've been out on the water twice, they love that. They are in awe of the homes, much different than our lakes in North Dakota."

Most of the members on the trip are either retired farmers or are about to retire. She says they often times spread the word about their trip to friends and others...Pelz03 

"On our website we will be posting pictures, we will be telling all the members of our organization about the place. I heard comments already that the staff may come down here for a retreat because our Director of Transportation was impressed with it, so that's maybe something in the future."

The group spent the better part of Wednesday afternoon on a cruise on the Queen Two and touring the Iowa Great Lakes Maritime Museum.