By Linda Scherer
WINSTED, MN Over the years, George and Betty Jepson of Winsted have enjoyed many road trips together.
Just after Labor Day, they were on the road again on their way to Maine, with a stopover in Winsted, CT, the home of Eli Lewis, founder of Winsted, MN, in 1857.
This trip was special because it was to celebrate the couple’s 40th wedding anniversary.
“I know a lot of people that love to go to Mexico and they love to go to other countries, but there is just a whole lot of beautiful, beautiful things to see in the US,” Betty said.
Although George is a truck driver, who estimates he has driven two million miles since his career began in 1990, he still prefers driving to flying.
Like past vacations, once the couple decides on their destination, they each choose something they want to see or do as part of their travels.
When Betty looked over the map, she discovered they were going to be close to Winsted, CT.
She decided that was a place she would like to visit.
“I was curious and really wanted to see it,” she said.
Heading out east on their 4,200 mile round-trip journey, they knew they were going in the right direction.
“As we were driving, we noticed a sign for Watertown, and Litchfield County,” Betty said.
“I told Betty, ‘if I see a sign for Hutchinson, I am turning around,’” George said.
As they drove into Winsted, CT, the Jepsons agreed it was a pretty town.
Betty, who had grown up in Winsted, said it seemed strange to see Winsted signs in a town she was unfamiliar with.
The town is quite a bit bigger than Winsted, MN, which has 2,300 people, compared to Winsted, CT with 7,700 people.
“It was a neat little town though,” George said. “Just a stream running right along-side the main street with some bridges over it.”
“The churches and buildings were pretty,” Betty said. “They were made from large stones.”
The Jepsons toured the town, looking for someone who might sell a postcard picturing Winsted, CT.
George, an editor and writer for the St. Petersburg newspaper in Florida before coming to Minnesota in 1977, had to pick up an issue of the town newspaper.
The paper, called the Winsted Journal, serves the communities of Barkhamted, Colebrook, New Hartford, Norfolk, Pleasant Valley, Riverton, Winchester, Winsted, Torrington, Canaan, and Litchfield.
Its circulation is 1,690 copies, and it is published on Fridays.
A front-page article in the Winsted Journal, Winsted, CT, was about a 700-to 800-pound bear that was sighted there about 5:30 p.m. Sept. 8.
Betty and George spent some time in the Winsted Library, where they met some ladies who were shocked to learn there is a Winsted, MN.
Since their visit, Betty has sent them some history about Winsted, MN and how it was discovered and named by Eli Lewis.
After returning to Minnesota, Betty wishes they would have taken more pictures of Winsted, CT. George wishes they would have eaten in the small diner that was closed when they arrived in town.
Leaving Winsted, CT, they headed to Maine.
As far as traveling to Maine, is there anything they would like to share?
“You can actually get tired of eating lobster,” Betty said. “I know it is hard to believe, but when you’re eating it every day for a week, you will say, ‘ok, give me a hotdog.’”
“Yeah the neatest place we went to was Flo’s Hot Dogs in Maine,” George said.
Is there another road trip in the Jepsons’ future?
Of course. But in a different direction possibly.
“I will go anywhere,” George said.
“Washington state would be neat,” Betty said. “He likes Coeur d´Alene, Idaho.”
“There is a huge lake that is kind of sculpted around the mountains and it is just gorgeous,” George said. “Just 15 miles from the Washington state line.”
George and Betty have twin sons, who are 1989 graduates of Holy Trinity.
Nate has one daughter, Lily, 4, and they live in Owatonna; and Nick, married to Marina, lives in Buffalo with their two daughters, Sadie, 18, and Nina 16.