As of this morning, we are 15 states down, 4 provinces to go. And guys, the trees are just starting to change into yellows and reds here in northern Minnesota and that means it is almost fall season where pumpkin and boots appear and I can’t wait.
We left at 11 Sunday evening after a last hurrah with the Breakfast Club at Dan&Brendas. We felt like night driving and I was dreading saying goodbye and leaving in the morning so we headed north and got several hours up the road before we stopped and slept at a rest stop. We drove away over the lovely Mackinac Bridge and stopped in Manistique for lunch. We rode out to the lighthouse and took a swim before we went and got iced coffees for the road. My favorite stop of the day, made possible by Cyrus Schmidt, was Kitch-iti-kipi. It’s a 45 feet deep, teal blue and crystal clear spring in the middle of the forest. Theres a raft that goes across the spring on a pulley, slowly and quietly enough that it never makes a ripple on the water. You can see the mushroom clouds of sand at the bottom of the spring where the water is coming in at 10,000 gallons a minute. It was such a cool quick stop to make.
We got to Rockie&Laura, who live up by Rock there in the U.P., around 4. Brennen and James were up there haying so we went to the field for supper with all of them. Morgan and I drove Rockies car around so we could see Uncle Jeffs house and some of the other people’s places who have bought there. We loved it.
Tuesday morning we left at 5 and drove along Lake Michigan into Wisconsin. We stopped to see the Green Bay Packers stadium and even managed to see some of the Packers players practicing outside. We decided to stop in OshKosh at a little market where we got sandwiches and potato salad and ginger ales in cold glass bottles. We found a park by Lake Winnebago where we had a picnic under the trees and it was so happy. We headed west from there over to Westfield, WI, where my cousin Shaina lives with her daughter and fiancé, Matt. Matt grilled some incredible chicken for supper and Shaina had pasta salad and veggies & dip so we were set. We toured their house and met some of their friends who stopped in and later had a fire. We really enjoyed meeting and chatting with them. It was way too short, of course.
Wednesday morning we left Matt&Shainas and drove until we got to Duluth, MN,around noon. Unfortunately we made our first mistake planning and didn’t think ahead for C-vid tests to cross the border into Canada so we scrambled abit yesterday in Duluth and eventually found a place that guaranteed results in 1-2 days. We took the tests and drove up to Gilbert where we spent the afternoon and night at Sherwood Forest campground by Lake Ore-be-gone. The lake used to be a quarry and they left a helicopter and some planes and jeeps in the pit when they were finished with it so you can scuba dive the lake and see all of it at the bottom. There is an ATV park there and a lake so we swam and then went on the bikes, cruising around on the trails checking out the little town. We are having fun trying the little hole-in-the-wall diners we find in these small places too. We had a really relaxed evening with us both working on school stuff at the picnic table until it was too dark to see.
This morning Morgan made breakfast tacos and coffee for us. Now we are driving up to Lake Kabetogama, a place from my childhood. Uncle Dean’s owned a resort here for years where Dad would come spend summers with their boys, Lance and Brent. Brent was Shainas dad. Some of my family’s best memories are coming up here in the summers where we would swim and fish and pontoon and watch wolves and eagles with Uncle Dean and eat Aunt Carolyns wild rice. Although they don’t live here anymore, I wanted to go back and show Morgan since we are driving right by so we will be there soon I think. I miss my Dad very much when I see this place. And I miss how normal our life was.
We are on a really loose schedule until we get our test results so we are going to try to get up past International Falls so we are ready to cross whenever we get them. Have a good day♡