Aug 19, 2012


After another night of sleeping like the dead, we awoke to steady rain.  We had had our setbacks on the trip, but when it's your last day of vacation, the only thing ahead of you is the long drive home, and it looks like breaking camp is going to happen in a constant rain, you really just want to go back to sleep.

So we did.

By the time we all got up the sun had come out and while everything was wet, it was certianly happier than it had been.  We made it out before noon and began our long drive.

Stopped in Bessemer to pick up some pasties just before we left Michigan.  Jill went in and apparently the woman selling them was so old she was afraid she wouldn't make it through the sale.  I'll bet she'll still be there and just as old in ten years.  Hurley, the town just across the border, has more bars per capita than any other town in Wisconsin.  It was incredible!  Felt like Wisconsin Dells for skid row bums.

We made our way to Mellen and decided to lunch on pasties there.  Finding a scenic overlook (only 86 steps up, pfft, that's nothing!) with a wonderful view, we devoured the pasties.  I don't know if it was hunger or the end of the vacation, but that was the most flavorful, tastiest pasty I'd ever had.

When my sister and I were in middle/high school we went with our parents on a camping trip to see Bayfield/Madeliene Island and Northern Wisconsin.  We camped in one of the many National Forest Campgrounds and had a great time.  At one point Dad said "this would be a perfect trip if it weren't for the kids" -- he meant the campsite near us with loud kids, but somehow my sister thought he meant us.  I think it was years later than we cleared that one up.  I also remember being concerned about bears, but was assured by Mom and Dad that there were none and even if there were, they were black bears and they don't attack and kill people like grizzlies do.

The next week I found a newspaper article about a fatal black bear attack in Mellon WI.  I kept that in my wallet for years.  A satisfying "told you so."

The last notable sight on our way home was a collection of "Elk Watch" signs.  Apparently they had a pilot program in which (I assume tagged) Elk were being tracked and if they were near the road, the crossing signs would flash a yellow light above.  We passed a number of them that were lit but saw no Elk.  Later we saw some that weren't lit and I had to wonder if we had missed seeing some Elk by "just that much."   It's also possible they jusr put flashing lights on some of the signs to make peiople slow down.  We certainly did.

A long time ago, when we travelled a lot with my Mom, Jill began reading in the car.  She would pick a book that the kids would like but that might be a bit much for them to dig into on their own.  It started with the Harry Potter series, but we've gone through some other books as well since then.  Mom used to love listening to Jill, I think it was her only chance to "read" and it felt like we were helping.  But Mom doesn't travel with us anymore, and Jill still reads.  We're currently reading the second Fablehaven book.  On Jill's turn driving Eli even took a couple chapters to read aloud.  He's quite good.

It's not the end of the vacation, or the end of the trip, but this is the end of the commentary.  We're in Wisconsin near our cabin, so all the roads are reruns.  None of the sights are new, and every passing minute feels like an hour.  We just want to get home.  And home we shall get.

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