This morning commenced with an excellent homemade breakfast made by our sis-in-law, and we all had a pleasant time catching up on old & new times while watching the little kitties pummel each other as they leaped from floor to table to... wherever. Saying our fond farewells in early afternoon, we packed up and were again on the road. We rolled eastbound on US 8 through the scattered showers and past the busy lakes and throngs of weekend vacationers. Just a short distance beyond the teapot-shaped water tower of Lindstrom, we were stopped in our tracks by a giant bison and his mouse friend as they beckoned us into Eichten's Cheese-N-Bison (yes, that's the real name!) While the signs above spoke of "buffalo - ice cream" (I wonder what that tastes like?), the store within contained more normal but nonetheless interesting items, while giant rodents stalked the parking lot outside (see photo). After unsuccessfully dealing with a rather ambiguous discount ("No, that's a farm item - only cabin and lake items are 30% off"), we waved bye-bye to the buffalo herd parked out back and wandered off into Wisconsin. The drive through Wisconsin was uneventful save for the occasional shower, and soon we were again in the land of the wild Yooper and the Eastern time zone. We pulled in next to the little white chateau Carlisle and unpacked for a week of rest and relaxation.
Minnesota - land of the giant meeses
Today was rather uneventful, except for the unseasonably hot weather (a whopping 86 degrees!), and frequent checks on the tremendously destructive Rodeo-Chediski fire ravaging the highways back home. We relaxed as much as we could and caught up on rest, e-mail, and paperwork from last week's craziness.
The ol' Carlisle homestead in Trout Creek, circa 2002
More rest, relaxing, and 86-degree heat (oh yeah, and 86% humidity) this day - well, until that big 'ol thunderstorm rolled in and rattled us for most of the evening. (yes, that's all for today!)
After the overnight storms, the weather finally matched the scenery, making for a more comfortable time up here at the little house in the big woods. Another day of relaxation until afternoon, when we high-tailed it to Watersmeet along with Suz's mom to try our luck at the Lac Vieux Desert casino. Alas, our old and new favorites here were not good to us - the Jackpot Party apparently had to get up early, the kids in the South Park machine were as devious and sinister as on the show, and the Pac-Man slot machine gobbled up all the coins. However, due to some forethought on our part (we didn't bring all our money), we ended up making only a modest contribution to the local Chippewa economy. Had a good dinner at the Katikitegoning restaurant (pulled a tongue muscle trying to pronounce it), then through the drizzle back to Trout Creek.
"We're junk bond kings playing Chippewa bingo"
Today was a day for adventure, as we jumped in the truck and drove down the highways and backroads of the Upper Peninsula on the way to fun. We went east on US 2 through Iron River and Crystal Falls, then up the bumpy county lanes to Quinn and Munising, watching the perky porcupines frolic by the roadside. In Munising, we did the A&W dogs & burgers for lunch, then out to the dock to sign in for the cruise out to see Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. We chose this day for the cruise due to the optimistic weather forecast (clearing, highs in the high 70s), but we didn't factor in one minor complication. We cast off, headed out past Grand Island into Lake Superior - and right into an solid bank of fog. Since this wasn't advertised as the "Foggy Lake Cruises", they turned us around and cheerfully refunded our money - so we did get a one hour lake cruise for free! After this one-hour "three-hour tour", we decided to see what other fun we could scare up and ended up at Eagle Falls Adventure Golf in Wetmore. Here we encountered all sorts of golfing fun, in a slightly more tasteful setting than the usual golf venue you'd catch us at. After chasing them balls into 18 leetle holes (and a few water hazards), we did a bit of driving around the lake - and sure enough, the fog was long gone, with no more cruises for the day. We turned toward the lowering sun and made our way back along the byways, with a stop for pasties (the official food of Yooperland) at Lawry's in Ishpeming, and another to act as a "crossing guard" for a little turtle that was making its way across M-28 right in front of the truck.
So, why did the turtle cross M-28?
Argh! Urk! Are we sore and tired! So, not much to report other than we slept late and didn't do much except doze and watch the 300 channels of satellite TV that the little dish on the side of the house pulls out of the sky. We finally did manage to do something productive late in the day by rummaging through the old garage and salvaging some useful items, and then were treated to a fine pot roast expertly made by Suzanne's mom.
Yesterday's voyage into the foggy mists
Some people call this weather "unseasonably warm", others just call it "#$%&*! hot". While we hardy Arizonans may be used to near-100 temperatures, we were at least hoping we could escape them for a while. No such luck... Today was a day for socializing, as we drove out to the shores of Gitchee Gumee (that big wet spot that keeps the UP and Canada apart, also known as Lake Superior) to visit Suzanne's sister and her family in L'Anse. The family put on a fine cookout, with tasty whitefish pulled straight out of the lake at their front door. After the fish, we shared a "Happy Trails" cake wishing us well on our continued journey. Then a nice relaxing drive through the woods (with the truck's air conditioner running full blast) back to Trout Creek - and the work of packing everything up again for the trip home.
View from the front porch at the Martinac house
Tasty sendoff for our return trip
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Latest Historical Revisionism 01 April 2005Scripting: Richard C. Moeur