Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Upper Penisula and Route 2

We left St. Ignace Tuesday morning with expectations of a 12 hour drive, according to the navigation system. It actually only took 9 hours, thank God. Our morning drive started out nicely. We drive by gorgeous sand dunes on the northern shore of Lake Michigan. Route 2 was smooth, quiet and vastly underdeveloped. Kept wondering where all the people and businesses were.

At our first stop, a BP station—seems they have a monopoly on gas up here—called the “Party Store,” they sell smoked fish, smoked meat, cherry salsa (bought some to bring to Seattle) and fireworks. I overheard the owner saying that gas would be up to around $4 a gallon by Monday, because of what happened in Alaska. When I asked him what he was talking about, he said that 20 miles of pipeline up there had corroded. No one knew? Bad timing for our road trip. We saw the news on TV in the restaurant where we had dinner and it confirmed this news, announcing that CA for instance gets 20% of its oil from Alaska. Too late now.

We saw our first T@B, a sliver one, in a little town in Wisconsin, about 30 miles from Duluth. We had pulled into a lot for dinner and they pulled in beside us to say hello. They were on their way back from a cross country trip from Pennsylvania to Seattle and back. They said that, for the most part, everything went well, but that they had a few problems. I didn’t ask them what the problems were, because they seemed to be in a hurry.

Only once so far have I had fleeting feelings of self-pity. It happened the night we arrived in St. Ignace and I thought I had 12 hours of driving ahead of me the next day. My neck was sore and it was starting to feel like we were in the Army. Get up. Pack up. Move out. Over and over. It was the fourth day and we hadn’t been anywhere for more than one night. Once we’re on the road though, I’m so glad we’re doing this. I’ve wanted to see this part of the country for as long as I can remember. I realized that part of the reason I wanted to do this, is because I was always a map geek and staring at maps and planning this trip was the ultimate game for me.

No comments: