Monday, January 25, 2021

August 31-September 5, 2020 Visiting friends and family in Michigan, Ohio, and North Carolina

 8-31  Today we drove south through Michigan to meet up with a friend outside of Detroit.  Kaye Dial was introduced to us by my sister, Beverly.  We have had several adventures together over the years, including Ski for Light in South Dakota, a SFL pub crawl in Chicago years ago, and a visit in the Bahamas with Beverly, Don and Linda Zeller.  
We had a wonderful meal at her house with her mother and friend Jim.  Always fun to see Kaye.  Which reminds me: If you see Kaye…..

9-1  After meeting Kaye at her favorite breakfast restaurant, we drove to Dayton, Ohio.  We were fortunate to see my cousins Jim and Jane Zeller and their two sons that live in the area and their families: James and Krista, John and Melanie, Haley and Zohn.  Jane made us a wonderful traditional chicken dinner which included apple pie.  We said our goodbyes and were in our car when I realized I didn’t take any pictures!!  I ran back to the door and at least had one picture of Jim and Jane.

9-2/3  We drove through Ohio, West Virginia and to Mooresville, NC to visit sailing friends on Lake Norman.  Phillip and Teresa were on the sailboat SeaYa, and we crossed paths several times in the Bahamas.  They have now sold their boat and are living near Teresa’s mother.  What a wonderful evening at their lake home with lots of laughs. 


After spending part of the day in NC, we spent the night in South Carolina and made it back to Brunswick, GA safe and sound by Saturday.  What a beautiful drive through the United States.  And we enjoyed all the friends and family we were able to visit. 

August 29/30, 2020 Sault Ste Marie, Whitfish Point, and Tahquamenon Falls, Michigan

We drove across the Upper Peninsula today to Sault Ste Marie.  We were able to get a hotel room near the locks that connect Lake Superior and Lake Huron.  We stopped at the occasional scenic view to look at Lake Superior or waterfalls.

We have always been fascinated by watching ships move through locks.  It means even more now that we have been through locks ourselves.  The water changes by 21 feet to accommodate these ships.  And it’s interesting to see how they handle the lines.

leaves starting to turn color

We went to Whitefish Point today to see the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum.  This point is/was, a common spot for shipwrecks.  Ships had to round this point to head towards or away from the locks.  The Edmond Fitzgerald sank in this area.  Everyone knows from the song by Gordon Lightfoot that there was a storm that night.  But I didn’t realize that the light from the lighthouse was not working that night.  I guess I should read the lyrics vs listening to the song to avoid having it in my head forever.  

The Coast Guard exhibit was also very interesting.  They had their own watch tower plus servicemen that walked the beach watching for ships in distress.  If they were within range, they would shoot a line out to the boat in distress that was anchored on the shore.  Then they would take boats on that line out to rescue people.   Amazing acts of bravery.  
After the museum, we stopped at the Tahquamenon (rhymes with phenomenon) Falls State Park.  We had a nice walk along the paths, with lots of other people, to have several nice views of the falls.

The upper falls are 200 feet across and drop of 48 feet.  It is nicknamed the Root Beer Falls because of the brown color from the tannins leached from the cedar swamps which the river drains.  The lower falls are 4 miles downstream and are actually 5 smaller falls around an island.  Very beautiful area to visit.

lower falls

Back at Sault Ste Marie, we were able to watch ships in the locks near our hotel.


August 27/28, 2020 Keweenaw Peninsula of Michigan

8-27  We drove to Copper Harbor today on the Keweenaw peninsula.  We rented a room at a motel that overlooked the water.  It’s a small community in the woods.  We enjoyed a couple lazy days hiking and driving through the area.   

8-28  We had a beautiful hike out to Hunter's point.  There were great views of Lake Superior and of Copper Harbor. 

Then we drove a loop on Brockway mountain.  Of course, it was overcast, so scenic views weren’t quite as scenic as on sunny days.  We were hoping to see Isle Royale in Lake Superior.  Even though it’s close to Canada and Minnesota, it is part of Michigan.  Before Covid days, you could take a ferry to the island from Copper Harbor.  I always thought it was part of Minnesota.

There was an ore ship passing passing by on Lake Superior

 Before heading to our room, we went for a walk along the boardwalk.  We couldn’t help but notice all the spiders and spider webs along the fence/wall.  A family of kids arrived as we were leaving.  The kids were checking out the spiders.  Dave told them a line he uses with kids about fish, “If you name them, you can’t eat them!”.  The little girl immediately started naming all the spiders.  As we left, the parents caught up with their kids.  We heard the little girl telling them “that OLD COUPLE told me……..”.  OUCH!  I’m going with “that old man and his daughter told me…”.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

August 15-26, 2020 Wisconsin road trip

For the past several weeks, we have been making and canceling and remaking travel plans.  Dave’s mom, Alice, would be turning 89 on August 19, and we wanted to be there to celebrate with her.  We debated on whether we should travel with the covid 19 pandemic.  And we were also worried that we could expose her to the virus.  After much consideration, we decided to go.  We rented a cabin for 5 nights about 20 miles from her home in Luck, Wisconsin and invited Dave’s brother and sister to join us when they could.  

As the date drew near, Alice panicked about the increase in covid cases in their community, so we cancelled our plans.  We were within the 30 day cancellation period for the cabin, so we couldn’t get our money back.  But we could use it at a later date.  Fine, we would go later in the year or the next summer.  

We then decided to take advantage of the rental car (which we could easily cancel, but…).  We talked to friends in 2 different areas about visiting them.  Great!

Then Alice called back and wanted us to still come.  She was actually getting depressed about not seeing us.  OK, we were still able to get our cabin.  And we cancelled the plans with the friends.  They understood and would take a rain check.

We left Brunswick August 15 for the 20 hour trip.  We weren’t in a hurry, so we had an enjoyable trip through the beautiful states between Georgia and Wisconsin.  We packed some food and stopped at parks for breaks during the day.
8-15 Collerton Stqte Park, SC


8-16 Pigeon River on the NC/TN border


8-17 stopped near Peoria, Illinois. 

 8-18We made it to Cumberland, WI today.  We picked up Alice and groceries and headed to the cabin on Big Butternut Lake in Luck, WI.  We had our favorite WI dinner at the cabin, brats and corn on the cob.

Debbie and Alice in front of the cabin, with Charlie

Today was Alice’s 89th birthday.  Over the last week, I set up a FaceTime telephone call with Alice and her 2 sisters.  Maggi is 82 and lives in California.  Dottie is 91 and lives in Texas.  The three of them really enjoyed the conversation, especially with being able to see each other.  Alice used my iPhone, Dottie used her daughters, and Maggie had her own iPhone.  So this isn’t something they can do on their own.  It was a great way to start her day.
We had rented a pontoon for the day.  Dave, Alice and I had a nice afternoon on the lake.  Alice enjoyed fishing, catch and release.

Dave’s brother, Dean, sister, Debbie, and her significant other, Randy, all joined us for dinner that night at the cabin.  We all went for a sunset cruise on the lake.  It was a beautiful night on the water.


the family-Debbie, Dean, Dave and Alice

Debbie, Dean, Dave, Mary and Alice

Debbie and Randy with Alice



our cabin was the center one behind the trees


Debbie lives between Luck and Cumberland, Wi.  We all went to her home for brunch today.  Dean was also staying at her home.  After spending most of the afternoon at Debbie's, Dave and I returned to the cabin and had leftovers.  Dean, Debbie and Alice went to a farmers market in the area.  Dean brought Alice back to the cabin, and we had a nice evening visiting with him about his job as a police officer in Minneapolis.  There have been many riots in the city this summer.  Tough job!

We had a fun day at the cabin playing some games and relaxing.  The neighboring cabin showed us a fun game that they brought with them.  It was a horse betting game that involved a board, dice, cards and money.  We spent $10 each and came out even.  

We rented the pontoon another day.  Dave, Alice and I spent time on the water, with Alice fishing again.  Dave’s family joined us for dinner.  Then we took another sunset cruise with everyone.





We checked out of the cabin today and took Alice back to her home in Cumberland.  We left for Minneapolis to see friends, Joe and Erin Claussen.

We spent the day driving through MN and WI to see a couple other friends.  First we met a friend for lunch in Winona, MN.  Kermie is someone Dave met online in an online game, Pirates of the Caribbean.  She found out we were going to be in WI and wanted to meet us in person.  I was giving Dave a hard time about her being his “ax murdering online girlfriend”.  If your kids met someone online, you would caution them not to meet them.  But we figured we were safe meeting her together and in a public place, lol.  It really was a nice meeting.

Then we drove to a farm near Ellsworth and Maiden Rock, WI to see a friend from Custer, SD.  Lorraine Himrich was at her sister’s farm helping her after her surgery for a brain tumor.  She raises long haired sheep for their wool and meat.  So Lorraine has been doing the chores.  Kate is also an emergency room nurse in St Paul, MN.  This is her “hobby farm”.  

8-25/26  We went back to Cumberland for a couple days to help Alice with some things in her home.  Then we headed back to Georgia via the upper peninsula of Michigan.  We spent the first night in a cabin on Lake Gogebic in Michigan.

from the water looking back at the cabins