The Good, the Bad, and the Buggy
|First day of summer over Lake Michigan|
But in an effort to give you something to discuss over the dinner table or tell the mailman (hopefully I’m not giving myself too much credit here) I will attempt to elaborate. Let’s start with Minnesota. A state where the people sound Canadian and the caramel has butter in it. I camped out on Big Island State Park – my first experience of cooler weather since enduring Kansas through Iowa. As Eyore and I hiked from one island to the next in this state park, I was taken aback by how completely content I felt. Avoiding stuffing ice in my bra in addition to accidently slapping myself while swatting away the mosquitos seems to have the opposite effect. We sat under a tree whose branches dipped into the slightly murky lake, creating endless rings that floated towards the bank. If only all days could be so simple. I began to think how wonderful my life has become; how grateful I am to have this experience of culture, travel, food, challenges, laughter, broken comfort zones – to name a few.
I would like to take this moment to thank everyone who has helped me before and during this trip,
Okay enough with the mushy stuff. On to Wisconsin. So about these cheese curds…
I was lucky enough to meet up with my parents once more during their own road trip. Needless to say, night one was spent eating fried cheese curds dipped in marinara sauce and ranch dressing. Anyone who claims they need a summer body has clearly never had Wisconsin cheese or slow cooked ribs. We enjoyed the next couple of days in Devils Lake State Park where we hiked, climbed, and worried that I would burn the meal after indulging in two – count ‘em – hard apple ciders.
|My childhood dream in Derek's yard|
Illinois and Indiana – hot, buggy, rinse and repeat.
Finally, Michigan. I’ve been so excited to make it to this peninsula. Of course, expectations never bode well. I spent my first day navigating dirt roads and what felt awfully similar due to the patch job they call “fixing potholes.” Exhausted and slightly defeated, I finally found a campsite for the night with the prisonesque push-button showers. Beggars can’t be choosers though am I right? I did, however, discover that the sun does not set until almost 10:00 pm here! My circadian rhythm is all kinds of wonky, but totally worth the sunsets over the lakes. Which brings me to my current locale. I am on what the locals call “Upper Peninsula.” Pretty self-explanatory, but I still had to ask my informant what he was talking about. Stay in school kids.
My last two nights have been spent on the banks of Lake Michigan watching the sun set on the longest day of the year over the horizon of what looks like the open sea. The water is so clear with strong turquoise hues from the soft rocks of the lake floor that one could almost mistake their surroundings for Hawaii. You know, without the palm trees and big waves and grass skirts.
|Tiny but still counts!|
My biggest joy lately has been helping Eyore learn to swim. Well, I suppose it was pretty innate for him, but he is not a fan of the water. Thus, reducing his fears and watching him immediately head for shore when I let him go still warms my heart – if not for at least knowing he won’t drown if he ever goes overboard.
Well ladies and gentlemen, thank you for checking in as always. Please note that we are 38 states down with 10 remaining before hitting my 48-state goal! I am rounding the last lap in this marathon – let’s just hope I don’t twist an ankle.
P.S. During my night spent at Derek’s lake house, I came down with a severe case of insomnia and pulled an “all-nighter.” Is that what the kids still call it? When you want to hit yourself over the head with a hammer and super glue your eyes shut? Regardless, one good thing came from this sleepless night. I wrote a poem. And it’s not too bad if I don’t say so myself, entitled, “The Catch”:
Every person has a before
It doesn’t matter
She was there before me
She loved him
At first he briefly mentions
Paints a picture of what was
Then he speaks of her by name
He means no harm, but
I try to remind myself that she is his past
I am his present
And then I realize I am someone’s before
A new girl lies awake contemplating her feelings
She wonders if he is truly over me
Just as he promises
To this after girl,
I know what you’re going through
To this after girl,
You can have him
You are his present