June 27th, 2007


Land of 10,000 lakes

And I've made it to Minnesota and a computer, and even better a Mac computer at Weathergirl's so I can do a quick update. It's a relief to be back in contact although kaffirlimeleaf has been doing a sterling job in updating with her best attempts at translations of my garbled messages! The strange thing is that if I'd had a computer with a wireless card I could have updated at each place I stayed, the wireless networks are that ubiquitous now.

Since we last rendezvoused in this journal I've been doing a bit of driving, and will give you the brief summary. On Sunday I drove from Ottawa to Thessalon where I stayed in the Carolyn Beach Motor Inn. I'd picked it because it was at a convenient stopping place, but it was well worth the stop since it's just on the edge of the North Bay of Lake Huron, and there was a beautifully subtle sunset just outside the window of my room - I tried a photo but don't know if it will come out. Monday was up to Marathon, along the east side of Lake Superior. I had meant to get as far as Terrace Bay, but the visibility went from clear to almost non-existent in 10 minutes, and I basically stopped as soon as practicable. Luckily there was a Travelodge just on the road, so I stopped there and spent a useful evening doing laundry - it's not all great sights and new experiences on the road! The next day there was a mist on the lake but otherwise clear so off I set again, through Terrace Bay and Thunder Bay down to the border where some very bemused border guards let me back into America. (Amongst the general questions they asked was where I'd stayed the night before and they couldn't work out why I'd stay in Marathon voluntarily!) The drive down through the top of Minnesota, still by the lake edge, had a surprising amount of wild life. Some interesting crested birds at the rest stop where I ate my sandwich ("Subway" has become my favourite lunchtime stop.), a deer which I didn't hit in the road, and calmly walking by the road what I think was a groundhog. Also lots of butterflies which you'll have to take my word for since they never stayed still long enough to photograph.

I stopped at a Super 8 motel in Cloquet which is the other side of the large city of Duluth. Today I drove down via Mille Lacs which has the biggest lake in Minnesota, since I thought it was worth catching some lakeside views. What I hadn't realised was that most of the other 10,000 lakes were by the roadside for the rest of the way. The roads here are very straight with broad farmland on either side which makes it difficult to concentrate, but I'm here in one piece, and hope to do a couple more updates while I'm staying.