Browsing "Wisconsin"
Jun 8, 2012 -

Through the U.P. Along the Shores of Gitche Gumee

I made it to the Soo Ontario!!!!!!!!! I left Thief River Falls, MN, at 5:45AM CST and pulled into my final destination at the Soo (no room at the first inn) at about 9:00PM CST (10:00PM EST). It’s been a very long day, not aided by the fact that the fastest speed limit all day was 55MPH. At least, most of it was through the U.P., the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, a gorgeous stretch of country.

This long day was soooo scenic. I love northern Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan! I went through a little bit of this area between the western and eastern tips of Lake Superior back in ’05 when I did my grand tour of the Great Lakes. I highly recommend making that road trip once in your life!

I really wanted to get across the border tonight to get it done, figuring that a couple more hours waiting to cross and then being interrogated wasn’t going to kill me at this point. So, of course, I only had to wait a minute and I got the nicest Canadian Customs officer I have ever dealt with!

Her: “Where are you from?”
Me: “Lethbridge, AB.”
Her: “My God, dear, what are you doing all the way out here?!” (that is verbatim, LOL!)

I explained that I was coming to visit family. She asked where I crossed and then we had a discussion about the fact that Montana extends into Saskatchewan. Bla bla.

Her: “Did you buy anything en route?”
Me: “I didn’t have time; I just drove straight through.”
Her, handing me back my passport: “Well, you be safe now. Have a good trip!”

No questions about booze, drugs, guns, nothing. She made my day. I wish I could have hugged her. 🙂

Tip: Like at Sarnia/Port Huron and, presumably, Detroit/Windsor, there is a bridge connecting the US and Canada. You will need to have some small change with you as there is a fare. Today, it was $3 both CAD and US. When I crossed at Sarnia/Port Huron in ’05, the dollars weren’t close to par so the amounts were different and I remember opting to pay in US dollars as it was better value!

My destination tonight was the Super 8 motel. That chain is my standby on road trips as it is always clean and sometimes is very nice. But they were full and told me to try the Comfort Inn across the road. I did and blanched when I entered the lobby in my super casual skirt and tee-shirt to discover this is a much more luxurious hotel than I normally stay at. Everyone in the lobby was dressed to the nines and the next person in line with a suitcase had on a business suit. But I was there and the clerk didn’t even blink when she saw me so I figured I might as well inquire about rates even though I was sure I’d be turning around and sleeping in my truck at the casino.

I asked about a single, non-smoking, and was told that the singles were actually mini-suites with king beds, and their least expensive option at $99. What?! Had the Super 8 had room, it would have been $88. What was an extra $11?! I took a room, went back to the truck to get all my valuables, and then hoofed it to my ‘tower’ room. Pictures are below. It is insanely luxurious. I love the shower and that there is a proper work desk. I actually feel comfortable walking barefoot in here.

First order of business was a very long shower, which included a test of all the bath products available. This is such a fancy place that there is both body and facial soap. 🙂

I’ll be heading to bed shortly. It’s 11:15 here, so I’m pretty sure a super early start tomorrow is unlikely. I have another 14 hours or so of driving to do, but it’s all familiar territory, so I’ll get home when I get home.

Driving the truck for such a long day has really made me see my Accents in a new light: I’m not even remotely sore. Moya pretty much drives herself, making her name very appropriate! I laughed when I stopped for gas just before lunch when a guy came up to me and said, “So, how do you like YOUR Ranger?” I looked up and saw Moya’s fraternal twin, a dark green topperless 2000 ‘sport’ Ranger. Not sure what makes it ‘sport’ since it’s not a side step model.

The pictures below are out of order as I finally got my camera pics dumped onto the laptop. So far on this trip, you’ve only seen what I’ve taken with my iPad. Tomorrow, I will see if there’s anything worth sharing from the phone since I didn’t bring the mini card reader adapter. That’s a crazy number of camera options, but I finally learned how to add pics to my posts from the iPad, so I’ve been favouring that camera since I’ve only cracked open the laptop a couple of times.

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Canada, Countries, Michigan, Minnesota, Ontario, Travel, USA, Wisconsin    1 Comment
Dec 3, 2009 -

Travels Without Miranda, #5: Antiquing in Wisconsin

Wisconsin is a state that gets a bum rap. It is a verdant land of rolling hills and dairy farms. Granted, I detoured around Milwaukee, so I didn’t see the urban Wisconsin, but what I did visit was idyllic.

I was on a road trip circling the Great Lakes and I was a woman on a mission. The previous day I had driven from Toronto to Lake Bluff, Illinois, a distance of more than a 1,000km. I’m not sure exactly why I was in such a rush, but there was no way to stop me. This was my first vacation in years and I was going to see it ALL!


Coming into Wisconsin, I decided that I didn’t want to go through Milwaukee, so I looked for a way around the city and instead decided to get off I-94 for a spell and take a secondary road that would lead me back to I-94 at Madison in a diagonal fashion.

Suddenly, I had no choice but to slow down since the scenic route meant going through towns and going through towns meant slower speed limits and, gasp, stop signs. I passed an antique shop at one point and wished that I could stop. Two blocks away from it, I had a revelation, I could stop if I wanted to! I was on vacation, for pete’s sake and I didn’t have to be in such a rush!

I ended up doing only a couple hundred kilometres that day as I lost myself in the antique shops of southern Wisconsin, scooping up blue willow dishes and brass candleholders. I don’t have any pictures of the two antique malls I stopped at, among smaller shops, but they are Freddy Bears Antique Mall and Heavenly Heaven Antique Mall (located in a restored church) in Waterford. Plan on spending several hours at each!

When I was done, I found the beautiful Devil’s Lake Campground and set my tent up for the night, guaranteeing a leisurely departure the next day. I remember going for a swim in the shallow lake that was still warm that late in September and whooping with joy at rediscovering life in the slow lane.

Devil's Lake, Wisconsin

Devil's Lake, Wisconsin

It was in Wisconsin that I learned that I want to travel at a slow pace and that it’s when I think that I’m in the biggest hurry that I should slow down and enjoy the moment because there might not be another opportunity to do so. I must have had this lesson in mind during my Chasm respite before one of the worst days of my life.

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British Columbia, Canada, Travel, USA, Wisconsin    No Comments