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>Houghton, Day One

19 April 2008

>An opera in three acts.

You folks will be getting this post an hour earlier than normal because I am in the Eastern time zone now!

Yesterday afternoon I headed out for Houghton, with a quick stopover in Duluth to gloat to FHG and to have lunch at the Lakeview Castle. I had some sort of roast beef and mashed potato sandwich that was $5 and delicious. I ate it all because I am a giant pig.

The trouble began immediately after I crossed the Richard I. Bong memorial bridge into Sup-town. I know people make fun of Superior all the time, but I figured that was just the usually Wisconsin mockery. NO. It is depressing to look at. So I decided to send Bruce a text message with this discovery. (If it makes you sleep better at night, you can pretend that I pulled over to type it.) I also sent my dad a text message asking if he saw the irony in a Mother’s Day Buffet at Glensheen Mansion. Anyone?

I have no idea what the responses to those texts would be, because shortly after I got outside of the Superior city limits (I think, who can tell?) I suddenly had no service. As far as cell phones go, that brings you up to speed. Stupid northern Wisconsin and UP Michigan, not having Sprint service. Garbage. However, not a big deal. So I can’t take any calls this weekend. No one calls me anyway, and I don’t really need to call anyone.

Remember that last sentence for later. You won’t have to remember that long.

Okay, so another reason Wisconsin sucks, aside from aesthetic and technological reasons, is no one told me the 2 in Highway 2 means TWO FREAKING LANES. My car was very upset, as it was all excited to be unleashed across the wilderness of the northern Midwest. Instead, I was stuck behind some EXTREMELY SLOW DRIVERS. I mean, wow. I’d rather drive in freaking Florida. Every time I hit a passing lane, I’d blow by whoever I was tailing, only to catch up with yet another slowpoke just as the passing lane ended. ANNOYING. Once the traffic thinned out, I was able to make use of the passing zones, but it was pretty terrifying to drive on the wrong side of the road when an oncoming car could obliterate me at any moment if I didn’t get past the slowpokes. The other annoying thing was driving through a stupid tiny town that made me slow down to drive through them. ESPECIALLY the dumb town that made me slow down to freaking 25. It felt like I was not even moving. I will never patronize that town ever. I will go down the road to the town that sets its limit at a civilized 45.

I breathed a sigh of relief as I passed out of Wisconsin into Michigan. Though the roads were still teeny two-lanes, no one was driving on them, so I was able to roll through the hills and valleys unrestrained. For awhile. Then the stupid deer came out. I don’t understand them. Why wouldn’t you wait until I’ve driven by before crossing the road? It makes so much sense! But yet, no. Stupid deer flirting with danger. I did see one dead one on the side of the road. Some sort of scavenging bird was eating it, and it did not have a head. Some moron probably has it mounted on his wall. Way to go, cool guy.

I finally rolled into Houghton at… well, I’m not sure what time. Because my MapQuest directions failed me at the very end, and I ended up on the horribly named “Yooper Loop” in “Hancock” rather than Houghton. I didn’t immediately realize there was a problem, as there is a street in this “Hancock” that has the same name as the street MEg lives in in Houghton. So I must have crossed this insidious Loop about ten times before I realized I had no idea where I was, stopped at a gas station, and used a PAY PHONE because of course my cell phone wasn’t functional. MEg refused to come get me until the Wings game ended, but then they ended up calling a time out and I whined enough that she came to pick me up.

The rest of the night was pretty uneventful. We watched the end of the Ducks-Stars game and ate some pizza. The last thing I thought before I went to bed was, I hope I get a good night’s sleep and this cough doesn’t get worse. We’ll see if that comes into play in Episode II.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. 20 April 2008 2:32 am

    >Is there really a mother’s day thing at the mansion?!? Priceless! LOVE IT! My mom is obsessed with the Glensheen and it’s story. I kid you not…OBSESSED. She would love going there for mother’s day. Of course, she would have to read one of the zillion damn books she has on it:)I’m going to call you over and over and leave nasty messages because you’re not answering your phone this weekend!!Also, the name Yooper Loop rocks. Makes it worth being stuck on it:)

  2. 20 April 2008 5:47 am

    >Thats why you dont have sprint. If you get out of a urban area or away from the interstates they have no service. I had no problems with Verizon in houghton for three years. Sprint was worthless up there when i had it. I’ve made the drive along 2 and in to MI many times. The wisconsin part is the worst. The cops in WI dont like me and there are too many slow people, and often too much traffic to pas safely. I believe the 25mph town you’re talking about is Ashland, which is a junk hole. The roads in MI are atleast a bit better. Much less traffic that makes it easier to pass and the cops are nicer there. You must have really botched things if you ended up in hancock because you would have had to cross the bridge. If you have time take a drive up to copper harbor. The scenery along the way is beautiful.

  3. 20 April 2008 7:19 am

    >Matt,I trusted MapQuest, believing it would never lead me astray. I will never trust in anyone or anything again.Also, I’ve been up in the mountains of Colorado and the hick plains of Illinois and never had an issue with Sprint. This is the first time I’ve ever had an issue, but it kind of sucked. Luckily, people were really nice to me and loaned me their phones!The drive through Michigan was so nice, really pretty. And it was like my own private freeway.

  4. 21 April 2008 5:06 am

    >Driving through alot of places in the UP is like stepping back in time ten or more years. Sometimes its like the land that time has stood still. Not surprising that you didn’t have service on the way there. But somewhat surprising you dont get service in Houghton. Hope you enjoy your stay. You’re missing out on all the snow going this time of year.

  5. 22 April 2008 1:32 am

    >Your readers want more!

  6. 22 April 2008 4:40 pm

    >I agree with Meg, where is the day 2 report? Can’t still be hungover if you were not drinking! FHG

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