A Drive Across America

We left home on Thursday and sang in Maple Valley WA that evening.  Since then, we’ve been driving, driving and driving – about 9 hours every day.  Some days we set foot in one state, some days up to 3.  We watched the terrain go from cool misty Pacific coast, up over the coastal range into the dry, sage-brushy high country, across to miles and miles of drizzly long vistas with hills, then the flat Prairie lands.  Finally, today, we got to trees and lakes.  Big Lakes.  The biggest freshwater lake in the world: Superior.  It was warm and sunny and it was tempting to put on our bathing suits and go for a dip.  The fallen leaves were swirling around our feet – there’s something wrong, wrong, wrong about thinking about swimming in one of the Great Lakes in the autumn.  So we didn’t.

We’ve done this drive before, and I didn’t take many pictures.  When we left Victoria Harbour, though, I had to take a picture of the float plane leading the way ahead of us out to the open water.

I didn’t get a shot of the humpback whale we saw breaching from the ferry across to Port Angeles, nor the deer in the fields on the first driving day. We didn’t stop to take a picture of the World’s Largest Holstein cow in New Salem North Dakota, nor the many antelope we saw off the road (Where the deer and the antelope play….).  We drove right by the World’s Largest Buffalo and the World’s Largest Sandhill Crane.  But we saw lots of birds on the migration lanes.  Canada Geese, Swans, Snow Geese, and Pelicans. Most of them were flying south…. Canada geese sometimes get confused.

But today, we did stop in Minnesota to see the Big Guy: Paul Bunyan.  He’s everywhere in Minnesota!  Last year we took a picture of him with Kass the Kangaroo in Bemidji MN.  Today we stopped in Akeley and took this picture.

Paul Bunyan - had me eating out of the palm of his hand...

He gets around.  No sign of Babe, his Blue Ox – perhaps Babe was looking for some nice fall maple leaves to press between waxed paper like I used to do when I was growing up.

I’ve been doing a fauna count on my Facebook page (1 whale, 5 deer, 8 antelope, etc) but I was stumped today.  We drove from Duluth (where we spent a lovely evening with friends) to Sault Ste Marie MI, and, although I sewed a lot of hexagons, I didn’t see much in the way of animals or birds.  What will I put on my Facebook page tonight for the fauna count?  (I don’t think Da Yoopers count, somehow…)

Then we went out for dinner.  The motel suggested a wonderful restaurant – Antlers – that started its life as a speakeasy during the Prohibition, and now serves really good food with a unique ambience.  Voila!  Fauna!

Dining at the Antlers Restaurant - you've got to keep alert! (Especially if you're a waitress, it seems!)

It is within a month of Hallowe’en now, and tonight we also saw our first full-blown display.  Americans are now decorating their houses with the same enthusiasm as they do at Christmas – they clearly have more a) time, b) enthusiasm, and c) storage space in the garage than we do.

Did I mention enthusiasm?

Tomorrow we cross back over to Canada (just missing a chance for Thanksgiving turkey – but maybe we’ll snag some leftovers…..) and continue our way via another ferry to my brother’s house near Meaford.  There, there will be a presentation involving a quilt.  More later.


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