Friday, July 8, 2022

Summer Symphony - Second Movement

The second movement of a symphony is at an adagio pace, which means it is at a slow tempo. It is gentler, and peaceful. The movement gradually gains momentum and tension, sometimes taking you to a turbulent and emotional high before gliding back down.

After loading everything we had accumulated during the month at the rental unit around the corner from our kids, we were off for the second stage of our Summer Symphony. 

We were heading across country, but we took it slowly and enjoyed 
different adventures almost every day. 

The Tree of Utah (or The Tree of Life) along the salt flats between Wendover at Salt Lake City.

We were intrigued that you could see "mirages" in the salt, just like you do from puddles of water. It's rather hard to see in the pictures, but if you look closely....

Contrast the view of the road in Utah with those we traversed in North Dakota!

We explored Casper, WY, visiting Fort Casper, the National Trails Interpretive Center and 
Lou Taubert Ranch Outfitters - serving the West since 1919 in the same building!

Page from my journal

Drive-by of the Wyoming Territorial Prison

On the way to our next stop we took a quick side trip to 
Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming. 

Of course I had to stop and pet the Haflinger!

Interesting "installation" along the road in South Dakota

From there we were on to Belle Fourche, SD. We spent two nights at Wyatt's Hideaway Campground. The week before we arrived the town had experienced a terrible storm with baseball-sized hail that broke many windows in building around town. We saw plywood covering many of the windows on the north side of homes and businesses. The campground's trees had suffered a bit of damage, with most leaves being shredded and lots of limbs on the ground. The new owners took over the property 4 weeks previously. What a lousy welcome to the area. We went into Spearfish and visited the DC Booth National Historic Fish Hatchery and wandered around town stopping in 
at many of the interesting artist's shops. 

Fish at the hatchery

Page from my journal

We struggled on to North Dakota - just because! (We have visited every state in the Nation except North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin.) We had a strong crosswind all the way as we made our trek north, stopping at the Knife River National Historic site. 

We spent an evening at the Red Trail Vineyard in Buffalo, ND. It was very relaxing to stroll among the grapes. We enjoyed meeting Rodney, the owner, who shared his story with us and let us enjoy some of his wines. Interesting to see that he uses the Frontenac grape, as did a winery we visited in Iowa last year. I enjoy the unique taste of wine made 
from that particular grape 

Page from my journal

Red Trail Vineyard is a Harvest Host. We were parked in the parking lot 
near some of the grapes. 

Had we really been enjoying an adagio pace, we would have spent more time in Minnesota, and explored areas to the south, but we did have a deadline as we had to be in Maine by July 8. So, our only stop was near St. Cloud. We did wander to Bing's junk yard. Bing is quite the character, at 93. He has blue eyes that sparkle, and quite a sense humor. Bing has been collecting for years, beginning with gasoline pumps. We were told that "The Pickers" visited him last year, but he refused to sell anything. 

Page from my journal

And, on to Wisconsin where one MUST visit a cheese store or two! We wandered around in Amish country near Greenwood, WI. I tried to get a close-up shot of this family, their eyes were huge as they watched us lumbering toward them in a great big, red, motorhome.

We stopped at the Marieka Gouda Dairy. We had a tour of the barn. The facility is amazingly clean and the cows all seem very content. The family is from Holland, having moved to this location about 20 years ago. They made many different flavors of Gouda. We bought quite a few wedges to enjoy later. 

Page from my journal

We spent the night at another Harvest Host. The owner, Jeff, is the third generation on the property, which was used as a sawmill in times past. He is working to make it into a family and camping venue. There is live music on Friday and Saturday nights with wood-fired pizza made onsite. 

From there we turned north and spent the evening at a small park in Herbster, on the shore of 
Lake Superior. 

Loved the lupine along the roads.

We moved on to Christmas, MI - close to Musining. Despite a cold morning and high winds, we were able to take an afternoon tour of the Pictured Rocks. Gorgeous!

Page from my journal

I am told that one must have a pasty while in the UP (hence you are a "Yooper")

It was at this point in our symphony that tension entered into our trip. Although our symphony didn't necessarily gain any momentum, we suddenly found ourselves in a tight spot. We had planned on spending the 4th of July weekend with Lani & Jim, friends in Old Forge, NY. We received a message from Lani that Jim had tested positive for Covid. We simply couldn't risk being exposed to Covid at this point in time, so we needed to find an alternative spot to camp. Not an easy thing to do in the summer, over a holiday weekend! I called many campgrounds and RV resorts. A few had one night, but not the other. Many required a three-night stay, minimum, but had no space, regardless. A few might have a spot, at a premium price of $150/night. Crazy! I was a wreck! Scott came to the rescue searching Harvest Host spots and found two at reasonable distances from each other and easily along our route to Maine. The tension was released, and the symphony could resume at its easy, relaxed pace. 

We had a gray day, with rain toward the end as we made our way from the UP into Mackinaw City. Again, we had terrible crosswinds on our drive, and worried that the Mackinac bridge might be closed to high profile traffic. We made it across, at 20 mph, in wind and blustery rain. 

The next day the bridge takes on an entirely different look, from the ferry to Mackinac Island

We enjoyed a tour, but the crowds made it seem like we were in Disney World. However, what good fortune for the local owners of restaurants and shops. 

Heading south in Michigan, we stopped for a chicken dinner in Frankenmuth. I think the left-overs fed us for three days! 

Although it was a haul, we made a day-trip to the Henry Ford Museum and did a quick jaunt through parts of Greenwood Village. This was my favorite shot of the day - looking in a barn at the village.

The highlight of our day-trip was a stop at Mexico Lindo in Waterford Township to surprise Nick, the son of my BFF. I call myself Nick's "other mother" as there were times he was at our house, with my son, as much as he was at home. The boys went back and forth between our houses much of their young lives.

And, onward toward Maine, taking a short-cut across Canada, from Point Edward (north of Detroit) to Niagara Falls. We didn't visit the falls, as we imagined the crowds would have been horrendous. We heard that a shuttle from our campground couldn't get into the parking lot to drop folks off. 

Saw this on the road in Canada... 
Interesting way to fly!

Kim, our Harvest Host
Hummingbird Hills Winery in Fultonville, NY

Manchester Brook Farm in Ryegate, VT
This is a paper mill that our host, Ronald, bought 20 years ago for $100. 
Ron gave us a tour from one end to the other. It's fascinating!
He hopes to make it into a restaurant and a distillery. 

It would be lovely to eat on a patio over the river, and extension of this walkway.

Our next stop was an RV park outside of Bangor, ME. Here we met up with other folks who we will tour with on an Adventure Caravan tour of the Maritimes - 
the third movement in our Summer Symphony. 


What is Four?

Have you ever thought of the meaning of "four"?  Four is the number of: seasons in a year. corners and sides to a square. virtues....