Another Sunday. It’s odd that the calendars are coinciding so that the date 11 years ago was the same day of the week that it is this year. At any rate, my Sunday newspaper this week was a Duluth News Tribune, and after I picked it up and packed up my little camp, I headed east over the bridge and through Superior, Wisconsin, which was sort of the Vancouver, Washington, to Duluth’s Portland, Oregon, so far as I could tell.
The road rejoined the lakeshore about thirty miles east of Superior, and led out to the tip of a peninsula which is surrounded by the Apostle Islands, a National Lakeshore. Unfortunately, the day was gray and gloomy, with a certain amount of fog, which is a) why I have no pictures from this day, and b) why I couldn’t see anything from the mainland. I did stop at a visitor center in the little tourist town of Bayfield, which reminded me very much of the little town of Port Clinton, Ohio, on the shores of Lake Erie, where I once lived for a year. The visitor center was interesting and talked about the history of the Apostle Islands, and the town seemed to be built entirely of white clapboard and picket fences with late flowers all around and over them. Extremely picturesque, but I couldn’t find an empty motel room to save my life, even if it was Sunday and I was looking to relax for the afternoon.
So I drove on to the larger town of Ashland, arriving about noon, where I did find a room, with a lakefront view, no less, and a cute little café on the premises.
One can’t travel all day every day, after all. So I spent the afternoon reading the paper, watching football, clearing out the car and doing laundry. It’s funny how neither William Least Heat Moon nor John Steinbeck ever mentions the logistics of long-term cross-country travel… Well, Steinbeck did tell how he did his laundry. He used to tie a bucket full of soapy water and his dirty clothes with a tight lid on it to the back of his camper, and let it churn all day as he drove, then rinse them out in the evening and hang them to dry overnight. Unfortunately, Owl did not come with a convenient place to tie a bucket, but it was never all that hard to find a laundromat.
Just before dark I walked the promenade along the lakefront for a mile or so, watching the clouds thicken and lower again. I made it back to my room just before it began to rain again. The weather favored me with another thunderstorm that night, and I was glad to be indoors for this one. It lashed the waves on Lake Superior into something resembling a winter storm on the Washington coast. Quite impressive in the glow of the street lamps along the trail across the highway.