Monday, June 12, 2017

Text and pictures by Lynn


This week had a lot of good things happen in it. I hope yours was good too.

Monday my knitting group met at the home of one of our members who has never hosted it before. Her husband is a physician (He's from Italy.), and their home indicates that he is wealthy. They live on a small lake, with a lovely view of it. Their driveway is long enough that you cannot see their house from the road, but it has massive stone walls along it (far enough away from the drive that you won't hit them when driving in), and when you get there, you see a 3-car garage. The house is stone, rectangular like many Italian homes, but big. It's furnished in an Italian style, and it's lovely. Being there was a real treat!

Tuesday I had my first LIFE board meeting as president. It was a little scary for me, as I've never been president of anything before and I had to ask a few times if I was allowed to do various things or how to do them. But it was productive and not too terribly long. After that Bill had a luncheon for retired people from the college he was in, where he learned about a lot of new programs they're doing. Right after that, we left for a 6-day vacation that ended up being a 4-day vacation, but was a lot of fun.

We drove to Minocqua, about 100 miles north, then west of town to visit a woman potter I know, Lora Hagen. She is a former member of Q.  Her dad was Dick Schneider, a UWSP ceramics professor who became semi-famous for doing a huge ceramic mural on the side of the College of Natural Resources building. Lora's place is about 8-10 miles west of Minocqua, in the middle of a very large forest. This spring, trees were  knocked down during a big storm in her very long, unpaved, bumpy, two tracks with grass in the middle, one lane wide driveway, and there was logging being done to clear the mess up. Getting there was an adventure. She gave us a little tour of her studio, and invited me to come again to "play." Maybe, but it's an awful long drive for that. I bought a bowl that I'll give as a gift sometime, to someone.

We spent the night at The Waters, a motel that has a mini-water park in it. It was nice. We were on the ground floor and had a door to the outside. I sat out there and read and knitted for over an hour. Heavenly. The air and lighting were perfect!

The next day we drove to Mercer and visited a friend of mine from my tennis days. Another long, unpaved, bumpy driveway, hard to find. We planned to stay for coffee, but they invited us to stay for lunch, and we had bought donuts, so we had soup and donuts to eat. Very nice to see them. They live in a house that was built in 1895, and they remodeled it. We got a tour of their lovely house. 

After that, we drove to Ironwood to go past Mother's house and Grandma's house, just to see them (no changes), and then to Ashland and Bayfield, where we were lucky to get the last room in a nice motel. The rest of the place was filled with a Road Scholar group. The main route to Bayfield is all torn up and closed, so we went on a lengthy detour to get there. We had a light dinner on a balcony overlooking Lake Superior, then walked around the town a bit before bedtime. Thursday morning we caught the ferry to Madeline Island, where we got free directions for a self-driving tour of the island. The tour wasn't great, and when we got to Big Bay State Park, I got carried away and spent a lot of time walking and taking pictures. Bill stayed in the car. The island reminded us of Washington Island, which is off the tip of Door County. 

We got back to Bayfield in the afternoon and found our way to a pottery shop that I have always loved. We were the only customers they had for a few days, due to the road construction, and they were delighted to see us and to know that we found  them despite the construction. When they found out I am a potter too, they gave us a tour of their studio and a history of their business. Interesting. I bought a lovely vase from them, for us.

After the longest drive of the trip so far, we spent the night in Barker's Island Inn in Superior, WI . Went for a walk, had dinner. There was a big Norwegian conference going in that motel. We had planned to spend two nights there, but our room wasn't great, it was noisy and tiny, and we had no hot water. So we left in the morning. We planned to spend the day in Duluth (about 5 miles away) and points north, but there was very dense fog, and you could barely see the lake. We walked along the lake for a bit, but it wasn't very satisfying, so we drove out onto a spit of land about 5 miles long to see what we could see. Unbeknownst to us, everyone (and there were a LOT of houses crammed together on both sides of a rather narrow street) was having a rummage sale. Driving was really, really tricky, due to all the pedestrians, and cars  parking and unparking on both sides of the street. We drove partway out, which took a long time, until I found a place I could turn around and get back into the line of traffic. We left Duluth for Minneapolis. We had planned to go further north for a night or so, but the weather just didn't invite us to do that, and since we had to be in Minneapolis no later than Sunday, it seemed like it would be a lot more driving than we really wanted to do

Our original plan was to spend Sunday night in Minneapolis with some friends, and go to the place I buy clay and glazes Monday morning before coming home. But we figured out that the people who invited us, and who had still extended us a welcome, were really too busy. She had just started a new job, was going to work until 4:30 on Sunday, on Monday morning was to start a new program that she had dreamed up at the university where she works, and take/lead a group of people for a biking tour of Slovenia and Italy on Thursday. She didn't need us there!!! We would have liked to see them, but there are sure to be better times.

So we went to the clay story on Friday afternoon, spent the night in downtown Minneapolis (where we walked to a wonderful restaurant for dinner), and came home Saturday morning. City traffic and city interstates are not our favorite, especially when about every other street or lane is torn up and closed. Driving was not fun. Even the country roads had long patches of being under construction. We were glad to get home in one piece, as both of us accidentally drove through red lights in the city. There are so many lights in some places, you can't tell where you're supposed to stop, and some intersections were very confusing as to where they began and ended.. Luckily, no traffic was coming either of the times we goofed up. 

We had such a good time that each day seemed like much longer ago than than just one day ago.

So, we're looking forward to a nice quiet week at home now. 

Pictures: Canada anemones taken in Bayfield. Peterson musky was caught by my tennis friend's husband--the door frame below shows its size. Rocks and water from Big Bay State Park on Madeline Island. I am sparing you from a lot of other pictures, for now.

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