You can’t get there from here

Early Friday I flew to the very tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula, home of pasties, abandoned copper mines and the Bud and Jan Show. I did a post early in my residency here at OutsideIn on pasties and how they are different from pasties- it skyrocketed me to fame with comments (I was previously unknown so 11 comments constituted fame); that’s because it featured both a recipe and the only close to lewd picture I’ve ever had HERE .

Gratiot Lake, tucked 3 miles in from Lake Superior is one of those outermost places. There are fewer than a dozen year round residents on this large lake. I can drive to NYC in less time than I can drive to Lost Loon Lodge, their house on the lake. Driving is not feasible for these weekend visits;  Truly- they live in the same state but it’s 630 miles away. Who would have thought?

Can I fly directly there? No.Only prop planes can land at the Houghton-Hancock one gate airport. Both Detroit and Minneapolis have special, hidden, double secret concourses that most people don’t know about, let alone ever see and that’s where they hide Mesaba Airlink. Mesaba is the only profitable piece of Northworst Airlines so it would seem as though they should spotlight these little gems right up front, in the middle of the main terminal. But no. In Detroit you take that fancy new high speed bullet tram as far as it will go and then you walk to Toledo. This is especially taxing if you are carrying home canned goods, specialty cheeses and breads from Whole Foods and the last tomatoes from the garden.

I fly to Minneapolis (hi Keri! hi Kathy!) and then, with 14 minutes between flights (because "on-time" means when you hit the ground, not when they arrive at the gate 28 minutes later), I find the next double secret concourse which is located-I am not kidding here- 2.1 miles from gate F12 where I came in. At this point I have to commandeer one of those go-cart vehicles, knocking some elderly handicapped person out of the way, and scream, "I’ll miss my flight, I’ll miss my flight!" The tomatoes have started to compost and they are seeping out of the corner of my backpack. Then I race onboard one of Mesaba’s lovely little 30 seat SAAB "prop-jets" with the dove gray leather seats. I used to think that this was a lowly job for a flight attendant. I now realize that the one who is on these flights actually has a good thing going. Everyone drops off their "carry-on" at the bottom of the boarding stairs and it gets stuffed in the underbelly and promptly handed to you as you exit the plane. This means no one is wrestling to get loaves of bread and stinky cheese into the overhead bins. You only have 30 people to wrangle into their seats and although everyone is wearing damp wool and Carharts it’s a pleasant and cooperative crowd, heh? The flight attendant only has to hand out, at most, 30 cans of pop and she can chat with virtually everyone on board from her leather seat up front. And no one ever needs to use the bathroom.

When I land at Houghton-Hancock there’s no waiting in line to get the plane to the gate. You’re just there. And there was Bud, anxious and pleased to see me, happy to have one of the children for the weekend. He gave me a big hug and said, "Oh hi, honey. Thank you for coming. Your mother can hardly wait. Rich called and said it was fine if you stayed for two months!" This is the first joke of the weekend about how there is just not enough time. There’s not enough time left at all and that becomes one of the underlying themes of the next 48 hours.

I’ll write more later today but first I’m going to go get un-kinked from the weekend at a pilates class and then I’m going to come around the neighborhood and say hello to you. When I got up this morning there were three comments appended to my last post from people I love and it made me so happy to think that these people know me and keep me in mind. And so, I can’t wait to pop over to your place and see what’s new.

Here are a couple pictures I took over the weekend. It is very beautiful, albeit remote, up there. The eagle parents were visible but high and far up. By the time I got my sights on the tree one had flown out over the lake. Click to enlarge.Photo_library_3617_1Boat_1Eagle

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20 responses to “You can’t get there from here

  1. Welcome home! (Your post and pictures are making me home sick. Fall is the absolute best time to be in the UP.)
    🙂

  2. I will be at the hospital most of the day. But will check back tonight when I come here to feed the animals and such. I imagine Abby was very excited about the football outcome for USF this weekend. Have a good one. PS: There is just something so very regal about our national bird.

  3. Is the neighbor’s house for sale. With pictures like that I am ready to drop off the map.

  4. Welcome home! We missed you. In the end there’s never enough time, is there?

  5. Is that Bud’s fishing boat? Does he fish? Nice job collaring the eagle; very pretty pic. But, more porn, please. (Ah, I know, I don’t want it, either.)

    You didn’t say: How’s Mom’s health? Hope well.

  6. Yes I hope that your Mom is doing well, Vicki.

    The pictures, as usual, are wonderful (the eagle being my favourite) and a soothing end to a travelling post that had me dizzy, backtracking to see if I had understood the previous step.

  7. Yes I hope that your Mom is doing well, Vicki.

    The pictures, as usual, are wonderful (the eagle being my favourite) and a soothing end to a travelling post that had me dizzy, backtracking to see if I had understood the previous step.

  8. Your pictures are gorgeous!

  9. oh what lovely pics, and what a wonderful weekend you had!

  10. Pass da pasties, please! I love your fine photos of the fall colors, the serene dock, and that regal eagle, Vicki! Methinks that the difficulties involved in your visits to the Bud and Jan Show are inversesly proportional to the goodness those visits bring! Enjoy pie-plates!

  11. Pass da pasties, please! I love your fine photos of the fall colors, the serene dock, and that regal eagle, Vicki! Methinks that the difficulties involved in your visits to the Bud and Jan Show are inversesly proportional to the goodness those visits bring! Enjoy pie-plates!

  12. That’s an bald eagle? A real one? Like flying around in the sky? WOW.

    Hope the trip is well. Thanks for all your lovely notes. If you really want to read some of JW, e-mail me. I’m looking for feedback/edits on the first 30 pages.

  13. Nice photos and a wonderful telling of your trials en route. You’d have to be determined indeed! It looks lke it was worth the trip.

    RCS

  14. I’m about to apply for the psot of nanny to Bud and Jan. Those photos are fabulous and that area is so gorgeous! Too bad they have snow there, or I’d move to the up in a heartbeat.

    Welcome back, Vicki, hope you found all to be well up there.

  15. I do so love your photos and stories. I have been at the Minneapolis airport–at a distant terminal where we had to brave swarms of mosquitoes to dash across a parking garage, catch a tram and get to the main terminal. It was not much fun.

  16. Oh dearie, so nice to have you back. I had pasties in St. Louis last week at a Scottish pub.

    When you come to St. Louis, I can’t wait for you to meet Karl and Jes.

  17. Welcome home! Your photos look so serene. I love visiting peaceful places. Thanks for the heads up on the jars. They are so pretty.

  18. Welcome home! Your photos look so serene. I love visiting peaceful places. Thanks for the heads up on the jars. They are so pretty.

  19. you shoulda told me you were going to be racing thru MSP airport. I coulda cheered you on while you ran from one gate to the other and squirted ice cold water on you.

    GO VICKI! GO!!

  20. Your site was recommended to by a friend. You certainly have a fun way of expressing yourself. I am from Michigan. I have a Michigan Links Web site. Look for the Pastie Link there. You would not believe how many searches are for pasties! lol..
    my biggest hits is the pastie recipe page.
    I grew up in Ishpeming near Marquette. A trip to Houghten-Hancock(copper country) was a Sunday drive for me as a child.
    So I was a Yooper and now a Troll living in Port Huron, but hey once a Yooper always a Yooper Ey?

    I would like to make an applet of your lake picture, it is beautiful! I am always looking for Mich. pictures to add to my michigan mural page.

    Is it one that you are sharing or would you rather not. I could link it to your journal here if you like…my e-mail is above.

    I just wanted to stop in to check it out and I will be back. You are very entertaining! Your thoughts on things are interesting. You’ve got a good thing going here….lol…
    cheers!

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