4am arrives, and my alarm clock goes off... and i'm up and into the shower before breakfast. Afterwards I realize that there is annoyance directed at me because.... it is actually 3am!! Apparently my clock hasn't been set properly. Of course everyone thinks this is a clever trick by me in order to get them up even earlier. I solemnly declare to all of you out there, though, that this was not the case and that it truly was a mistake.
Now, not being one to avoid capitalizing on opportunity, and
we are all up now anyway, the positive side to this little mistake
is that we are able to get away an hour earlier! After a delicious
breakfast (again prepared by Markus' mom), we are packed up and
driving away before sunrise. Soon we are driving through the streets
of Sault Ste. Marie towards the border with Michigan. The border
crossing is uneventful and quick and not very busy - no doubt owing
to our nice and early start.
Once in Michigan, we head straight west. We stop for an hour or two at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and take in the south shore of Lake Superior. Very quiet and very nice; with high bluffs and nice beaches. The day was perfect: bright and clear. It always amazes me at how much this "Lake" is really much more like an ocean than a lake.
Pictured Rocks, we head west, stopping mostly only for gas and food
breaks, through Duluth and countless other smaller towns. Luc has
appropriated the laptop for broadcasting his music CDs. We attempt
to use the transmitter for this too, but it
apparent that this device really is quite useless - one listens
to more static than anything else. At one of our gas stops somewhere
in the midwest, I notice a radio shack right next door. On a whim,
Markus and I run in to glance around at what they might have, and
locate... I-ROCK, a fully digital transmitter... and for only $30,
too! The very nice lady at the counter lets us quickly try it out
before buying. The little device works quite well. We like 'em so
much that Markus and I each buy one.
No more static!
Markus' car's A/C continues to be non-functional, and we rotate driving and passenger duties between van and car. Gradually the landscape changes, from "northern-style" boreal forests and rocky outcroppings to a flatter landscape, more and more open, with more leafy trees. We make it out as far as the Dakotas and hit the land of super-good, super-wide, super-open fast interstates running ruler-straight through open landscape. We end up at the small community of Waterton SD when dusk hits and locate a small campground on the shore of a lake near town. Total mileage for this day is not bad : 1381 km.
In Their Own Words...
Caroline: "Uughhh! How early do we have to get up ? I don't know, maybe it's just me but I really don't think we need 2 hours to get ready to depart... As the only girl of the group, I'm thinking that the ol' saying about girls taking longer than guys to get ready is false (it must be !). Ah well, little did I know that this was the first "rude awakening" of many on this sleepless vacation of mine...
This is the first time I see the south shore of Lake Superior. I am pleasantly surprised by the contrast with the north shore. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is spectacular. As we approach Miner's Beach, we come upon a kayak club... I'm thinking I really have to try this eventually. It must be something else..."