St Paul’s, Minneapolis, Duluth, the bigger cities of Minnesota, appear deserted during the spring weekends.
This Memorial holiday weekend I decided to drive ‘Up North’, a local spring tradition, in search of the populous. The Interstate out of Minneapolis was full of pick-up trucks loaded with, or trailing, ATV’s (All Terrain Vehicles). The smaller, State Routes, had signs for ATC crossings with mud tracks leading to and from them.
I left Minneapolis after work, with a B&B booked about 2.5 hour’s drive away, according to the land lady and my SatNav. I should get there before sundown. Traffic, and having to slow down to avoid hitting the deer who jump out from the forest to wander across the road meant the journey took longer than planned. I learned that many ‘Roads’ in the wilds, of Minnesota and Wisconsin, are not ‘paved’, ‘tarmaced’. They’re mud and gravelled. They look like roads on the SatNav, but really they’re ‘tracks’. I guess keeping them in decent condition isn’t worth the expense for the local city. Those ATVs are useful.
As darkness fell my SatNav announced that it would no longer give turn by turn guidance.
It bailed on me, in the dark.
I have no map of the wilds of Wisconsin. I panic’d, pulled over into a soft verge and reached for my cell phone. No reception. Bugger.
I grabbed my Surface 1. It still showed the Bing-delivered route directions that I’d checked before leaving. Phew. I worked out where I was, memorised the distances, road names and turns then drove on.
A pleasant surprise to find my pre-SatNav skill of memorising maps and directions was still in good working order. I pulled up at the Three Sisters B&B just before the tavern opposite, Gliders, stopped serving it’s hunger quenching pizza. Just in the nick of time. Pizza to the sounds of ABBA and a host of frisky frogs. Cheerfully surreal.
The landlady joined me for Pizza and told stories of her life, those of her 2 husbands & 4 children. Awesome, such a friendly and open hearted place.