austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

Someone shut the fence off in the rain

Tuesday was the first day that bunny_hugger and I really spent on our own, up north. Her parents ... I'm not sure what they did do. They watched our pet rabbit some, certainly, and I had assumed they went out some to visit sights. But we got diverted from ever quite asking them and I never did learn just how they filled their day. Which isn't to say it would be bad if they filled it just sitting around the house and enjoying the sun. I just didn't stop to ask.

bunny_hugger and I figured to spend the day in Traverse City, which I think of as just next door to Omena. It's actually about a half-hour off; getting into Traverse City is, bunny_hugger had said, the sign that we're coming near the end of the drive up north and not the actual end. But in a three-and-a-half hour drive the only major city in the area stands out.

Which isn't to say we started the day going there. We first went to Peterson Park, in the town of Leelanau, and overlooking Lake Michigan. There was a letterbox in the park and we hoped to do at least some letterboxing this trip. We stopped in the parking lot and found, as ever, that the clues didn't quite match what we saw. I could kind-of rationalize how someone else might have described what we saw, if we allowed for a lot of leeway, but bunny_hugger wasn't having it. Wisely, too. The park turns out to have two main segments, and a second parking lot. By going to the other one we found the pump well that was key to the whole train of clues. Given that start it was one of the easier letterboxes to find.

The park's on the edge of Lake Michigan and there's a wooden stairwell leading down to the shore. The letterbox clues suggested going down there if you had the time. We were tempted, but it was something like 160 steps down to the water and, worse, 160 steps back up. If this makes us sound like wimps consider that's like climbing a fifteen-storey building in the sun for the start of the day. I stand by our decision to sit and look at the water from above instead.

We did have a mission in Traverse City, besides spending a day enjoying ourselves. bunny_hugger's father has gotten into smoking cigars for some reason, and he'd run out, or was at least close enough to it to worry. He gave us the label for his preferred brand and asked us to, if we happened to see a cigar shop, stop in and pick up a box. Also he asked if we could look up where there are cigar shops in Traverse City, in case we happen to be near one. We could take a hint.

It happens there was a cigar shop about one block away from the parking garage it was natural to use. We didn't actually get to it until we'd made a circuit of the touristy-section downtown strip, but it would have been a savage lie if we pretended we hadn't been near. We were a bit anxious since there's two types of cigar stores. One is the musty kind staffed entirely by men upwards of 185 years old in ash-colored skin glaring suspiciously at non-smoking males or females of any kind who venture in. The other is the musty kind staffed by men in plaid with ironic beards. The shop we went to was this second kind. The guy by the door was happy to not laugh openly at us when we described the cigars as best as possible, and took the label back to find ... first, not quite the right brand. Then he checked again and found just the cigars my father-in-law smokes. He'd be well-stocked through to the end of the week and we just had to wonder how he didn't have enough to start with.

Trivia: Jefferson Davis's first call for volunteers for the Confederate Army was for 7,700 soldiers from five states, issued the 9th of March, 1861. Combined with the several thousand South Carolina volunteers already under arms this roughly matched the United States's 13,000-man army. Source: Look Away! A History of the Confederate States of America, William C Davis.

Currently Reading: Flash Gordon On The Planet Mongo, Alex Raymond, Don Moore. Editor unnamed. And boy is Flash kind of genocide-y.

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