We took Columbo out of his carrier at the Clare Rest Area. It was the same spot we'd taken Stephen out a year before, in his first --- really, only --- vacation, the last time that our lost rabbit was in really good form before his death. The trip up north to a rented house in Omena, about a half-hour north of Traverse City. Stephen, too arthritic to move fast, we could set out on the grass to stretch and eat and attract fawning admirers, as long as we watched to make sure no dogs were nearby. Columbo, younger and fleeter of foot, we'd need to do more with.
It's possible to put harnesses on rabbits, and Columbo, in our tests, didn't mind or even seem to notice having one on. It's also possible to leash rabbits, but many do not understand what's happening when they reach the end of the leash and feel themselves pulled back by an invisible predatory force and panic. Columbo ... does not. He's a bit of a lopey, slow bunny, admittedly, so with a long enough lead it's hard for him to outrun his range. But even at that, he seems to understand, or at least to accept it in what I hope isn't mere rabbit fatalism. But we'd learned in backyard tests that he was surprisingly good on a leash, and so could safely hop around the rest area.
He attracted some attention. Not as much as Stephen, but at least a couple people looked over at the surprisingly big bunny. He wasn't interested in eating the grass, or the berries, or the leaves. He's a picky eater. My glib comment was that he never wanted to try anything for the first time. I'm like that myself. He also didn't take the chance to pee, part of the point of taking him out of the carrier. He waited until he'd gotten onto some pavement for that. We joked he wanted to show the many dogs taken out for walks there who really owned the place.
So as this implies, we were on our way up north, to Omena and the Traverse Bay area for a weeklong getaway. bunny_hugger's father was so delighted with the week we all spent there last year he wanted us to rent the same house for another week again. bunny_hugger got a Sunday-to-Sunday rental, causing her father no end of anxiety because house rentals are always Saturday-to-Saturday and he just didn't feel comfortable that AirBnB allowed such a thing to happen. bunny_hugger's brother would drive in, too, in the car that was in such dubious shape just a week and a half earlier at Rye Playland. His girlfriend wouldn't be there; she was overseas, on a months-long work trip.
Thus it was already going to be a slightly lesser trip than last year's. And it got worse the week before it started. bunny_hugger's mother threw her back out, after which she wanted to throw her back out. She was barely able to move, and for that matter barely able to sit comfortably. It was severe enough she talked about staying home, which would have forced bunny_hugger's father to stay home too as she couldn't have kept herself safe without some attendant. And if things reached that point it might well have been worth cancelling the whole thing, which --- in the heat of unpacking from our 5th Anniversary Trip and turning things around to get ready for this --- wouldn't have necessarily been unwelcome.
But she thought she could cope with the four-plus-hour drive up, not without discomfort (she didn't even get out of the car at the rest areas), and figured she could at least sit up somewhere while the currently mobile among us did things. It would just be a constraint. And, I want to emphasize, not an unwelcome or a burdensome one. We'd just felt bad that she was stuck at home-away-from-home and, worse, was in pain.
She's still in pain. Her back wasn't merely thrown out in the way that recovers over a week, or a couple weeks. She's been in agony almost steadily since then, and she and her husband have had to make all sorts of little adjustments in their house to accommodate her trouble moving. Earlier this week she had surgery that's hoped to make things a bit better. She isn't optimistic. She never is, admittedly, but after the summer she had it's hard to say she's wrong.
Trivia: A late 1780s estimate held that three-quarters of the holders of North Carolina paper money was held by few enough people they could gather in a single room. Source: Measuring America: How the United States was Shaped by the Greatest Land Sale in History, Andro Linklater.
Currently Reading: The Peasant Prince: Thaddeus Kosciuszko and the Age of Revolution, Alex Storozynski. And I don't know how perfect it is that apparently George Washington couldn't spell Kosciuszko's name right, or necessarily even consistently on successive occasions.
PS: riding around Cedar Point!
A gift for my English readership: the Cedar Point and Lake Erie railroad trains identified. They have these signs by both stations on the railroad. And I've heard that apparently there are trainspotters who go to the park and watch to see what's running. Some of the engines are always running, or at least seem to. There are some that seem never to be on the track.
And our conveyance for the day was the Judy K, one of the popular trains and also the one that used to work in Lansing for some unknown task, as see the above information panel.
Millennium Force train barreling into one of the tunnels, as seen from the Cedar Point and Lake Erie train ride. Which, as often happens, lets you see park rides from the back or from otherwise unusual angles.