So I abandoned my family in the wilds of Michigan.
OK, it wasn’t quite so dramatic as that, but I didn’t enjoy leaving them for that long. Going forward I’m going to have to balance having fewer commutes to/from Boston with having long stretches of time away from the fam. We all knew this was the deal going into this adventure, but there’s knowing and there’s knowing. The reality hadn’t hit yet.
There were some positives though. First of all, as Tacco already covered, Van Riper SP turned out to be one of the better campgrounds we’ve stayed at, despite its being not especially near anything we wanted to see. That was a huge relief for me.
I was also able to spend a night in our house back in Annapolis and make sure things were more or less in order, as well as knocking out my semi-annual FAA physical with my normal doctor. Bonus in that I was able to visit a few cousins who happened to be rolling through town.
My commute went well, too, and that was far from a given. I flew out of Marquette, which is a small airport with only a few scheduled flights per day [side note: are we the only two who didn’t know that Marquette University is nowhere near Marquette, Michigan? It’s in Milwaukee, in case we aren’t]. The two that were my only potential players for a connection to Boston prior to my show time both looked full, so I was crossing fingers for no-show passengers or an available cockpit jumpseat. Fortunately I got the latter to Chicago and was able to get to Boston relatively easily.
Tacco covered our UP time as well, and did a bang up job of it. She and the kids were, of course, there for much more time than I, so I don’t have much to add. I will say that, though it’s gorgeous, if I had to choose between the northern part of the lower peninsula and the UP I’d opt for the former. Pictured Rocks on Lake Superior is stunning, and that red/pink/purple sand is like nothing I’d ever seen. The park in general, however, seemed like the type of place better seen from the water than the shore. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to test that theory.
The latest issue involves my commute back, more specifically where I commute back to. Tacco hasn’t yet done a full uproot-and-reroot-the-family-via-a-long-drive evolution and is rightfully cautious about doing so. On the other hand, they’ve been in Van Riper for quite some time, and despite my trip ending early in the morning after a redeye, I couldn’t get back to Marquette until late evening, and am dependent on the same small/full flights that I lucked into on the way out to Boston. An option would be for them to move west to Duluth, where I could reach them by afternoon. A better option (but much longer drive for them) would be to meet them in Minneapolis. Not only would it be a much easier and single-leg commute, but it gives us a head start on our bolt across the prairie to the mountains and our appointment with the eclipse. But…
I’m skittish about this, for obvious reasons. I was hoping she would be able to become comfortable with decamping-driving-camp setup while I was present, if for no other reason than to provide moral support and peace of mind. Probably more for me than for her. It’s not that it’s difficult, it’s just a lot. And driving through Minneapolis could present challenges that she didn’t get driving through rural Michigan. But we shall see.