Thursday, July 28, 2011

You Can Go Home Again

After Matt and Kylee's wedding, we traveled even further north than we already were in order to spend a week with my in-laws. We figured as long as we'd already crossed over half the country, we might as well drive the rest of the way, you know?

Some of you may be familiar with Taylor, who is The Lumberjack's Wife. She writes a very funny blog about her life in Ruralville. In fact, you might want to go say hi to her as she has not been out of Ruralville in a week.

Go ahead. I'll wait.

Okay. The reason I brought up Taylor is because of Ruralville. My in-laws (who live nowhere near Taylor, by the way) live in the Super Boonies. You've heard of the Boondocks? And possibly the Boonies? Well, travel three days and a couple of hours beyond that, and you'll reach the Super Boonies. They make Ruralville look positively cosmopolitan. How do I know? Because my phone service quit about a half hour before we got to their house. And they have internet, but it's dial-up. Dial up, people. Meaning they can't get phone calls if they're surfing the web. And you can't really surf anyway. It's more like paddling around slowly with a broken oar. That's the Super Boonies.

I freely admit it's a beautiful place. We see sights like this as we drive up there.

And sights like this are fairly common.

And this.

It's a very restful place. At least, it is once you get there. My in-laws live here year round now, but when Terry was growing up, this is where they spent their vacations. And the closer we got to their home, the more the old instincts kicked in.

For that last hour or so of the trip up there, we were traveling on roads that looked something like this. Sort of paved, but not really. And with absolutely no line down the center. It can be a pretty drive during the day, but it doesn't do a thing for me at night. Part of the reason for that is because, once we get to these roads, Indiana Jones insists on driving down the center of the road.

Since I was raised to drive on the right hand side, this bugs me.

Indiana insists it's because of the deer. Occasionally, a deer will wander out of the forest and meander--or leap, or run or something--across the roads. If you're driving down the middle of the road, then you have time to react, no matter which side of the forest the deer comes out of.

Okay. I suppose that makes sense in a theoretical kind of way. But I had a few issues with his reasoning. He wasn't an eighteen-year-old kid driving a little Nova or a motorcycle. He was driving a 12-passenger diesel van full of kids. And we were pulling a large trailer behind us. The noise alone probably scared away every deer for a thirty mile radius.

If that weren't enough, we weren't meandering along those roads ourselves. The closer we got to the "old homestead" the more lead he got in his foot. I don't think we would have had time to see a deer coming out of the woods anyway. Not to mention, it was 11:00 at night.

But my biggest worry was not with what was coming out of the woods. No, my biggest fear was what else was flying along the roads that night. There isn't a lot of traffic up there. Ever. What traffic there is, tends to go fast. Almost as fast as we were going. A deer jumping out from the side of the road might cause some damage, but what about the head on collision we were begging to find?

Indiana did not appreciate my questioning his logic. So I swallowed my thoughts and clutched the arm of the seat as we rocketed through the night. At one point one of the boys asked about the strange light in the sky over the hill ahead of us.

"That would be headlights," I answered in a tight voice. "Heading straight for us."

"I can see them in time!" No one likes a backseat driver. He liked even less when I implied that they might not see us in time.

At one point I saw a sign just as we whipped past it. It indicated that F-30 veered to the right. We continued straight. I cleared my throat and then asked if we were going a different way than usual. He didn't see the sign, but I finally convinced him that we were headed the wrong way. Then I sat with my eyes closed as he attempted to use a fire lane to turn around.

Fire lanes aren't that big anyway. And this one was situated on a curve in the road.

Did I mention we were pulling a trailer? Or that there was a ditch on the other side? As he grunted and maneuvered, I prayed that we wouldn't see that telltale glow that signaled fast-approaching headlights sweeping around the curve.

We finally got headed back in the right direction, although he never did thank me for spotting the turn and preventing us from driving around in Huron National Forest for the rest of the night.

 We were about half a mile from the in-laws when we passed a sign like this.

Since gravel and dust had been flying fast and furious for the better part of an hour, I thought the Department of Transportation was a little late in noticing where the paved road ended, but whatever.

And finally, after traveling down Bean Hill Road and Procunier (no, that's not Peculiar), we turned down the road that's one letter away from being named after a prophylactic. One turn more and then we arrived.

In spite of being a little tense, what with the no cell phone service and all, we did have a great time. We rode ATV's through the woods, the boys went fishing, we went biking until my father-in-law casually mentioned that they'd had problems with bears lately, we went on walks (close to the house) and relaxed. One day I even took the boys the 45 minute ride to town, where I sat in a chair on the beach while they spent three hours playing in Lake Huron. It was cold enough that I eventually wrapped up in a towel, but not before getting blistered beyond belief. Who knew you could burn when you were that cold? Indiana said I got freezer burn.

Clever guy.

A week later we packed up, said our good-byes and headed back to civilization.

Down the middle of the road, of course.


  1. I almost hit a deer whilst driving down a rural road the other night so I feel Indiana's pain, but I'm still taking your side because you're the wife and therefore right.

  2. The pavement ends sign is funny. :)

    Thanks for mentioning me! I am getting a bit lonely. :)

    Did your blisters heal up?

  3. Your husband must drive like mine! The last time we went to the mountains, he about gave me a heart attack!

    I can't believe people still use dial up! It was so s-l-o-w three years ago when I finally gave it up.

  4. LOL! My husband drives similarly in such circumstances. He says he drives by faith. I'm a terrible back seat driver. Clearly I don't have as much faith. When we lived in Maine, we only had dial-up. It was for THE BIRDS. I did two years of online graduate school on dial-up. Forget the diploma, I should have gotten an award for wasting time while my classes loaded.

    Glad you're home safe! Sunburn is the worst when it's cold. You never actually feel yourself baking. I'm more worried about using sunscreen when it's hot than when it's cold. Since it's only hot for about 8 weeks here, I use sunscreen a lot. ;-)


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