A A trip to the south is a good way to shorten winter for us northern Minnesotans. Doug and I took off the first couple of weeks of February, but not to Arizona or Texas. We started the trip with an overnight at Phoebe and Dave’s home in Mora, Minn. to drop off the dog, Spirit.
That leg of the trip was fraught with problems. Two days before, I hung the van up on a snowdrift and had to call our local towman to pull it out. He didn’t have good enough traction with the tow truck, so he had to winch the vehicle to the road. I detected a different noise immediately upon rescue, but decided it was minor. On the way to Mora, at about Big Sandy Lake, the noise became more pronounced and was accompanied by a bad vibration. By McGregor, it had turned into a loud grating sound along with a howl. We called AAA whose dispatcher said the truck would be coming from Finlayson and arrive in about one hour. I took a stroll around Mark’s Bar parking lot where we had holed up. Within a few minutes Dave, the tower, showed up asking if I were Molly. Turns out, he was returning from another tow and had stopped at the McGregor Dairy Queen – a block or so from Mark’s – for ice cream. Dave loaded the van up on his truck and delivered us to Lenny’s Service (closed early on Friday afternoon) in Mora. The positive side of this late arrival was an after-ski-race nap for Phoebe and Dave. Lenny determined the problem as a bad wheel bearing. I called Click and Clack to ask if there was any connection with pulling the van out of the snow drift, but they’re on encore programming and don’t answer the phone.
On Saturday, we met our Minneapolis hosts, Paul and Cam Rogers, at the GREAT Theater in St. Cloud where Joel was performing as the prosecutor in “To Kill a Mockingbird.” We took the Rogerses, Aimee, Joel, Adelaide and Henry to an early supper after the play. Another positive to no car was that I didn’t have to drive in the dark into Minneapolis.
Overnight at Paul and Cam’s, then Amtrak Empire Builder (late as usual) to Chicago where we just made our connection on the Lakeshore Limited by a bare 15 minutes.
Josh picked us up at the Boston train station (late) and we spent a week visiting with Josh and Stephanie and their 2-year-old daughter, Billie Rose. Stephanie is French and they speak French at home so Billie will grow up bilingual. Billie’s language skills are impressive already, says Mamy, the proud grandmother. Doug is Papy.
We spent a day in Boston touring the USS Constitution, but the rest of the time, we stayed at Stephanie and Josh’s playing with Billie.
The trip home was uneventful (but late) and Paul had to drive us the next day to Mora to pick up the now repaired van. We and the dog headed home to Pinesol. Neighbors had tended to the horses and chickens while we were away.