STL to the Soo


Wednesday, at uh-oh-dark-thirty, I launched from Saint Louis. I was wheels-up just after four and soon across the river into the Land of Lincoln. Ahead lay a 750 mile drive to Sault Ste. Marie, MI. Normally, we break this drive up into two days and layover in Ann Arbor, but since Dan is in Saugatuck this summer and this is a “working” vacation, there was no time to lose. Besides, this route shaved 150 miles off the normal way. I made good time through Illinois, except at Joliet, where construction snarled the greater Chicago-land rush-hour. I had to detour through inner city Joliet, to get around the jam. I skipped through Indiana and stopped at the New Buffalo visitor’s center in Michigan. A sign announced that this was the nation’s first visitor’s center. We’ll be back in New Buffalo again on Saturday, for the start of the Lake Michigan shoreline bike tour.

I took a two-hour lunch break in Saugatuck and had lunch with Dan. We ate at the Saugatuck Brewing Company. It was nice enough to eat outside, at noon. Dan was bubbling with conversation, about Ox-Bow, his work and classes there and his plans for the future. He is taking a furniture making class and is working on rehabilitating a rather disreputable edition of the Eames fiberglass chairs that Bubs and Harry have. He told me about a chain letter style art show, back in LA, where his work was exhibited. Annie did all the schlepping for him, for this show. It sounded like quite the madhouse. He was full of plans for the coming school year at CalArts and beyond. After lunch, he toured me around Ox-Bow and I got to see his studio and some of his art, but all too soon, it was time to hit the road again. We’ll see him again on Saturday, when we come back south again and leave the Prius with him.

I got lost in Grand Rapids, and then hung-up in traffic, because of a car fire and then had to take a detour, because M55 is closed at Cadillac. It was a really good car fire though, full of flames licking and roiling, well worth the wait. The firemen were just standing around, because they had forgotten their marshmallows. I got to the Soo just about sundown, it was a long day.

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