Three new posts today; this is the third.
I apparently avoided having to pack stuff up – I just woke up at 0600, put in a few things that hadn’t made it into the Limos, and climbed in. A few last pictures. Of course I wish I were still there. I get used to it, somewhat.
We had taken the drive through the dense Canadian forest and then the brisk ride across Big Whiteshell and packed our stuff onto the van by 0646. Then it was smooth, boring sailing. We stopped for dry ice in Canada while I was half-asleep, and I woke up somewhere before Fort Frances. And there was a line to get through the border. First we did some stuff at a cluster of buildings on the Canadian side, – Grandpa got his GST tax back or whatever that is – and then we joined up the queue. It was set to have ten minutes of absolute standstill followed by a minute of brisk movement and then a repeat. We joined the line at 1130 and finally got to the interrogation booth at 1230. The line was at least a mile long. (I had Aunt Ellen listen to Long Line of Cars [by Cake].) At the booth a sour-faced man gave us a stern warning that we weren’t supposed to carry all the fish back from the trip, just the share from the people in our car, and if a conservation officer caught us the fine would be $200 per fish. (We were only four over limit, so it’s not like we’d be fined for all 39 fish.) We learned that the line was due to a composite of things: construction, and an orange terror alert due to a foisted plot in England. We had lunch after a fashion at Sandy’s Place in International Falls – my burger was okay, but the older folks said the soup they got was WAY too salty – and moved on again.
Next stop of note: Eau Claire, our motel for the night. We found our rooms in the Antlers Inn (all 15 of us), and then walked to a great restaurant called Draganetti’s. Six of us ate outdoors, three indoors (the older ones), and Dave’s family had pizza at the motel. I couldn’t eat it all, but it was superb.
So now we’re back at the motel. Dad and I watched a crappy community band on community TV, and then we all watched Comedy Central for a while. I borrowed Dad’s pen from his shirt and wrote my journal. That’s all.
Here’s something that for some reason never made it to the journal. One day – maybe day 4 or 5 – Dan instituted a scheme he’d heard about for keeping bees away. What you do is fill a bottle with Kool-Aid, and then they all flock to that instead of to your drinks. So he made some and put it in a little 16-ounce water bottle, and put that on top of the disused concrete barbecue in front of Cabin 6.
The next day someone glanced over at it and noticed something decidedly strange. There was a dead mouse in the bottle. Here’s what apparently happened: It smelled or saw the Kool-Aid. Then it climbed three vertical feet up some concrete blocks. Then it somehow got in through the mouth of the bottle – and remember, this bottle’s mouth is the same size as a typical pop bottle’s – without toppling the precariously placed bottle at any point during the process. Once inside, it realized its folly, but was unable to tip the bottle over, even though it was probably at least a third of its weight. So it drowned, and we found it the next day. I’ll probably use that at some point when I eventually write books. Want something so bad, and your downfall is when you finally get it. Are animals eligible for the Darwin Awards?
And, since you’ve all been clamoring for it, here’s that picture of me that I mentioned the other day, dutifully scanned into my computer. It’s not the ideal picture (for example, much of my face is cut out and you can’t see all the tons of snow that were in my hair), but I was taking it myself with my camera at arm’s length, so I didn’t have any way to aim it just right.