Day 21. Another reason why I should blog more frequently..... I can actually keep up with which Day of the journey we’re on! We’ve re-entered the mitten (the bunny side), but before doing so, I checked off fresh cheese curds from my list while I was still in Wisconsin. That came with the realization that the fried cheese curds I had in Beloit were total bullshit. Fresh cheese curds are where it’s at. Today I drove through a big rainstorm for the first time, and while it certainly wasn’t my favorite thing in the world, I prefer it to double digit winds, which I drove through later on, on the way up the western coast of Lake Michigan to our overnight (which I’m going to hazard a guess is going to be FABULOUS, not only because we’re reaching a blessed high of only 71* in the midst of the season of saturation (thanks for that, Meg!), but because it’s a golf course, which I seem to favor, right on Lake Michigan….more on that in a bit). In general, my driving of Hecate is getting better. I don’t feel nauseous from vertigo every time I heave myself up into the driver’s seat, nor do I feel like I require an oxygen mask (my lungs must be adjusting to the high altitude) anymore. I don’t white knuckle it ALL the time, just during stressful situations…. mainly wind, or semis blowing by me like I’m meandering along 20mph slower than them (oh, wait….), or when I occasionally remember what a big boat on wheels I’m driving. So only 10-12 times per hour. It’s an improvement.
We’ve reached the time for a sidebar! Water! One of my anxieties going into van life was where the fork am I going to get water from, since we’ve already established that I don’t particularly fancy campgrounds. Yes, I know….out of all the things to stress about, THIS is what we’re choosing, Keeks? But I can’t help what my poor addled brain fixates on, so water it is. Up until today, I have relied on topping off at the places I’ve overnighted at of people that I know, like at my cousin’s house (I’d also like to interject here are say what an absolute GAME CHANGER it has been since Stevie and Tricia taught me how to make my phone a WiFi hotspot! I don’t know how they knew how to do it, since they’re older than I am, but maybe they had a teenager show them the ropes. At any rate, I feel pretty unstoppable now that I have that bit of knowledge under my belt. Well, I’d be unstoppable if I could be good at procuring water.), and at Hoyt & Amy’s, but I have also actively practiced trying to find water on the road, since I know those days are rapidly coming to an end. Actually, I think they already came to an end when I left St. Louis. I was assured it is so easy to procure water. At this point, I STRONGLY DISAGREE! At largely every stinking gas station I’ve stopped at to get gas (which is, at a minimum, every other day), I go inside and ask if they have a spigot I might top off with, and EVERY SINGLE TIME, I’ve been told that they don’t have one, or just looked at like I have a penis growing out of my forehead. It’s quite disheartening. Where are all these gas station spigots I’ve heard of? I might as well be in the Sahara looking for an oasis. Today (after being rejected once), I lucked out at the cheese/gifts/moccasins store I went into for my fresh cheese curds. As I was walking in, I saw an actual spigot outside (I find myself searching for them everywhere now), so while making my purchase, I asked to use it, and it was a success! I mean, it took manager approval and a small sacrifice to the gods to get it to actually spew water, but a success, all the same! Please send me the water vibes, peeps (the spigot kind, not the rainy kind); I clearly need them.
Tonight, we’re staying at a golf course, with a glorious view of the Lake, and where dogs are welcomed with open arms. In the clubhouse, on the course….you name it. These are my kind of people, and this is easily my favorite Harvest Host location yet. I am soooo glad I added the golf course option to my membership. I was greeted by name upon arrival by a nice man named Kurt, poured a generous G&T (okay, I was poured two of them), shown the restroom/SHOWER AREA, and given promptly the WiFi password. To make it even better, the décor is what I’m going to dub ‘nostalgic 70’s vintage club.’ Make of that what you will. Roger took over when Kurt left for the evening and went out of his way to come find me and Sir Gatsby out on the course where we were hiding from the sun under a copse of shady pines to introduce himself and make sure we weren’t concussed by stray balls (#TheresAnotherDirtyJokeInThereSomewhere). G and I took advantage of some afternoon cloud cover to hit some balls at the driving range. To be more precise, I hit the balls (I was overly optimistic packing the 5-iron….. I used it once, and used the 1-wood for everything else) and chatted with some absolutely delightful Canadian fellow Harvest Host-ers (have you ever met a Canadian who wasn’t delightful? I’m just generalizing here, but they are a lovely bunch.), while Gatsby took up his usual role of supervisor. He excelled. This. Is. Amazing. Please forward all my mail to the North Shore Golf Club for the foreseeable future.