Roadtrip to Michigan

Postby Jennifer Diane Reitz » Thu Jul 15, 2010 7:56 pm

Star Date 2010.0715 - 
We have landed at a Best Western Warbonnet Inn somewhere in Miles, Montana. No sign of intelligent life, though there is a great deal of flatness. There is also dryness and the sort of heat felt only by escaped felons and the damned. 

The road is long and weary. Our destination seems light-years away, and the endless expanse of Montana stretches like the void between galaxies.

Somewhere, a coyote is crying.

Jenny Plenty @,@
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Re: Roadtrip to Michigan

Postby Ashes » Sat Jul 17, 2010 12:06 am

What an adventure! I'm jealous.
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Re: Roadtrip to Michigan

Postby RaharuAharu » Sat Jul 17, 2010 8:12 am

Oh Yes!

Do tell us more!

Pics Pics and Starlogs!
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Re: Roadtrip to Michigan

Postby Jennifer Diane Reitz » Sun Jul 18, 2010 7:43 am

Star Date 2010.0716 - 
I am a bacterium driving across the vast surface of a fuzzy green tennis ball. This is the endless, featureless horror that is North Dakota and Minnesota. The occasional tree or farm house is the only sign that my vision is false.

The hundred degree heat bakes the tennis ball; we must be inside some athletic oven. I fear the coming of the Great Racket.

Heading to Minneapolis.

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Re: Roadtrip to Michigan

Postby Jennifer Diane Reitz » Sun Jul 18, 2010 7:58 am

Star Date 2010.0718 - 
The lack of sleep is taking it's toll. Morale is low, especially inside my colon, where constipation has been declared as the new government. It is a harsh and iron-fisted regime. 

A vast voyage across lake Michigan by coal-powered steamship has shown me that the flatness of the Dakotas can only be topped by water with no shore. It looked like someone had Painted Dakota blue.

The engine-revving convention at our current motel in Ludington is being held outside our window. It is a comfort, I suppose, that all-night events have not perished from this earth; there are still things left to kill, slowly and horribly. I can dream. Just not here.

Today we move on to Houghton Lake, a primary destination of this mission. I understand there will be water there as well.

Jenny Plenty ^^^
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Re: Roadtrip to Michigan

Postby Jennifer Diane Reitz » Sun Jul 18, 2010 5:09 pm

Star Date 2010.0718 - 
Michigan: the land of brick. Everything here is made of red Super Mario Brick. Schools, houses, shopping malls, the sky, the food, the people and even the brickyards. No, wait, the brickyards are made of wood. Go figure.

It's because they don't have earthquakes here. Until they do. Then, I guess it's Last Call, I suppose.

The night was spent in a surprisingly brick motel. It was the only room left in an otherwise overbooked Manistee. Sadly, the owners forgot to mention that the air conditioner was broken. With some remaining shred of human decency, they kindly had left all the windows open for us. It is touches like that that reenforce my opinion of humanity.

We head now to Hart to experience the Mac Woods Dune Buggy Rides. If there is one thing Michigan has besides brick, it must be sand. If you want sand in your gaskets, come to Michigan. The new state slogan.

ADDENDUM -

The first fun was had during the dune buggy ride. This historic moment was marked with more bouncing than a debutant on a trampoline. The sand was ubiquitous as was Eldenath's hill-plunging shrieks. There wasn't a dry seat on the buggy.

I had ice cream. It was an E ticket day.

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Re: Roadtrip to Michigan

Postby RaharuAharu » Sun Jul 18, 2010 5:58 pm

Yay!

W!!

Keep up apprised!
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Re: Roadtrip to Michigan

Postby Jennifer Diane Reitz » Mon Jul 19, 2010 8:36 am

Star Date 2010.0718 - 
Tonight we stay at the East Bay Lodge, a place of polished wood, cabin logs, several rooms, and much cheer. We are right beside Houghton lake. It is appropriately wet. The lake not the lodge. Thankfully.

http://www.9and10news.com/Category/Stor ... 0831&cID=1   See that tornado forming? look carefully at the place where the dropping funnel is trying to touch the ground, and there am I. 

The clouds looked very strange as we drove in the van, and there was no wind all of a sudden. It looked like a cloudy arm and hand, with wispy fingers, was reaching down to us as we drove beneath.  I had never seen clouds reach down like that. They roiled. Curving arcs of cloud-stuff dove and swam like wispy dolphins into the hand of cloud, and the whole thing swirled and moved in the most incredible ways. We had no idea what it was we were watching above the van. Sandi had even been telling me about the rare tornadoes that occasionally happen in Michigan, but she was sure that we should be able to see such a thing from far away and avoid it.

What we could not know was that a funnel doesn't look the same if it forms directly above your head. once we were past the dropping funnel, the wind started to pick up very quickly indeed. The pounding rain intensified in the hot, damp air. By then we started to realize we might have been in the middle of something unusual.

I will never forget the weird, twisting, churning, roiling hand of cloud, reaching down towards me as I drove underneath. The clouds swirled so fast, and seemed so strange in that curiously quiet place inside the storm.

I cannot help but imagine what might have happened had it fully touched down while we were still directly beneath it.

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Re: Roadtrip to Michigan

Postby draque » Mon Jul 19, 2010 11:38 am

Glad to hear you're seeing new/interesting stuff that you hadn't before :3. Anyhow, as to the brick houses everywhere over here and earthquakes, we actually do get a lot of earthquakes in this region. They're almost all below a 2 on the Richter scale though, so no one but lab techs and researchers notice them.
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Re: Roadtrip to Michigan

Postby ThingOfThing » Mon Jul 19, 2010 10:30 pm

Holy...

I just randomly checked back here after months of being away, because somehow this place slipped out of my bookmarks, and because I've been preoccupied with stuff in meatspace. This most recent post...

Last night, I had a dream about being caught in a tornado.

#_#
There ain't no rest for the wicked, money don't grow on trees
I got bills to pay, I got mouths to feed, there ain't nothing in this world for free
I can't slow down, I can't hold back, though you know I wish I could
But there ain't no rest for the wicked, until we close our eyes for good
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Re: Roadtrip to Michigan

Postby Jennifer Diane Reitz » Tue Jul 20, 2010 7:33 pm

Star Date 2010.0720 - 
I walked across a lake. Houghton lake is very shallow through much of it, such that one can walk in the lake, water at waist, then chest, for up to a half a mile or more. Sandi and I decided to see how far we could go.

I was on tippy- toes, Sandi treading water or clinging to me as we approached an expensive boat. These were people who worshipped stuff: the boat was huge and well appointed, and the children had their own lavish inflatable yachts towed behind.

As we approached, I called out "excuse me! We're lost! Do you know where Houghton lake is?" The wealthy boaters had no sense of humor. I think that, sitting on top of such an expensive boat, the concept of two women walking out to say hello may have somewhat invalidated the entirety of some macho sailing dream that captain may one have had.

We turned about and began our stroll back to shore. The fancy boat left as quickly as it could. I consider the whole thing a huge success; weirdness was maintained. For us, weirdness is job number one.

Next up Great Wolf Lodge, I understand they are all about vast indoor watermarks and somehow... Wolves. Wolves have long been associated with indoor water parks.

Jenny Plenty //]
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Re: Roadtrip to Michigan

Postby Jennifer Diane Reitz » Tue Jul 20, 2010 8:16 pm

Star Date 2010.0720 - 
Great Wolf Lodge. Indoor water park. Vast. 1000 gallon super bucket. Sliding down tubes, splashing into pools, walking through solid curtains of water, all without sunburn, all comfy and nice. The bathhouse of the gods. 

Awesome.

We dined - I use this word with precision - at the Bowers Bay Inn. Ultra Posh. The first course was three - 3 - Gnocci pillows. Tiny, but perfect. Beautifully plated, with delicate greens and an intense Demi-glace sauce. the remaining four courses - a single sea scallop, three strands of arugula, a minuscule pork belly, and a little button of panna cotta - were equally tiny in portion, but gargantuan in flavor. This is the food of the elite, BP executive food, ruling class food. At the end, each thimble of perfectly sculpted food leaves one fully sated. Not filled up. Sated. There is an astonishing difference.

The waffle cone of soft serve we had later at a corner stand was almost too much.

I sit, sated, having enjoyed a perfect day of Happy Wonders. 

Maybe these vacation things are pretty cool after all.

Jenny Plenty ^v^
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Re: Roadtrip to Michigan

Postby Sinosaur » Wed Jul 21, 2010 1:25 am

If you end up in Ludington, you need to visit the House of Flavors. They've got ice cream in troughs and waffle fries and I threw up in the parking lot when I had sunburn.

It was pink.

The vomit and the sunburn both, actually.

Oh yeah, good advice: even if you feel hot as hell with sunburn, it is a terrible idea to fill your insides with only ice cream instead of eating normal food as well... the temperature difference does not actually make you feel better for long.

Edit: they apparently have one in Manistee, which you may have gotten ice cream at... but it lacks the historical significance of my vomit having stained the parking lot across the street.
Last edited by Sinosaur on Wed Jul 21, 2010 1:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Roadtrip to Michigan

Postby Relee » Wed Jul 21, 2010 1:27 am

I'm pretty sure Great Wolf Lodge is in Canada, so welcome! <3

I know it's in Niagra Falls, at any rate. They roll commercials here.


Also, LOL I just upgraded my monitor. Not only can I see the little note, but the forum banner doubles up. <3
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Re: Roadtrip to Michigan

Postby Coda » Wed Jul 21, 2010 7:07 am

I believe Great Wolf Lodge is a chain; there's one in... Kansas City, I think?... anyway, I used to hear ads for it on the radio back in Kansas.
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Re: Roadtrip to Michigan

Postby Plasman » Thu Jul 22, 2010 9:11 am

This sounds like a fricking awesome holiday so far. America is so picturesque, even without the actual pictures!
...There will be actual pictures, though, won't there? Especially of the tornado forming, because that must have been amazing.
If this last post seems ridiculous, please disregard it. Thank you. ;)
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Re: Roadtrip to Michigan

Postby RaharuAharu » Thu Jul 22, 2010 5:38 pm

*('')*

Yes, pictures please.
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Re: Roadtrip to Michigan

Postby Jennifer Diane Reitz » Thu Jul 22, 2010 8:42 pm

Star Date 2010.0722 - 
A tale of two ships, perhaps.

The first ship is the Manitou,  tall ship, reconstructed on the plans of a 1800's trade schooner, but outfitted for tourist passengers as cargo, instead of, say, wood or coal. Beautiful sails, some square, some triangular, all polished wood and real, single-tree masts. 114 feet, 21 beam, block and tackle, rope and muscle and cotton-tar sealed decking. 

The captain, Dave, loves her, and so does the crew, it shows in every part of the tall ship, polished to gleaming shine. In the morning, every morning, they squeegee every part of it to clear the dew and prevent spots from the moisture drying. The Manitou is a floating sculpture, a museum you can sail on.

And we did, around Traverse Bay, singing sea shanties and learning how to use the head (step on the pedal, pump the stick shift three times then release).

We slept on this ship, also a bed & breakfast inn, on narrow, hard bunks, down in shining wood belowdecks. It was difficult and sweaty and hard and confining and uncomfortable and magnificent. Outside, the splash of leaping fish and the shine from stars over the mast.

The crew of the Manitou keep alive a dream of adventure and wood and sail and a time where wonder, and work, mattered.

The second ship is the Bideawee, a tour ferry taking the curious or the bored to see the great Soo Locks of Sault St. Marie, where more ships pass than in the Canal of Panama. Here, amidst vessels vast and small, we rode the edge between two nations.

On one side of the ship, a shining city of seventy thousand, modern and magnificent, and Green too, powered by wind farm and hydroelectric, the Sault St. Marie of Canada. Here, the enormous steel works manufactures both metal and jobs from the raw materials brought in from Michigan and Virginia, and the people enjoy one of the highest standards of living, and a civilized life with medical care and retirement and hope.

The other side of the Bideawee is the alternate universe Sault St. Marie of the United States. Here, nothing is made, nothing is built, the old steel industry having been outsourced, because they could. The buildings are small, and old, and few, and everything is run down. The only industry is tourism, because that is all that is left. The corporations simply left, because the unions demanded a living wage, and there was nothing to stop them, and no socialized functions to subsidize the difference between the greed of the Owners, and the need to survive of the Owned.

Betwixt the two nations, I imagined myself on the border of North and South Korea, and my heart sank as the ship turned back to the impoverished dictatorship.

My dreams remain, I think, on the Manitou, sailing into that fiction where we had a future.

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Re: Roadtrip to Michigan

Postby Jennifer Diane Reitz » Fri Jul 23, 2010 7:24 pm

Star Date 2010.0723 - 
The walls slanted, as you might expect, at strange, Seussian angles, Escher-print angles, and though made of crude and weathered wood, also managed to convey a kind of carney-like falsehood - connected shacks made to appear more ramshackle, and haunted, than they actually were. Green AstroTurf carpeting floored the twisted rooms, a tent serving as the roof of another.

The tour-guide, a twenty-ish girl mouthing her scripted patter with a disinterest born not only of repetition, but also of disdain for a task nether she nor her audience could fully believe in. She walked up the wall, she had audience members walk up the wall, she rolled a ball uphill, she had a young girl  stand on a chair at 45 degrees to the floor, she spoke of weird gravitational fields and how long ago prospectors had discovered this region that defies the physics of reason and the expectations of Man.

This was, after all, The Mystery Spot, the one and only, save for the many franchised others, and admission brought expectation of miracles and wonders such that Lourdes should cry healing tears of envy. Neither hostess nor guest truly believed any magic lay here, within shacks in the woods, right behind the convenient souvenir shop, but the day was lazy, and the time of summer must be marked with Things To Do.

But there was a flicker of magic, even so.

One woman, middle aged and clearly weary of this drab parade of phantasms, spoke up in sarcasm about one part of the tour-guide's patter, that the mysterious difference in height, fluxing between two nearly identical twins in tank-tops as they switched positions on an oddly angled beam, was in fact caused by the off-plumb walls and unlevel floor, and that all was but a crude illusion - and then everyone there, some twenty souls in all objected as one, to shut her up, to shut her down, because, in the end, when the curtain was being ripped away to reveal the man behind it working the levers of The Great And Powerful Oz, there was among them not one who wanted to lose their fragile - oh, so thin and ragged - disbelief after all. In that moment the real power of The Mystery Spot was revealed: the power to bust cynicism, the force to grant a temporary instant of willful childlike wonder. All had come knowing the worthlessness of the benediction offered, but they wished it, with a last speck of childlike simplicity, all the same.

I, who once could have been that over-rational interrupter, felt instead a curious elevation - as though something precious had been shared, as if some primal agreement had been renewed. For an instant we had all become children again, eager to see our Uncle Joe's card trick again, the trick the adults thought was stupid, the one that always made us smile, and wonder, and which made the world seem like magic again.

Jenny Plenty #_@
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Re: Roadtrip to Michigan

Postby Alfador » Sat Jul 24, 2010 1:23 pm

I think there's as much wonder in the reality--that our perceptions can be so easily tricked that, even knowing the trick, we can still perceive the illusion--as there is in the fiction that the illusion is something supernatural. Playing around with perception is no less amazing because the play is known, at least to me. Fool-the-eye paintings are still a wonder to behold even when you know they are on a flat surface.
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