Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Leaving Bayfield

Friday morning we woke up a bit sore from the kayaking the day before, and also with some bittersweet feelings as we would be leaving the Apostle Islands.  It's been like this in several places we've been--we become so enamored with a place that we don't want to leave, yet we know that exciting new adventures await at the next stop along the journey!  Anyway, we had such a fabulous time in this area, and it was made all the more wonderful by the fact that it was so totally unexpected, until Steve, the Director of Camp Mishawaka, recommended it to us.  Thank you again, Steve!

We knew we would be heading back through Washburn on our route toward Chicago, so we were really looking forward to another stop at Coco's for more of those delicious vegan breakfast bars!  Well, what do you know, when we sat down, the same lady we had met there the previous visit was at the next table with her husband.  So we met him and, since I had on my Santa on Vacation hat, he asked if his wife could take a picture of him with me.  I said sure, and encouraged him to sit on my knee, but he kept saying he didn't want to hurt my knee, so he just stood beside me for the picture.  His wife was more than happy to sit on my knee for her picture to show their grandchildren!  Anyway, a bit later, when his wife was talking to some locals at another table, this man leaned over to me and said, "You know, I never was able to sit on Santa's lap as a kid; we had many pictures of my sister with Santa, since you see she was the favored child.  On the other hand, I was always the disfavored child in my home, and they never ever took me to sit on Santa's knee."  Well, this just broke my heart; it's so hard for me to conceive of how parents can make a child feel so disfavored.  So when he got up to talk to some of the locals about a lead he had on some family history in the area, I told his wife she needed to help convince him that he should have another picture, but with him sitting on my knee, since it's never too late to have a happy childhood!  Well she agreed, and, after much coaxing, Tom sat on my knee for another picture, and I think I saw a small tear trickling down his face.  I can tell you I sure had a few tears flowing, but I was so happy to do this!    But just to do this for him is an experience I'll definitely cherish!

So, we knew the jewelry store wouldn't open until 11:00 and it was only a little after 9, so we feared we would just have to miss it.  But, as we drove out of Washburn, I remembered that we had seen a wonderful bike trail along the lakeshore in the next town of Ashland, which was only about 10 miles down the road.  This is the No Hurries, No Worries Tour, so we drove to the start of this trail and while Trisha decided to stay in the RV and catch up on her journaling and some emails, I went for a wonderful 13 or 14 mile ride, a great way to work out the soreness from the day before!  By the time I got back we headed back up the road to Washburn and were so excited that the jewelry store, Lake Superior Drifiting, would be open, and woohoo, it was!  As soon as we walked in we knew it was our kind of place.  The owner, Mary Ross, was sitting at her work table, which looked out over a wonderful view of the lake, working with various stones and wires crafting a bracelet, and this cute little cockerpoo came to greet us.  She explained how she only uses stones she collects from Lake Superior to make her designs, and she also had some unique baskets she had made from driftwood she collects along the shore.  Well, there just seemed to be this easy, natural connection among us, and, as often happens when someone meets Trisha, before long she began to tell Trisha her life story, including many of the hard things she has been dealing with.  It's an amazing thing to see how people are so quickly drawn to Trisha to the point they just open up to her.  In the space of just a few minutes, it was as if the two of them had known each other for years!  Trisha also felt this strong spiritual connection to these stones, and when she asked to see this one particular necklace, Mary was so excited, as she said it had been one of her favorite creations.  When Trisha tried it on, Mary got her tray of wires and little shapes and in no time had whipped up some earrings to match the necklace, and it all looked just wonderful on Trisha!  So we were so happy that this all worked out.

By this time it was noon, so we realized we could walk back around the corner for lunch at Coco's!  We had this marvelous vegan dahl and black bean soup that was just delicious!  And as an added treat, our new friend, Myra, came in while we were there.  So we got to visit with her a while more before we headed up the road.  What a great time we had in this newly discovered little slice of paradise!  

So we spent the rest of the day just driving south through Wisconsin on our way toward Chicago, and passed through Wausau, hometown of my choir seat mate, Jim Weiland, and Portage, his wife, Judy's hometown!  Lovely country we passed through.

We spent Friday night just outside Madison, and Saturday drove into Madison to go to the farmers market.  Our daughter had told us about this huge market they do every Saturday morning on the sidewalks all around the state capitol, and it was really, really nice.  We had fun seeing all the wonderful fresh produce and stocked up on lots of goodies!  Just a fun, festive atmosphere, too, with lots of folks out, jugglers and other street performers entertaining, just had a ball.

Beautiful barn just outside Washburn

 Lake Superior, as we drove into Washburn

Trisha and Mary Ross, the owner of Lake Superior Drifting (Stone's Throw Jewelry) and the necklace and earrings she made
 Yummy vegan masoor dahl and black bean soup at Coco's!
Scenes along Lake Superior as we headed south toward Chicago

Wausau, home of my choir buddy, Jim Weiland!
Portage, home of Judy Weiland!!
State capitol in Madison

Farmers market

Gorgeous flowers along the street down from the capitol

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