A Rough Golf Trip Was a Fore-gone Conclusion

There comes a time in a Minnesota man’s life when he gets tired of driving to work on something that more closely resembles a luge track than any sort of roadway infrastructure and he starts seeing visions of Mr. Tumnus scampering through the eternal winter snow.  This sort of mid-winter crisis occurs about the same time every February.  Even cutting across the lake to save ten minutes of driving time loses its exhilarating edge.  It is at this time that the Minnesota man must escape the bonds of sub-zero normalcy and, with The Queen Mother’s permission, take part in a ceremonious man-ritual known as “The Golf Trip.”

For those unfamiliar, The Golf Trip is a time set aside whereon a group of friends seek warmer climes and do nothing but play golf, pop Advil, and consume irrational amounts of red meat, as there are no primary spousal sources of authority about to chide one into acting responsibly and wasting time on things like hygiene or vegetables.  Sometimes, if there is time left over, sleep may occur. Continue reading


Supercool photo taken by Thing 1.

Supercool photo taken by Thing 1.

The Red Bike Gang rides again.  You will recall from a previously posted post you probably haven’t read that the males in our family all own red motorcycles and have a nasty habit of annually riding them about the countryside within a 4-day travel radius of the greater Southwestern Michigan area.  This year is no exception as the five of us spent last weekend astride our semi-hoglike two-wheeled vehicles hell-bent for scenic overlooks and home-style diner food.  This is our story.

As the title indicates, during this trip we were GAMEY: Great Apostle Motorcycle Expedition Yahoos.  Our stated goal was the Apostle Islands in northern Wisconsin, where there are 22 islands named for the twelve apostles of Jesus to evidently include some of his lesser-known followers like Stockton and Basswood and Raspberry. Continue reading

Hoosier Daddy

Last week was a rite of passage for me.  No, it was not breeching, smarty pants.  Nor was it completing my Rumspringa, something you are sure to Google and to which there is no end in sight.  What I did last week was take part in the compulsory and sometimes traumatic Western middle-age ceremony known as “Dropping Off Your Firstborn at College.”

Wow, does the time go fast.  It seems like just yesterday I was cleaning up the pasty Vaseline and baby powder concoction Thing 1 spread liberally about herself and her childhood bedroom.  Now here I am launching her three states away with the freedom and independence to do the same in an Indiana dorm full of strangers. Continue reading

Cruising the Fair Banks of the Chena

This is the Chena River (pronounced “Chee-na”).  It is NOT the Chia River.  I know this because the woman in front of me kept yelling this at the person behind her because he kept singing “Ch-ch-ch-chena.”

This is the Chena River (pronounced “Chee-na”). It is NOT the Chia River. I know this because the woman in front of me kept yelling this at the person behind her who wouldn’t stop singing “Ch-ch-ch-chena.”

Through no fault of my own, I had some free time in Fairbanks this week.  If you’ve ever been to Fairbanks, you know there are exactly five things to do there: 1) Kayak down the Chena River, 2) Canoe down the Chena River, 3) Bike along the Chena River, 4) Take the Riverboat Discovery Tour along the Chena River, or 5) See a movie.  Having already done 1, 2, 3 and 5 on past visits, I elected to try out 4 even though I would likely be the only patron who hadn’t consumed a Geritol-laced Ensure for breakfast.  So, I set my commemorative Al Roker alarm clock and, after missing the morning sailing, embarked on the afternoon option.

Like all nature tours focused on education and conservation, this one starts and ends in a giant gift shop. Continue reading