As I reported in my last blog we seem to be chased by a giant, black rain cloud and since it looked like our luck would not change, we called an audible and diverted our trip to Connecticut.  So we abandoned our rig in Columbus, Ohio and set out on a road trip in the car.  We only had 6 days to spend in Connecticut, but made the most of it; spending time with Hazel; Bryce and Jarrod; and Darynn, Acacia and Adam.  Unfortunately, Darynn was a little under the weather, but she is such a pleasant, happy baby that she takes in everything with a big smile.  We are looking forward to spending more time with everybody when we return in August.
Nancy with Darynn.

Adam with Darynn.

Darynn all decked out for a party.
     So here's an interesting dilemma.  My mother, who will be 95 in August, goes to bed around 11, gets up around 6, still drives (locally), and is out and active 6-7 days a week; just informed us that she has starting feeling a little drowsy in the afternoons.  Therefore, she announced, that the next time she visits the doctor she is going to ask him to give her some "pep pills."  WHAAAAT!!!  Now we are a little concerned that she may end up cruising the "hood" for a fix.  She is a crazy old lady!
Hazel with Darynn.

     After departing from Connecticut and retrieving our rig we beelined it to Warren Sand Dunes State Park in Michigan.  And look who lives 5 minutes from the park but Bob and Ann Flesvig.  We met this couple in our first year on-the-road and have made an effort to see them regularly since then.  Every time we get together it is a blast and this time was no exception.  We joined them for 4 days and brought the rain with us.  Bob and Ann live in a beautiful neighborhood on Lake Michigan and it turned out to be a great place to hang out.  One day we decided to hit the movies and I dragged Bob to "Solo: A Star Wars Story."  Bob was not thrilled watching a movie created for 12 year old boys, so he ditched me halfway through and opted for the "chick flick" with Ann and Nancy.
Bob is getting comfortable for his 1st Star Wars flick.

Of course, between rain drops we had to find a brewery.

Bob & Ann at a "Cubbies" bar and grill and, yes, this 
place is loaded with Chicago Cubs paraphernalia.

     Since we were in the sand dunes I decided that it would would be a good time to explore theses sandy lumps.  The dunes did not rise much more than 200 feet above Lake Michigan, but hiking to their summits in soft, calf deep sand made the ascent a bit of a challenge.  Bob and I climbed MT Randall then off I went for a 10 mile trek through the multitude of dunes along this gorgeous coast.  While Bob and I were hiking Nancy and Ann got together for a little "art" time.  Ann gave Nancy a lot of Lake Michigan sea glass and stones so Nancy is now back in her studio recharged and excited with new ideas.  I'm guessing that Ann ends up with another necklace before too long.
Bob is getting ready for his climb up MT Randall.
The photo doesn't do justice to the steepness or height of this dune.  

     All too soon our time with Bob and Ann came to an end and our journey continued to the Chicago area to visit a couple we met over 30 years ago; Rick and Laura Prohov.  We first met this couple when we were on a one week, 105 mile canoe camping vacation on the Allagash River in Maine.  We hit it off immediately and continued to see each other until children, life, and proximity got in the way.  It was almost 25 years since we last got together, but we were so comfortable with each other it seemed as if there never was any hiatus.  We ended up "driveway surfing" at their house for 3 nights and spending as much time with them as we could.  Since it was a visit with short notice and they both still work, our time was limited to evenings but the party continued as if it hadn't ended 25 years ago.  (In order to protect the innocent, I'll leave out the details of those "ancient history" parties.)
Rick and Laura

None of us have changed a bit since 1983!

"Driveway surfing" at Rick & Laura's.  Believe it or not
we were able to easily maneuver our rig into this garden spot
at Rick & Laura's without a scratch!

     Since we had previously visited Chicago and we had some time during the day, Nancy and I did a little touring of the northern Chicago suburbs.  Our favorite attraction was the Chicago Botanical Gardens.  They were spectacular.  The Gardens are situated on a reconstructed swamp so there was plenty of water and islands to house a broad spectrum plants, trees and shrubs.  This place is so large that it would take several days to enjoy all that the Gardens offer.
Bahia House of Worship, Wilmette, IL.
This really cool building houses worshippers of the Bahia faith.  As I understand it, the Bahia faith
believes in one god uniting all 9 of the "great" religions of the world.  Therefore, all architectural
elements and designs are based on the number 9.  Hence, 9 sides to the building,
9 gardens, etc.  We were granted free license to roam around in this beautiful building and grounds.

Chicago Botanical Gardens.

Chicago Botanical Gardens.

     After a great visit reminiscing and reconnecting with Rick and Laura, we headed north to Wisconsin for a new stage in our journey.  I'll let you know what happens.



  1. Hiking those dunes sound like they would be killer on your legs! Love the picture of you guys in '83, great that you were able to reconnect.

  2. Wow! First, Hazel is amazing. A "pep pill", hilarious. Maybe a cup of coffee? I want to be like her! Second, Darynn is the cutest little pumpkin, I can't wait to hear stories. Third, I hope you are beating the heat, today and tomorrow will be exceptionally brutal. Stay hydrated my friends.


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