Sunday, January 18, 2015

Road Trip!

I woke up later than normal on Saturday. I’d like to attribute that to insomnia, but I recently discovered this post:

So, I dunno…

Anyway, after posting the Blog, I shaved, showered and got dressed. I went out to the garage and bagged up all the cut-offs from the projects. My Brother Carl asked for them for kindling. He said the maximum length he could put in his fireplace was 18 inches. So I set a stop on my saw at 16 inches and ran any long pieces through that. I had enough that I worried that the garbage bag would break.

Then I wrapped the desk in shrink wrap again.

I made some scrambled eggs for breakfast and a toasted English muffin. I knew it would be a long day and figured I’d need the fuel.

I had some banking to do, so I left a little after 9:00 a.m. for the Credit Union. I don’t normally “go” there, so I didn’t realize they don’t open until 10:00 a.m. on Saturday! So, I went and got the truck filled up and reset the trip odometer. Then I went back to the Credit Union and waited until it opened.

I stopped at my normal bank and made a deposit, then headed home, running an hour late.

I loaded up the computer desk. I pulled the covers off the clamp rail system in the truck bed and put in two clamps. I laid a blanket down on the truck bed. I got two of the couch pillows and put them into garbage bags.

I set the desk on its top and put the pillows between it and the tailgate and truck bed extender that I had adjusted to fit. I had planned to use the ratchet tie down strap, but they were too long. So I used two bungie cords, instead.

I put Logan’s birthday present inside the truck, behind the seats. Then I headed out, a little after noon.

I took Eight Mile to Groesbeck and then north to Mt. Clemens and Carl’s house. He was ready and waiting (well, of course he was, I was an hour late.) I carried in the wood scraps and then we headed out for Marine City.

I was going to use my phone’s GPS, but Carl had already programmed his. We got there after a long, but enjoyable ride. The weather cooperated. There was no precipitation and it was 40 degrees!

At Betsy's house, Carl went in to clear the way while I unhooked the desk and then carried it in. Betsy looked good, but is still recovering from her last week’s gall bladder surgery. So, Carl and I cleared off the card table where her computer was. Carl folded up the card table and I set it into her spare bedroom. Then, back at the computer, I unplugged things, set them on the new desk and plugged everything back into the CPU.

Sidebar: She had been very specific about the exact measurements she wanted. But, honestly, I could have easily made it six or even eight inches longer and it would have still fit into the space. Which would have been easier on her (I could have made the keyboard tray wide enough for the mouse to sit on it, for example). Also, she failed to mention her router and another, wired-in, flat thing I didn’t recognize. I could have made a shelf for them above the CPU. I don’t blame her. I should have asked better questions!

Anyway, we finally made our goodbyes and headed for Port Huron. Carl checked his GPS and said it would take 31 minutes if we went back to the expressway and 35 if we just took the River Road up through St. Clair, Marysville and then Port Huron. So, we decided to take the scenic route. That was a mistake.

Sidebar: I forgot to mention that Carl was supposed to babysit his three grandkids so Amanda and Brandon could go grocery shopping, sometime in the afternoon.

But it was great to see the old familiar places again. An, a frieghter went downriver as we passed! Go, I miss seeing them!!! 

The first problem was the drawbridge in St. Clair was up and being repaired. So, we had to go back, over to King Road and come in from Fred Moore Highway.

We drove past my old house and it was hideous! The old Tudor look is gone, replaced by bright blue siding. The decks are gone, replaced by ugly build outs. The hedge I planted was still there and growing, but the Yankee side garden with the arbor vitae was destroyed. I was glad to leave that in the rearview mirror!

Never try to go back!

So we drove and drove. I finally asked him where the hell we were going. He said it was by the Blue Water Bridge!

Then came the next problem. The drawbridge in downtown Port Huron was up and being repaired. So, another detour.

Carl’s phone told us to turn off of Military and onto Stone. We went under the bridge and I pointed out that Jeremy’s house was “right over there.” We took that to Riverview and turned right as directed.

That’s when shit got weird. None of the numbers were right. There were no apartments, only houses and then factories. We drove up and down that dumb road about five times. I didn’t have Joe’s phone number (the one I had didn’t work) and I knew that Carl was late for the babysitting thing.

So, I gave up and drove to Jeremy’s house. Carl stayed in the truck while I went and banged on the door. Jyl answered and I said, “Where the hell does your son live?” She said she would drive over and show us the way.

While we were waiting for her, Jeremy came out and chatted for a bit. I guess it was rude we didn’t go in, but we were late.

Anyway, Jyl came out and we followed her back to Riverview. But this time we turned west instead of towards the river.

Carl’s phone lied!!!

Carl was just going to stay in the truck. But when I tried to open the door behind him to get the present, the seatbelt (attached to the door – I forgot) almost strangled him. So he decided to come in. We walked up a snow-covered, icy sidewalk to the apartment.

Sidebar: I told Carl not to fall. I said, “If you do, I’ll have to post a picture of it for Jake and you will never hear the end of it!”

We interrupted Joe baking cookies. We greeted everybody and I gave them Logan’s present. You probably guessed it already, but it was a rocking horse. 

He sat on it a couple of times, but wanted to put his legs up. That, of course, caused an immediate dismount, that he handled with grace.

I should have taken a picture, but I didn’t. We maybe should have stayed longer, but we didn’t. I apologize!

We left there and got on I-94. We made one stop at the Smoke House for hunter sausages. Carl was interested, so he came in. He ended up buying a pound of them for himself and Kal.

He suggested just taking Gratiot back, so that’s what we did.

It was weird to see all the changes, not only in Richmond, but New Haven. And, I never even recognized Gratiot and 24-Mile Road! Too weird.

As we got close to his house, he called Brandon and Amanda, to let them know he was almost home. Turned out they gave up on him and took all three kids grocery shopping with them.

I dropped him off and then headed home.

It did get dark before I got there, but I was home a little after 6:30 p.m. I checked the odometer and I’d put an incredible 173+ miles on the truck!

I was beat and my back hurt. I returned B___’s call and we talked for a bit.

I was hungry, but not up to making dinner. So, I ate hunter sausages with Pinconning cheese for my supper.

I was going to watch the Red Wings, but gave up and went to bed just after 8:00 p.m.


  1. Sounds like a long (but productive) trip!

  2. It’s a bummer about the GPS issues, but it was good to see you and The Greatest Papa Fish. Have a great day.

  3. Dad, eveything looked wonderful. I'm glad you were able to deliver all the goodies and go back to memory lane with Uncle Carl.

  4. Yeah, memory lane....I'm still wet from all of his tears (his BLUE House).

  5. @ Jake: it was both!
    @ Jyl: Not quite a visit! Too short because "somebody" had to be somewhere. I wanted to try the cookies, myself. Hope Logan likes his rocking horse.
    @ Carla: Thanks!
    @ GPF: This is what I get for opening my heart to you? See if I drag your ass around for four hours and 173 miles again!!!