Thursday, May 3, 2012

A Thousand Miles in 64,800 Seconds

The trip totals are in from our trek to the Northland of NorthCentral Minnesota. We covered 1035 miles in 3 days. A total of 18 hours on the road, and 3 tanks of gas. We took the first 315 mile leg on Friday and stopped in Shoreview for the night. On Saturday we covered another 200+ miles to Lake George, MN, near Bemidji. Then, on Sunday we turned right back around and covered 500+ miles in a 9 hour jaunt back to Waukesha.

While it was a bit gruelling at times, my statement from the previous post still stands. We love to travel as a family, and we do it quite well. There were very few complaints from the kids for the whole trip. They don't even argue that much. I think I had to break up a total of one verbal battle. Otherwise, they got along well. Ben slept probably 9 of the 18 hours total, and Sarah about 5. I did probably 80% of the driving and I was fine with that too. When you break up 500 miles over 2 days, that's easy. For the 9 hour stint I needed a spell.

The trip took us to Courage North for a bench dedication in honor of my brother Rob. He was a camper, counselor and volunteer at Courage North many years ago. He helped every spring and fall with cleanup and winterizing. This weekend was cleanup weekend, so we were all there to work, and work we did. We cleaned cabins, raked, inventoried craft supplies, and a number of other things. They rely on volunteers to do this every spring, so we were glad we could help. As part of their appreciation, they fed and housed us. We ate like Kings (and Queens) and really enjoyed our time with family and friends, some old, some new.

The bench dedication was on Sunday. Jane read a beautiful poem called The Dash by Linda Ellis. It speaks of the time between life and death and what we make of it. After that she asked for stories and many people got up and told funny and heartfelt stories of Rob. I'm sure he would have loved to have been there helping us clean up. He was there in spirit though as evidenced by the sunshine breaking out right as we went to take pictures by the bench.

It was a fast and furious weekend. Some would say we were crazy to drive as far as we did for the the short amount of time we were there. We had apprehensions ourselves right before we left too, for the same reason. I am SO glad we did it, for so many reasons. Seeing family again, supporting Jane, helping Courage North staff, laughing with old friends, revisiting some great old memories of our pre-BWCA trips where we outfitted ourselves using some of Courage North's equipment, just to name a few. I sincerely feel that if I hadn't of gone, I would have regretted it.

Life is too short for regrets.

Blogging off...


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