Across the Mackinac Straits to Mackinaw City and Mackinac Island

In this part of Michigan, the indigenous Odawa (or Ottawa) and the French fur traders have conspired to turn the spelling of words and the pronunciation of those words into concepts that are loosely related, at best. Trust me when I say that everything is pronounced “MACK-in-awe” and that it’s easier to just say “Mac.” … Read more

Mining and Lake-Looking in Remote Copper Harbor

Before the California Gold Rush, there was the Lake Superior Copper Rush. Elemental copper was so bountiful in places along the southern shores of Lake Superior, especially the Keweenaw Peninsula, that it was widely harvested by the native inhabitants and became part of the trade networks in pre-Columbian North America. Even in prehistoric times, Lake … Read more

Slowing Our Roll in Madison, Wisconsin

After relatively brief stays on our route north, we are starting a pattern of longer visits as we explore our primary summer destinations, Wisconsin and Michigan. We began with eight days in Madison, Wisconsin that included the Independence Day holiday weekend. Having a longer stay (and holiday closures) meant we had time for errands, reading, … Read more

Lincoln-palooza in Springfield, Illinois

Springfield has enthusiastically embraced its role as the hometown of Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln arrived here in 1837 as a 28-year-old man whose earthly possessions fit into two saddlebags, but who had recently become a member of the Illinois State Bar after teaching himself the law. He left Springfield in 1861 as President-elect of the United … Read more

Hot Nashville (and I Don’t Mean the Chicken)

When we planned our transit through Nashville months ago, we didn’t expect it to coincide with a heat wave bringing record-breaking high temperatures. We know from spending a miserable summer in Florida living in our Airstream that RVs are just not made for extreme temperatures. So we were a little nervous when we saw forecasts … Read more