Saturday, September 20, 2008
Day 42; My personal Hell, September 19
My cell phone alarm goes off at 5:15 a.m. and I quickly throw on some clothes and give my teeth a quick scrub. I think of the movie 'Planes, Trains and Automobiles' and feel I will be writing the sequel today. I take the metro to the airport where I catch my 6:50 flight with a few minutes to spare. I am off to Minneapolis to pick up the Jeep but for some stupid reason, I booked a flight with a 2 1/2 hour layover in FREAKING ATLANTA! Atlanta??? Don't ask! I still can't remember why ($$$) I did that!!! Anyway, I make it to Minneapolis about 1:00 central time and the Jeep in good working order after a week of rest. I am the master of two lane highways as I head east for St. Ignace, Michigan. Why am I am going there you ask? Another good question! I was supposed to be going to Toronto today with my friend, Stonge, but I have to head back to NYC to fill in for one of my videographers whose mother fell ill. I'm picking up Stonge in upper peninsula of Michigan and we are heading for the Detroit airport for 6 a.m. flights to NYC. The GPS goes out as soon as I hit Wisconsin so I have to rely on maps which is not good. I get lost a few times and call my father for help but he is too busy getting ready to golf or something to assist me. Night falls and I'm still not in Michigan. A deer jumps in front of the Jeep and I jam the breaks. The Jeep does a wicked fishtale left and right and I end up backward in an embankment facing oncoming traffic. The good news is now I really know what a deer in the headlights looks like. The bad news is that my hair goes immediately from brown to salt pepper and the Jeep is in an embankment. I am in a Jeep so I pull out of the embankment and continue on my two-lane paradise and through a small town called Escanada where I notice my lights are not on. Before I can turn them on, the red and blue lights I see in my rearview mirror are blinding me. The office is VERY nice and let s me go with little hassle. I did not even have to waste any energy and use my Jedi mind trick either! He advises that I fill up with gas as I will hit a long stretch of 'nothing' before reaching Stonge in St. Ignace. I pull into Timmy Lee's Pub about 12:45 and Stonge is waiting for me with duffel packed under the Timmy Lee Pub sign. We grab a quick picture with Timmy Lee and hit the road on 75 South. The trip over the Mackinac Bridge (suspended 200 plus feet over the Great Lakes) is quite scary as it feels the a reasonable gust of wind could blow the Jeep right over the side. My flight is at 6:15 and the drive is at least 4 1/2 hours. About 2 hours outside of St. Ignace, my GPS returns and tells me we are still nearly 4 hours away. Stonge and I disagree and get there in less than two. I even have a few minutes to repack my bags and tidy up the Jeep and actually get to the gate with plenty of time to spare. I write this from the seat of the plane where we wait to take off. My sleep for tonight will be whatever I get on this plane ride. Please pray for me....PS, I just want to remind you that I SKIPPED Toronto today. Guess I am only going to make it to 29 of the 30 parks. Oh, well. Close but no cigar. Better luck next time I guess.