Thursday, August 28, 2008

On the road

After a long day involving an under-estimated amount of stuff (by the moving company) coupled with a trailer that was shared with two other families (one from Detroit and the other from Chicago), we are finally on the road.

Unfortunately our goal of camping or staying with friends along the way has already been thrown out the window. Since we had a late start, not leaving home until 7 PM, we drove to Cedar Rapids and a Fairfield Inn.

The van has been a great vehicle for us. So much room to stretch out in - and it's a great highway machine. 20 MPG at 70 MPH, not bad for 4500 lbs.

On to Boulder tomorrow. Hopefully.

Time for some much-needed rest.

Good night...

Klaus is ready

All loaded up.

The computer is getting boxed in a few minutes. Over and out...

Big honkin' truck

Well the movers arrived about 90 minutes ago.

Quite an impressive rig. The cab sleeps two, has a shower and toilet too. What's even more impressive is that we're sharing the trailer with two other families that are departing the Midwest for California. We have all of 1300 cubic feet worth of space.

The last pic shows the space for our stuff. Nothing of ours is on the trailer yet.

Why today?

We've had zero rain the month of August. Why today?

We're just about ready to go...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Madison things I'll miss pt. II

Catching brief glimpses of the lakes. If you're close enough and looking the right way, it's hard not to spot the Yahara lakes here at the end of a street or in between buildings or trees.

Late summer afternoons when the sun starts getting low is ideal.

Last Madison dinner

Celeste and Marina the manatee (yes, it's a Webkinz)

We decided to hit an old standard for our last Madison dinner. One that's been pushed aside since The Old Fashioned became the top pick of Allie and myself.

The Great Dane has always been on the short list of where we'll bring out-of-town guests. A super cozy atmosphere - dark oak, exposed brick, etc., the Great Dane is one of a few microbreweries that has good food to complement their excellent brewed on-site beer.

We started dining here years before relocating to the area. Virtually every visit to Madison included a stop at the Dane. For tonight's meal each of us went with our old favorites - Allie's reuben, Celeste's dinosaur (chicken) nuggets and my fish and chips.

We'll certainly miss this place but will hit it the next time we're back in town.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Madison things I'll miss

I've been thinking a lot over the past few weeks about some of the great not-so-obvious things that the Madison area offers.

First up, UW Madison student radio WSUM 91.7, "the snake on the lake". Always an eclectic bunch of music depending on what time you're tuning in. Sometimes it's standard indie/college rock, others it's death metal, alt country, etc. - but my favorite is Sunday mornings (and other times) when they're playing dub/reggae. Not your standard Bob Marley/Peter Tosh offerings, but hitting the Blood and Fire and Trojan catalogs among others. Just about the only time I'll tune in to the radio.

And well-done/humorous PSAs too. Favorites include farm tractor safety and boating around manatees.

California - Norma's the first to depart

"Norma", Allie's Legacy Wagon, was the first to depart the Madison area yesterday. She hopped aboard a transport truck across the street from Menards.

We'll see her on September 5th or 6th. Happy trails!

Monday, August 25, 2008

empty spot

It's been a rough day with us losing Jupie this morning. The oddest thing is the absence of his presence - hearing his bark when the garage door opened, expecting him to eat crumbs off the floor and listening for the now-absent "thunk-thunk-thunk" of his happy tail hitting the floor.

What's been the strangest to me is not seeing him in his spot (pictured). That was always a good vantage point for him as he could always see where each family member was. Close to the kitchen, the stairs leading to the bedroom, the basement stairs and the front door.

We're glad that we won't be living in a home that has so many of these subtle reminders of him.

Jupiter 1996 - 2008, R.I.P.

You will be missed immensely, J.

The warm glow of pine paneling

I had to show Celeste how to "dial" the phone. It's sitting on a phone book from May 1987

Where is that fire truck?

I distinctly recall unearthing a stamped steel Tonka/Nylint fire truck a few times at GL. Not a full excavaion, but just getting to the top of it and then re-burying it for next year.

Celeste and I took a stab at finding it. No luck, but I had fun digging with her. And the horseflies weren't too bad. Next time we'll grab a garden shovel from the barn/garage. But that might be cheating.

Note that the lawn has been encroaching on the beach. With record lake levels from heavy June rains, the owners didn't put fresh sand down this year. There's also some erosion close to the lake. The water was so high that the lake was closed to all motorized boats for about ten days this summer.

Night pic, higher resolution

I really liked this pic but didn't like how small it ended up when I posted it last night. I'm still learning this blog thing, so bear with me while I learn the tricks.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Thanks Klaus!

Here's the rig that brought us up to GL - "Klaus", a VW EuroVan MV. Klaus is a great adventurewagen and will take us on our trip to California later this week. The boat is a '57 Thompson Sea Coaster named Dragonfly that was just sold to a friend. I'm going to miss that thing, but at least it's staying within a tight circle of friends.

Misc junk

I'm floored by how much old stuff is still around. Dan and I used to play with our Matchbox cars on the coffee table. Wicked banked turns. The hubcaps were from Grandpa's Cub Cadet garden tractor while croquet set has some nice history involving alcohol and balls ending up in the lake during some "spirited" games.

The aggregate sidewalk and patio still hurts my bare feet.

Ahoy - sailboats!

We slept in the boy's bedroom, the beds were just as mushy as I remembered them. The matching red Sears bedspreads were safely put away in the closet, next to the Cubs sticker I affixed in the early 80s.


Catching perch on "new perch pier". We caught nine little guys using wax worms and baby night crawlers. She prefered fishing to the idea of going out on the boat.

Green Lake Visit, Aug 21-22, night shots

Night time at Green Lake. I wish these shots had audio of the waves lapping at the shore, the insects and the sounds of distant boats.

Green Lake Visit, Aug 21-22

The three of us were very fortunate to visit Green Lake a few days ago. With Jupie on his last days, we wanted to spend some time with him to say goodbye.

We dragged the boat up, but never even launched it as we had more fun just hanging out at "Old Acres" for a couple of days of swimming, fishing and relaxing.

Much remains the same at the old place - pretty amazing since it's been 21 years since Grandma O sold it. A few trees have come down in storms and the houses could use a fresh coat of paint, but for the most part visiting the property is like traveling back in time.