Bayfield was a wee bit of a bust. We were excited to make our way to the Blueberry Festival in Ely, Mn to redeem ourselves. Had we known we were going to go through what we did, we would have stayed home.
I will make an attempt to shorten this up as much as I can. But I am a talker and it really isn't a strong point of mine. It started with us leaving on time, which is a rarity when living with me. We headed north up I35 in MN. Our first sign was having a car pass us on the left and when reentering our lane, forget to stop in the lane and hit the shoulder and then swerved back in front of us. Yikes! Brakes work though. Soon after, the Suburban shifts down to pull the camper up a hill, we get over it, something doesn't sound right, I am about to say something when Randy notices the truck is dead. We slowly pull into the shoulder and have a looksy. It is here that we come to the realization that people do not pull over anymore. I will be honest, being stuck on the side of the road with people zooming by at 80 miles an hour is terrifying! After some trouble shooting we come to the realization that something bad has happened and we are going to need help. I thankfully have AAA though and can not get a tow truck soon enough to get us off the side of the freeway! Yeah, so turns out my AAA expired like a week earlier. Some sort of error on their part had my address wrong and my renewal statements were sent to the wrong address. I was not pleased. I may have thrown the phone at one point, said some colorful words and informed Randy I was done talking to them. Anyway. So we got to pay for a tow truck. My first encounter with our driver involved him informing me while using many words that start with the letter F that people don't move over anymore. Ha. A State Trooper stops to check on us and I inform him that people don't move over anymore. He smirks and says "welcome to my world." We finally get the Suburban loaded and the camper attached to the back and are off to Cloquet to find someone who can hopefully help us.
We do. And the news isn't good. Bearing...lower engine...blah...blah...no oil pressure...$1750 to fix...blah...not sure it is really worth it...blah. Blah. After much discussion and maybe a few distraught looks on my part, the mechanic suggests we get a Uhaul and load it up and continue onto Ely. Brilliant. After phone calls he throws us the keys to his truck and says to go get it. Sniff....hold back the tears Lisa. So getting a Uhaul should have been easy right? Nope. Not today it wasn't. Computer glitches were the name of the game. After about 30 minutes she finally made it happen. Sigh of relief. Back to the shop and we get the Suburban unloaded and the Uhaul loaded. Back that bad boy up to the camper and....the camper won't fit on the ball. I think this is the moment I may have emotionally lost it. Seriously. I pondered things like, if this was God's way/the Universe of saying "Do not go to Ely!!". Or were we being tested? Should we persevere? Should I just cry? Well, while I was having my emotional breakdown the men of the garage and a couple friends and Randy took a maul to the tongue of the camper and started whacking it. A giant jar of grease was brought out and between whacking it with a maul and about one pound of some sort of grease, the camper finally fit. All we have to do is crank it down and SNAP!, there breaks the cotter pin. I pondered a tear running down my cheek earlier, but this is where it finally did. The son looked at me and I think there was a "don't worry sweetheart" and off he went and got a new one and fixes it and cranks that camper down and my goodness, the camper is on the truck!! Cue the celebration music!! With tears in my eyes I hug all those guys and by gosh, we are off!!
Back on the road with only about a 4 hour delay. It is at about this time that Randy's stomach started reminding him he had eaten a suspicious burrito earlier while waiting for the Uhaul. Thankfully only one bathroom stop was needed ;)
Back on the road again! Things start to settle down, nerves chill and I can start to think again. Sigh. If you guessed not for long though, you are right. There we were minding our own business when suddenly a car coming from the other direction decides to pass and is in our lane coming right towards us and oh my gosh....... Well, our brakes worked. As well as the car he was trying to pass and a few others that tried to get out of the way. It was close. I wish I knew what they were thinking? Wow. I am happy to report it settled down for awhile and we finally made it to Ely. Turns out we forgot the braces for our walls in Cloquet, but at this point that was nothing. We found some we could use in an old wood pile. Onto dinner and a beer to soothe our sorrows. It is then that my shoe broke. Normally this wouldn't be a big deal but I was emotional and they were my favorite pair of sandals. Sigh. Again. Dinner was good though. If you are ever in Ely, check out the Ely Steakhouse. Yum.
We headed back to our campsite with the thought of Smores in our heads. What a way to end our terrible, horrible, no good kinda day. Except, there was no fire pit. This was the preverbal straw that broke the camel's back. I was so sad. So exhausted. I just wanted a smore. I cried. Thankfully that man of mine is smart. He took the camp grill and set it on the gravel and cooked me a smore. Happiness.
I would like to say that Saturday got better. But to be honest, it didn't. Throughout the course of the day I found out a friend of mine died, another had gotten into a car accident and we came to the realization that the Blueberry Fest was not the right show for us. It was two long days and we were very happy to go home. We topped of the end of the festival with Randy falling out of the back of the Uhaul. Poor guy. Thankfully he wasn't hurt too bad. We spent the night in Cloquet at the Walmart. Apparently they sweep the parking lot at 2 a.m. and we got to experience lawn mowing morning at the buttcrack of dawn.
I will be honest, it was hard to find the good in all of this. But there was. And it was people. Our tow truck driver for CARS Towing, to the boys at T and N Auto and the State Trooper who checked on us, the lady who would not give up and got us that Uhaul, our festival neighbors Alan and Brenda, the painters down the aisle from us and I got to see my dear friend Wanda who just happened to wander past our booth. We ate some great food too. AND I got a moose bobble head for my car. I named him Mortimer. The weather was perfect and the scenery was nice. So there was that.
The Suburban stayed in Cloquet. Wasn't worth the fix. We did finally make it home. I don't think we will be going back to Ely anytime soon ;)