Alaska
Chronicles
:North U.S. Ý
Date City Miles
May 8 Ted Cleveland to Wisconsin Dells
Todd Atlanta to Chicago (air)
576

On board flight 1234 to Chicago O'Hare Int'l Airport from Atlanta.
Had a fitful night. Couldn't sleep well w/o Sherry there. I am pleased at my difficulty, but I hope that I am able to sleep better for the next three weeks. As always, I didn't get done all I had hoped before leaving. The lawn may need cutting before I get back , and that doesn't please me. I don't want Sherry burdened w/ such chores when she has important work to do. I hope her trip is refreshing and free from serious hardship although I think surviving a strenuous trip will be good. Ken picked me up at the appointed time, and we left promptly. Tigger has a large bowl of food and several waters to tide him over until Sherry gets home. The drive was pleasant, and we had good conversation. Ken had turned in his grades this morning (I turned mine in Wed.). He was expressing some discomfort at not having enough time, but both of us were thankful the year was over. We talked a bit about the difficulties of the year both personally and institutionally. It's odd how the institutional difficulties can make one's personal situation more tenable.

Note: I am continually amazed at the interpretation of the term "carry-on luggage." One gentleman walked into the cabin with a rolling Pullman and a 4-foot duffle bag. The sad part is the airline allows that.

Note: Next to me a gentleman is reading T. Morrison's The Bluest Eye. The book is emblazoned with the Oprah Book Club logo, and it is clear that he wouldn't be reading it if Oprah hadn't spoken. I think it's great that folks are reading more because of her, but I wonder too about the commercialization-problematic.

Plot #39 at Stand Rock Campground, Wisconsin Dells
I am lying in a sleeping bag on top of a pad on top of another sleeping bag in a tent in the rain. What a first night. We've already changed the itinerary. We're not in the planned campground, and we're cutting tomorrow short so that we can go to the Cleveland/Minnesota baseball game in Minneapolis. Tonight we ate at the Del-Bar--a place designed by a certified Frank Lloyd Wright disciple--at least that's what the plaque said. The Dells remind me of Niagara Falls, a natural wonder taken over by the worst kind of commercial tourism. It's one thing to build lodgings and restaurants. It's quite another to design an area with the express purpose of not doing anything natural or even outdoorsy: wax museum, Ripley's Believe It Or Not, "Mars Panic," Amusement park, INDOOR water park. All manner of motels. Strangely, though, I find it repulsively attractive. I can't help but be amused by the crassness of the place. Here we are in Wisconsin with the Aloha Resort. And people come. The says "pop. 2348" but it is certainly 10x that in summer.

The food at the Del-Bar was excellent--walleye and oysters. Way too expensive. The waitress at the Del-Bar was extremely touchy-feely w/ me. She was about 50 or 60, grey hair, round all over. Kept asking if we gentlemen were being treated right.

Talked about the Sayers essay. Ted thought it interesting in light of Ecclesiastes. When all is vanity, we must find some reason to go on. I explained wanting to go into Victorian/Romantic.

The campground has a mini-golf course peopled with cows. When Ted asked the clerk how he was, the man replied, "If I was any better, I'd have to be bigger."

Trucks in the distance…