Saturday, March 22, 2014

En route to Baraga

January 31, 2014


FLD Copo wasn't too happy with our long drive across the U.P. to the Baraga Correctional Facility, his new home for the next year or so.

We weren't too happy either.

It started to snow when we were at dinner the night before and by morning there was at least six inches on top of the snow that was already piled up. Even though our alarm woke us before 6:00 a.m., we weren't able to get ourselves underway until after 8:00. Traveling with puppies sure slows you down!

Under a deep blue sky, the view of a partially snow-covered road heading off into the distance. Pine and  hardwood trees line either side of the road.
On M-28 heading west across the UP. Sunshine!
Driving was slow too. Forty-five miles per hour slow all the way to Seney. Copo had to park and there was nowhere to stop except on the side of the road. Good thing the plow trucks clear snow far off the shoulder and traffic volume in the U.P. isn't too bad.

Then a tire pressure warning light on the van's dashboard came on. We stopped to make sure none of the tires were flat and guessed that they were just low given the recent sub-zero temperatures. We didn't have a tire gauge. We needed a gas station and drove a long way before we found one. No air, the compressor was frozen. Miles later we spotted another air station winterized with plastic and duct tape.

Finally, a gas station east of Munising had working air. There were about 50 snowmobiles parked at the pumps or off to the side. When I went inside to buy a tire gauge I had to work my way through a heavily suited crowd. Many of the snowmobilers had come inside the station's small cafe to warm up. They reminded me of spacemen with their full-face helmets and air warming masks.

I finally asked the counter clerk where I could find a tire gauge. He pointed me to the automotive section, where I had already looked. As I walked away to look again he asked, "Are you just needing to air up a tire?" "Yes," I said. "Here, you can use this one," he said, handing me a gauge.

Yay! All tires were low. We took advantage of the stop and parked Harper and Copo. Again. Luckily there was a cell signal so Tammy could call RUM Steve to let him know we'd be late. He said they would adjust, but asked us to come to the main entrance when we arrived.

"There are people who want to see Copo," RUM Steve said.


  1. Winter driving in the UP is always tricky. Glad you guys were safe. I've grown up up here and so I never thought of 50 snowmobiles at the gas pumps or people all suited up as noteworhty; but when you put it that way, it's funny. :)

    1. We thought that one gas station we found was was jammed with more snowmobilers and looked as if it were never plowed. When we pulled in we just kept going because we were afraid the van would get stuck!

      It's been a challenging winter, but as the guys at Chippewa said when we arrived late and we worried that they thought we wouldn't come, "We knew you'd be here, you ladies are tough!"

  2. The anticipation leading up to my fiancé getting Copo is so crazy! Can't wait for you to get there with him! I am so excited to see the pics of him getting him!

    1. Ahhh, so sorry to make you crazy! He is coming. Soon.