Trolls in the Upper Peninsula
My wife is on vacation. Of course, this means I should be on vacation too, but it never works out like that. Instead I make it a point to get time off here and there throughout her vacation so that we can do stuff. Or in other words sit at him and have a staycation. But those are never fun.
Our intention this time was to do something different. We had given thought to a few of the places we have wanted to visit and not made it to, but nothing was really definite in the planning process. Except that my youngest daughter and her boyfriend had both just started college this fall. He had gotten in to Michigan Tech in the Upper Peninsula. Of course, my daughter is close to home for school (cheaper to live at home while going or some craziness like that).
It’s been roughly around 30 years since I have been in the UP. The last time was a trip my brother and I had taken when I was around 15. We had spent about two weeks traveling all across the upper part of the state. I still have a few memories of the place.
Heck it was the first time I had ever been drunk, though I blacked out during the day I still have a special place in my heart for the town we were in. If anyone wants to know, we had been at a state park in the town of Champion. And oddly for the past 30 years I thought maybe I had been mistaken though I was sure of the town. When we passed through Champion on our way to our motel so many memories came back. Granted, not a one of them were of the trip back to the tent from the beach when I was incredibly drunk. Oh the fun of youth.
But I digress…
Back to the important stuff. The plan was to take our daughter up so she could spend some weekend time with the boy and we would do our own thing. This was not meant to be a family vacation mind you, but one of convenience. Thankfully it worked out that way and my wife and I were able to get some time away from the world and the annoyances of life.
The issues with the Internet helped with that as well. See, if you have never been to the UP or anywhere similar you may not understand the situation of the whole event. I mentioned at one point that aside from the modern cars and such, it was a bit like we had slipped back in time about 20 years. Most of the UP is wilderness and national forests. Most of the towns are small and incredibly rural. About the only places you see the more modern sprawl we have encroaching on many cities are the cities that have grown up outside the larger colleges.
There are a couple roads that are referred to as highways that run across the peninsula but they look more like old country roads than expressways. It was fun, every now and then you would pass what were referred to as “passing zones.” Sure the rules of the road applied all over, and there were the dotted yellow lines where you could pass and such. But these were something else entirely. In different sections of the highways the lanes would widen to a four lane road instead of the two lane. These made it a bit easier for passing the slower cars and such.
And while we are on the subject of strange roadways and such. In a number of places, there are ATV and snow mobile roadways that run concurrent with the regular roads. This is how deep in the woods we were at times. I had a point for all this aside from just rambling about the boring bit of roads and such. Oh ya, the trip back to the past…
The idea of a cell phone dead spot can be a bit disconcerting in today’s age of wifi signals and cellular proliferation. I mean, at home, I went for a long time without a cell phone because I could communicate with my iPad pretty much anywhere I went. And that is with a wifi only iPad. And then we went up north.
See, we have cellphones. I mean, we aren’t heathens or anything like that. Though, they aren’t top of the line, they get the job done for what we need them for. The trip through the UP was my first time using my phone over a long period of time for maps. (The good thing here, even in data dead zones, you can still find your way with google maps for the most part). Well, we are talking about a 10 hour trip, five hours first straight north and then another 5 hours west to get to the middle of nowhere in the UP.
After about 5 hours my phone started acting a little weird and it had heated up so much that I could feel it through the rubber case it is in. I mean so hot that it could burn your fingers to hold it without the case. While getting that hot it lost all data connection. It wasn’t the loss of signal because of where we were.
The other phones in the car were working just fine.
Now with all the issues going on with the Samsung Note 7 right now, you can bet your heiny I was a bit worried that the phone might cause a bit of a mess as it torched us and the car. Mind you, my phone is a Samsung but it is an older model. This shouldn’t have been a big thing. When we finally got to the hotel and I went to charge it, it began to over heat again. This is when I called customer support. Luckily, it was only my phone. I was able to use my wife’s phone to make calls and such. Hers worked fine the entire weekend (we have the same model phone).
To add insult to injury, while talking to tech support, they had me reset the phone to factory settings. So not only was I not able to connect to the internet, but none of my apps were able to update and I couldn’t put any of my useful apps onto it again. Our motel in the middle of nowhere didn’t have wifi to siphon off. Basically, the place was a drop zone for hunters that came up for the bounty all the wilderness offered. You aren’t really worried about amenities in the hotel if you don’t plan on spending much time there other than sleeping and maybe showering.
No of course, the advantage of all of this was all the trails and such we were able to explore and the waterfalls (there are quite a few in the Upper Peninsula). And of course, my wife and I were able to get a decent amount of alone time through the weekend.
Now it is a matter of getting back into the swing of life in civilization again. Of course, you spend a few days away from the crazies on the Internet and it feels like the world has gone mad. Oh and, I am supposed to be getting a replacement phone soon. After the reset mine is working (ish) but I don’t know about you. I have no real desire to experience the thing reaching explosion levels again. Too many stories of bad things happening right now.
And on a final note… Trolls is the name for those who live under the bridge. Yep, we are the trolls.
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