Weather WindowApril 12 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ 37 °F
My mom, Grace Elaine Stuckey Brinker, is turning 90 this year. Her birthday is in mid August. Last year I suggested that we plan a trip together. "Anywhere you want to go, I'll get you there", I said. "Let's take a train across Canada or catch ferries up the inland waterways to Alaska. How about back to Central America? You always loved it down there."
She said that she'd think about it.
A week later she calls me on the phone and says, "Those sound like nice ideas, but what I really want to do is to go back to Ohio."
Ohio. Where she spent the first 84 years of her life. Where her sisters live. Where her church community is. Where her friends still ask about her. "OK," I said, "but we're not going around your birthday, because it's 95 degrees and 95% humidity everyday in August. Let's go in April, when the birds are in migration, the daffodils and crocuses are blooming, and we have a chance of good weather."
My plane into Minneapolis was delayed for several hours due to 'a winter cyclone event' which dropped temps into the 20's, dumped over a foot of snow, and kicked up 40mph winds. See photo of the knocked over furniture on the deck of her senior living place. So much for good weather. All the Wisconsonians I've run across keep saying the same the same thing, "You should've been here last week! It was a sunny 75 degrees." Of course by now I'm on to them because they've said the same thing every time I've visited over the past 5 years. "Shoulda been here last week..."
I'm sure there are weekends in the late spring or early fall when it isn't freezing or hot or raining or something isn't biting you, but I haven't hit those precise weather windows yet.
So, we're all packed. Grace has opened the gifts that I brought from Nancy. We've had a couple of nice meals with my brother Will and his spouse Beth. We have a bag of roadtrip food. Tomorrow we set out down the Mississippi for a 700 mile drive from Wisconsin to Ohio with a side trip to Pittsburgh.
We're using Atlas Obscura's website to plan our stops. We're looking for experiences that can only be found in this part of the world.
Stay tuned.Read more