4:00 am hitting the road

D. got up at 3:00 am. So did I. So we were on the road to Bloomington, IN.


Bikes on the rack. Clothes and other misalleneous stuff in the van packed the night before. D. had her list thing going on–cancel the paper, neighbor to water the flowers, that sort of thing. I went to Best Buy and bought a DC to AC converter for the laptop in the car. Checked out six DVDs from the library. Took off early Friday afternoon. Shaved my beard off.
All in all the children were quite compliant with being rousted out of bed. They peed. There were flip-flops waiting for them on the front porch. L., still have asleep, mumbled something that sounded like “Garfield book.” Upstairs on his dresser. I retrieved it.
Pillows and blankets were awaiting them. They each got a seat, M. in the far back, L. in the middle.
Madeline took right to getting to sleep again. Liam–it was maddened. He never did go back to sleep. He ended up reading from his Garfield book, even though it was still only five o’clock.
Since I drive that stretch of interstate from near our house east on my way to the Y in the early morning often, I have this fantasy of just keeping going. I imagine I-94 veering right and skirting the southern edge on downtown St. Paul as it heads for the Wisconsin border.
Nothing could be further from reality though. What actually happens is that the interstate goes over the north of downtown before heading west, taking a tortured series of 50-mph curve to accomplish this silliness. Ironically, the highway runs arrow-straight through western St. Paul, through the former black middleclass Rondo neighborhood. To take my imagined trajectory would have required cutting through the snooty Ramsey Hill enclave. You decide.
Almost immediately we got involved in the reduced lane stretch of construction thing as we crossed the St. Croix River and crossed into Wisconsin. And in the hills beyond that, fog. It seemed that the hat trick would be darkness, fog, and construction, but we lucked out. As the sun came up, we had clear running.
We encountered a Wisconsin high patrol car which passed us in the fog. I figured, what could be safer than following him/her? Which I did until he/she hung a uboat and headed back.