February 22, 2007 at 7:57 a.m.

If you hit a deer, be smart, take my advice, stay home

If you hit a deer, be smart, take my advice, stay home
If you hit a deer, be smart, take my advice, stay home

Have you ever had a time when you just wanted to get away? After dealing with the whole Highway 8 debacle and a generally busy winter, we decided to do just that. Prior to beginning our "family quest" my son had basketball practice early Saturday. On the way home from practice, I did something I have never done in my life. I hit a deer. I have seen thousands of deer bolt across roads but have never struck one. This one got off lucky, his rump hit my bumper and he never broke stride. My bumper, on the other hand was ruined. This, unbeknownst to me, was precursor for things to come.

After surveying my bumper, I deemed it good enough to drive, so we packed up and headed out. Duluth was our destination on this sunny Saturday and we could not be stopped. After two hours of "Are we there yet?" we finally arrived. Beautiful Duluth, with the picturesque views and wonderful restaurants. (Keep in mind that we did not have a reservation because come on, it's the middle of winter and Duluth has a motel on every block).

After a nice meal at Grandma's, we decided to find a motel. First one, sorry we are booked. Next one, no Sorry. Third one, ooooh noooo tsk...we are booked. Finally, I asked the next motel attendant if they knew where we could get a room. "Uhhhh...probably nowhere from here to Cloquet." It seems Duluth was having a snowboarding tournament, a hockey tournament, a basketball tournament, and I am not sure, but probably a Yatzee tournament was taking place somewhere.

Checked across the pond in Superior ... no luck, tournaments everywhere. Decided to maybe venture to Hayward and see about a motel there. After what seemed like about 89 miles, we came across a sign for Ashland and Hayward. We have stayed in Ashland before and it was beautiful. Why not? It was only another 25 miles or so. An hour later (yes an hour, got behind lots of snowmobile trailers and couldn't pass) we arrived in Ashland. No rooms. None. I felt like Chevy Chase in Vacation when the theme park was closed after they drove cross country to get there.

Packed back up and headed to Hayward. 350 miles later and ready to cry, we finally got the last room available in Hayward. Why the last room? Well, of course, there were hockey tournaments and ice fishing contests that weekend, why wouldn't there be? The kids (bless their hearts for being so good) were so excited about finally going swimming that they barely ate their supper. We got to the pool and it was an absolute paradise. Big, beautiful, and best of all, empty, just the way we like it. Being the brave soul I am, stripped down to my suit and jumped in. I have swum in Lake Superior before and I am quite positive it was warmer than this pool. There was a reason why we found a full motel that had no people swimming on a Saturday night!

It seems the days of just packing up and going are quite possibly in the rear view mirror. But the words "family adventure" is apparently alive and well in 2007.

In this weekend's Search you will find 2007 Home and Garden Show circular. The actual show is the following weekend, but this is your opportunity to scope out potential stops when you visit the Home Show. In the circular, you will find advertising from many of the exhibitors, a map detailing the lay out of the show, and many helpful articles to help you with a variety of home jobs. Also in the circular you will find dates and times of various exhibitor seminars along with some wonderful entertainment. We hope you enjoy the circular and most definitely hope to see you at the show!


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