Thursday, August 14, 2008

Arrival #1

I crossed the Mississippi river from Dubuque, and there it was. The giant wooden sign, shaped like heaven itself, "Welcome to Wisconsin." It's always the same. Whether I'm landing at the airport after a year and a half away, or crossing the border in a car after a month, entering Wisconsin always makes me cry a bit. I'm just so happy to be back. And today was no different.

Although Tuesday had the most grueling driving, and Wednesday the most desire to just get where I was going, Thursday was the hardest drive. It was also the shortest. But as soon as I left Katie's in Marian, things were familiar. Places we'd gone on vacation, familiar highway names and numbers, the Dells, Madison, exits to my ballet class, to one job, to my college, to another job, the stadium, the bridge I painted on my hut wall in Africa. Everything I saw made me feel so close, yet I wasn't there yet.

The traffic on I-94 at the Milwaukee county line was stop and go due to construction. I could have taken I-894, but it's not the same. I've always used 794. I love the Hoan! When we were little, we used to beg Daddy to "take the stinky bridge" instead of I-94 home. We called it that because the sewage treatment plant is right next to it. But the view of the lake and downtown is absolutely stunning from that bridge. It's worth the occasional bad smell.

My drive across the country so far has been a really neat experience. The contrasts I have seen astound me, but I'll save the full blown analysis for the end of my driving trip. Wisconsin was just a lay-over.

Day 3


jess said...

thought i'd let you know in case you didn't.... your other little had a baby boy! his name is Jacen! TFJ love you!

MaryRuth said...

No more California?! But you are right, there is that special feeling you get when you are "home".
We always called the Hoan "the bridge to nowhere"--I don't think it was finished when I left Milw. I always love that part in Blue Bros. There is a bridge in LA harbor that is similar. We used to ride back and forth across it because it made us feel like home.
Can't wait to hear about the rest of your trip.
Oh yeah...I'm going to the Brewers game tonight at Dodger Stadium! whoohoo

goldenrail said...

MR: yup, that's the "bridge to nowhere." They completed the "somewhere" my freshman year of college, so I think it was late 99 or early 2000. I went to school in Waukesha but worked in St. Francis. You can bet as soon as they opened the 794 parkway, I took the Hoan every chance I got.

Hope you enjoyed the Brewer's game, and have a great time in WI when you go in a few weeks!