The Jeep is running great, we had a perfect two nights on the shore of High Rock Bay and we were looking forward to a much needed hot shower at Rick’s house. That morning, there was a light drizzle, so we packed up camp early and headed back to Hancock to find Rick.
Once we arrived, he gave us the grand tour of his house and told us every single detailed story of every corner, upgrade, paint job, deck in/on/around the place. We took showers and did laundry. Brian volunteered to help paint one of the bathrooms. Afterwards, Rick insisted that we stay at his house for the night, and ran out to grab us lunch. He returned with a local favorite called a Pasty: a pastry consisting of meat, potatoes and carrots wrapped in flaky dough and then baked to crispy goodness. Definitely not our favorite meal, but filling and it hit the spot.
Although not much of a listener, Rick was a great storyteller. He recounted nearly every experience he's had since childbirth with detail and suspense. Inserting himself into current local and global events with personal recounts. For example - 9/11: He could tell us, personally, that planes hadn’t crashed in PA or D.C. He had visited and inspected both sites recently after the supposed incidents. Bolivarian revolution: it was nasty business, with one of his students publicly hanged. The Egyptian revolution: Very dangerous walking through Tahrir Square in the early days, and that one time he got the Egyptian military to open up a checkpoint by schooling them on how democracy works. Who knows what, if any of it, was true. They were good stories, nonetheless.
That evening, Rick took us out in his AMC Javelin to a couple of local bars, bought us beer and pizza and we laughed as Rick told us stories about nearly everyone in town.
Rick’s house had several bedrooms, but international students who attend the local college were renting them all out. Thus, there were no spare beds. However, two couches = one full size mattress, so the three of us rearranged his living room into a full size suite and we slept as Rick’s cat, whom he called “The Devil”, watched us from his perch.
In the morning, Rick made us blueberry pancakes, we filled up our water jugs, charged all of our devices and hit the road.
Drove to Duluth MN and had a couple of beers at Fitgers. Duluth seemed like a pretty cool town, but we were anxious to cross the border into Canada, so unfortunately we didn’t spend a lot of time there. That night we camped about 30 or so miles north of Duluth at a private campground.