Tuesday, August 21, 2007

In August, 1986.

Well, I turned eight.

I'm sure that a lot of things happened in August, 1986, but what I remember almost to the exclusion of everything else was the weekend of my birthday. We celebrated a couple days early because of the trip that weekend involved. I got a camera, and my grandparents came over. I got a picture of my step-grandfather sitting on our new couch in front of a quilt that my mother had knitted years before. After the trip, I would climb a rope ladder to a tree house in our front yard, and sit and read. I still played in the back yard on the swing set, and gradually expanded the radius of bike riding to take in everything between Tuscola and Montclare, Commonwealth and Franklin.

The trip itself:

For my birthday, my dad took me up to the Agowa Canyon Tour Train. We drove through Michigan, past Zilwaukee and over the Mackinac Bridge, over the Soo Locks and into Canada. We stayed in motels and ate pasties in the UP, and stopped at Castle Rock and Mackinac Island on the way back. It was one of the first times I recall feeling more adult. After all, these were great and grave landscapes – cliffs and channels – and there were large distances – time in the car – between them. For the first time, travel itself was exciting, and not just time that had to be tolerated between destinations.

Certainly one of the most significant weekends I remember from my childhood, and one which made me thirsty for more. From that point on, a trip with my dad was almost an annual adventure.

Where were you in August 1986?

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