I was out running errands yesterday, and twice—the first time in Target, the second in the grocery store—an employee wished me a “Happy Father’s Day!”
Nice gestures, and I thanked them both, but I’m curious why they assumed I was a father. Am I giving off some sort of “dad vibe,” and if so, how do I make it stop?
“Don’t wear cargo shorts to the grocery store,” Tara suggested un-helpfully.
I mean, I am a father, of course. And I cherish my offspring. But if I’m going to give off a vibe, why can’t it be something a little more edgy? I’m just spitballing here, but how about an experimental aircraft test pilot vibe? Conventional aircraft would be fine too, as would tank commander or submarine captain. I’d even settle for a Hollywood stuntman or lead singer in a one-hit-wonder rock ‘n roll band vibe. (We could have a string of hits, too…I’m just trying not to be greedy.) If people glanced at me and thought, now, there’s a fella who knows his way around a table saw, I’d be okay with that. I’d much rather project an uh-oh, better lock up your daughters vibe than an I‘ve got a question about QuickBooks and this guy looks like he can help me out vibe. Think Indiana Jones or Neil Armstrong or Robert Plant in his heyday.
Instead of any of these, I’m Ned Flanders. Proof that life is unfair and middle age sucks. (Or so I’ve heard. I’ll let ya know when I get there.)
Inspired by last Saturday’s off-the-main-drag adventure, we decided to partake in more of the same this weekend. Our destination? We didn’t really have one, other than a general loop on gravel roads in the Black Hills. A very un-dad-like thing to do, if you ask me.
We ended up in Mystic, an actual ghost town. The place was once a thriving mining camp and railroad town; George Armstrong Custer and his peeps first explored the valley in 1874, and two years later, gold was discovered in nearby Castle Creek, leading to the Black Hills Gold Rush. A sawmill was built in 1918, and by the 1920s, the place was a bustling tourist destination; even President Calvin Coolidge passed through. Now, about all that’s left is the chapel, built in 1930 using logs from the sawmill.
/ history lesson.
Ghost towns fascinate me. Even the ones without haunted houses, like Mystic. There are a bunch of them in the Black Hills, so I envision further exploration in the future.
After leaving Mystic, we embarked upon a circuitous route that took us through Rochford and Spearfish Canyon, eventually ending up in the town of Spearfish for a late lunch at Dough Trader Pizza. They’re what-passes-for-famous-around-these-parts for their sourdough pizza crust, and it’s really good. They were doing outdoor seating only, and…spoiler alert…we wisely snagged a table beneath the tin roof (rusted!!).
Oops, sorry…obscure pop culture references are my weakness.
Only it really was rusted, because when a thunderstorm rolled through and it started raining and hailing, said roof magically sprang a dozen leaks of varying size. We and our food didn’t completely escape getting wet. But the storm passed, the sun shone brightly, and the humidity skyrocketed. And then the cycle repeated itself, as the heavens opened up and pelted us with everything imaginable once again as we were headed in the direction of the interstate.
Fun day regardless, and a very enjoyable evening on the patio, with cribbage and rock ‘n roll and booze and a blazing fire in the chiminea that inspired us to make S’mores. I give the day a 9/10 for sure.
Today marks an auspicious occasion in the history of MarTar. On June 22, 2018, we officially left the Pacific Northwest, pulling out of Vancouver, WA around 2:00 p.m. The next two days were an adventure, as one might expect when traveling 1,250 miles for a fresh start and a brand new life in a completely different part of the country. Wow, that sounded dramatic, but I mean, it was kind of a big deal. If you’ve read me for even a brief period of time, you know that things worked out incredibly well for us and we are loving it here, but we couldn’t have known that at the time and it felt like a big gamble.
Hard to forget a date like that, huh?