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Many Vermont natives need a few days in Minnesota to learn “Minnesota Nice.” Exceptions who could move to Minnesota and fit right in were: Liz, who we met in a café overlooking the lake in Burlington; Brittany at the Quality Inn desk (she refers to herself as “A Little Ray of Sunshine” – she most certainly is!); and the Bobbsey Twins, who take care of the breakfast bar at the Quality Inn (almost all the staff were of the Minnesota Nice standard).

We noticed Vermont promotes “Keep it Green.” The Highway Patrol cars are green. One taxicab company uses hybrid cars that are green – thus they call themselves “the Green Cab Company.” They have a statewide “Keep It Green Day” with green garbage bags given out to pick up trash yearly on May 1.

There is a business in Burlington staffed by all females. Their ad shows a beautiful lady winking at you. They go by the handle of “Girlington Garage.” Yes, they are a car-related business.

Cell phone service was very limited in the Huntington area plus some areas along the way in Canada. While driving in Vermont (also Ontario, Canada) all hand-held electronics are prohibited.

Just when you think you’ve seen all road signs, we saw a sign in Vermont that said “Moose Crossing” below the sign of an antlered deer.

In driving through the Heroes Islands, there was a sign along U.S. Highway 2: “Caution: Turtle Crossing.” A real live snapping turtle crossed as we went by!

A campaign sign on a lawn on a reservation read “Eric Thompson for Chief (Northern New York).” Did Eric move away from Clarks Grove?

Coming home on Canadian Highway 17 we saw a lot of blood on the highway where a big bull moose had been hit and killed by a semi. A native told me, if the meat is okay they give it to the local school for about six luncheons of moose burgers, and vegetable moose soup for about 10 luncheons. (I think I believe him but I’m not sure.)

By Fish Creek along Highway 2 in Wisconsin we saw a beautiful sculpture of a walleye with a red and white bass plug in its mouth. I guess they’re promoting a bass plug for all fishing occasions.

We saw a black bear running into the woods by a house in Wisconsin. We saw a female red fox guarding her den by the road in Wisconsin.

The last day of driving we saw five sand hill cranes, plus a pair with three chicks.

It seems that roundabouts have become the way to take care of stop signs, as we saw them in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, New York and Vermont. All of them had yield signs – no stop signs.

We followed the same route going to and coming from Vermont. It was a good drive even though we saw snow on the way there. After leaving May 11 and getting home June 4, Genie and I both agree the house sign “325 Burr Oak Drive” was most welcome. NPLH (in texting, No Place Like Home).

Whether you read this before or after July 4, remember: Democracy is what makes this a great nation! Amen.

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Bob is a retired AAL (Aid Association for Lutherans) agent, currently working on his master’s degree in Volunteering. His wife, Genie, is a retired RN, currently working on her doctor’s degree in Volunteering. They have two children, Deb in North Carolina, and Dan in Vermont. Bob says if you enjoy his column, let him know. If you don’t enjoy it, keep on reading, it can get worse. Words of wisdom: There is always room for God.

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