Validation on the Road

I used to write about the occasional day trip. It seems my world has decreased in size which has greatly restricted the jaunt or expedition.

I joke that my world has a 23 mile perimeter. If you hung around my world, you would see this is more an accurate assessment than humor. Last week, I needed to make a trip to Duluth. If properly assessed, with map and a timepiece, Duluth is well outside my perimeter.

When I was young, my mom used to fry up hamburgers and pack them for lunch when the family took a trip. I’m sure this was out of practicality as it was cheaper than eating at a restaurant. It was also pretty good tasting. I am a nostalgic person and prefer to travel as fast as possible so I also make my own road food. I make fewer stops and I find the sentiment comforting as I get further from that perimeter I lean on so much.

I packed a few apples and a banana-plus my emergency banana. My emergency banana is for use when I get really hungry and have nothing left-bananas are also good to settle your stomach. Lisa had given me a variety of healthy snacks for Valentine’s day so I included that into my lunch kit. I filled my huge thermos with coffee and topped of my water jug.

The trip went fine, I didn’t even use the travel directions from my phone until I got close to Duluth. My route seemed overly rural as I approached town and I began to think that perhaps the office was located outskirts-adjacent. I then took a turn south-headed for downtown.

Duluth is a very nice city but I have never been to a town with hills so steep. The turns were tight and I wondered how anyone gets anywhere during a storm. I was close enough to Lake Superior that I could see ships and docks, it was kind of breathtaking. I am a flat lander and, to me, boats are something I see behind cars or half-ton pick-ups.

I stowed my old truck in a parking ramp. I was surprised to find the ramps had a more shallow gradient than the streets I’d just left. I found the building after walking around a little although I ended up at a CPA’s office on my way to the correct building. When I finally arrived, the person I met with said they could have validated my parking if I’d parked in their ramp. My parking only cost two dollars but it did make me feel fancy to have someone offer me validation of parking. I’ve heard the phrase used on television but never in person.

The meeting went fine and for the second time in my life, I found my way out of a parking ramp. I used a lot more of my phone’s battery on the way home checking to see how far it was until I had completed the actions that would make this week’s column

It takes a little time to recover from a trip. I am back up to speed now and have my memories of the ships, docks and incredibly steep streets. I can also say I was offered free validation but instead paid for it.

2 thoughts on “Validation on the Road

  1. Charming! Thanks for sharing your successful visit to San Fransisco of the North! I love the part about it only being the second time you’ve had to navigate your way out of a parking ramp. What a wonderful life you have. I live near Washington DC and always find high rise parking (and underground parking specially) creepy beyond count.


    1. Such a nice comment, I truly appreciate it! The first time I ever used a parking ramp was just last fall in St Cloud. I had to leave my truck where it was and walk down to speak with the attendant so I could figure out how to use the ramp. I think he was surprised that there are still people like me around.


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