Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break.

Perhaps you have heard of or experienced cabin fever. It is usually associated with too much time in the house or cabin during long, cold northern winters. The need to escape the cabin becomes uppermost in one’s thoughts. People suffering from cabin fever read the travel pages of the newspaper and long for sunny southern beaches. People who live near the sunny southern beaches dread the descent of cabin fever refugees.

Here I am in paradise, a beautiful north woods campground. City folks plan their vacation to spend a long weekend or even a whole week where I am privileged to live for 5 months of the year. I get asked regularly how one goes about getting a job like mine. I am lucky, don’t get me wrong, but I have campground fever.

Yesterday, after performing my campground chores and consoling yet another idiot who packed their tent but forgot to pack the tent poles, I knew I needed to escape. Early in the season a trip to town (3,000 people max) would serve as a change of scenery. Now, I needed a bigger change than the 11 miles into town would provide.

I asked a fellow camp host to run away for the rest of the day. My excuse was I had some stuff to return to Walmart. The real reason was I just plain needed a change. Lunch at Amazing Grace’s sidewalk cafe in Duluth was wonderful. Sitting with a view of the harbor and watching the lift bridge be swallowed by the fog helped me to shake off campground fever. It almost felt like it could be any harbor town in Europe but its key feature was that it was definitely not a campground.

We wandered our way back up the old scenic north shore road of Lake Superior and I felt like a tourist. We stopped at a smoked fish place to buy beef jerky and sugar smoked lake trout. I stopped to try and capture the fog which looked like a blanket of snow on the big lake meeting the big blue sky. My cell phone camera was not up to the task, so you’ll have to imagine it.

Yesterday, while I was escaping, the Dow shot up, there was an earthquake and Libya was still sorting itself out. Most likely one of the Republican contenders said something stupid but I wasn’t tracking them. In fact, while I was most decidedly benefiting from a change of scenery, the world went on without me just fine.

I wasted a half a tank of gas and I don’t even feel the slightest bit guilty right now. I will however, be patient and polite to the campers today.

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