The Bay Of Green

Journey to the Big City

During my stint living in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, there were two outings that could be considered a “trip to town” and a day’s drive: Marquette to the north, and Green Bay, Wisconsin, to the southwest. Marquette offered little in those days, and it wasn’t so much an outing as a longer trek to any options outside of the Air Force offerings. Green Bay offered slightly more facilities and offerings, but not enough to really dub it a “big city.”  The indirect route to the shore-side site shared it’s local broadcasts with those of us eking out a living in the UP, but even the commercials professed the dimwittedness to which they were appealing.

Nevertheless, I took two journeys of note to the Wisconsin city – one of only three larger than 100,000, which by the state’s standard makes it a “big city.” The route includes skirting along the north shore of Lake Michigan, where we did stop for a snapshot with Son Number One with the waterway as a backdrop (see OMES from March 2021). Excursion uno focused on my first car purchase: a brand new Saturn SL1 in the lovely shade of darkish blue (see Learning To Fly from April 2022).  The second day trip, with another couple even, included a film fest that may have been less of a fest and more of a matinee. To quote the film, we’re not worthy.

Pack It In

To say I only went to Green Bay for excitement and adventure would be untrue.  It lies on a completely non-direct route between KI Sawyer Air Force Base and relatives in Central Illinois.  Whether you want to or not, you pass through the city straddling the Fox River along Interstate 41 on your journey. A fairly direct route requires swerving through Milwaukee at best (either that, or a hacked up route on a variety of U.S., state, and county roads).  You certainly can’t avoid the scenic view of Lambeau Field where the mighty Packers defend their turf every autumn.  It’s a fun-filled road trip that really packs in the highlights (see Joe Vs. The Wicker Furniture from May 2013).

I’ve never possessed any fondness either way for the Packers until I served time up north.  I preferred other NFL teams, possessing greater knowledge of most, leaving the green and cold a tad off my radar screen.  My education grew from the local broadcasts we received, including the fan who proclaimed on a news report about the team’s classic rivalry that, “…da Bears er gunna loose.”  Partnered with the off-season (ahem, year-round) ads that included a stereotypical husband assuming his couch potato stance while hollering at his wife to keep the dog quiet (it might have been to keep the kids quiet, now that I think about it), I may have been unduly influenced to presume the fan base may have been a bit blue-collar-esque, with a hint of misogyny.  Pack it in, folks. I’ve seen all I need of the Wisconsin “big city.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: