This week I'm in Minnesota, very north, Duluth right on Lake Superior in fact. Their autumn peak was last week but it still looked like we were landing in fields of gold as we flew in... tops of golden trees everywhere. And Lake Superior can be seen right from my window (we are four stories up).
But I forgot to relate one memorable moment from our other trip out of town 10 days ago to Canada---at the other end of the Great Lakes. As we crossed the Peace Bridge on our way home we were told that our car had been chosen at random for a customs check. What that ended up being was a one hour delay in a large crowded room of 50-60 people waiting to cross into the USA. Mostly families, all Middle Eastern or Indian or African I'd guess. We were in the minority in race and gender--- it wasn't even close. It was quite the experience---not unpleasant but very "official." Everyone was just sitting or standing quietly until their party was called. All I could think about was what it must be like at more militarized checkpoints around the world. In a word: terrible.