The road less traveled

We took a road trip up to Wisconsin along with Aziz’s brother Kevan to spend a long weekend with some good friends on their lake to celebrate the Fourth. On the drive down with about another hour or two to go (total drive = 8 hours), it started to rain, and we were informed by our friends already there to “take cover” because a tornado had just hit. We laughed it off, thinking it wouldn't be a problem... until we got off the highway and saw numerous fallen trees, destroyed power lines, and road blockages. Most of the way to our final destination required us to navigate through the woods as massive trees had completely obstructed the roads. (Thankfully, we had our new Tahoe – will post more pics soon). When we finally reached our cabin, we found that all power had been knocked out. The entire town and surrounding areas had been severely affected. Cars and cabins were wrecked, and sadly, two people lost their lives. Two little kids were still missing from the lake when the storm hit. The power outage persisted throughout our entire four-day stay (and is still ongoing).

I had never experienced such a prolonged lack of electricity. I've been without power for a couple of hours before, but always had running water. I wasn't much of a camper, considering myself more of a city or beach person. I honestly didn't know how I would cope with roughing it out. I was thankful I chose to leave the cloth diapers at home and used disposables for the trip. With no phone service, and my phone dying shortly after arrival, for four days and nights, we had to adapt. We bathed, shaved, and brushed our teeth in the lake, manually refilled the toilet to flush, and relied on candles to light our way at night. Sleeping in the heat without AC or a fan was challenging. No phone. No internet. In the middle of the woods, with the nearest town at least a half-hour drive away. By the second day, I wasn’t sure I could endure it. But by the trip's end, I didn't want to leave.

Floating on the lake all day, playing with my smiling baby in the water, soaking up the sun, going on boat rides, enjoying quality time and conversations with amazing people, stargazing at night, no makeup, no blow dryer, no heels—just barefoot in my bathing suit during the day and cozy bonfires by night… it was heaven.

During my road trips from Indiana to Massachusetts and back for law school, I often saw these random little houses in the middle of nowhere. I'd always point them out and wonder who lived there, pondering how anyone could choose that lifestyle. I questioned why someone would want to live in the middle of the woods, far from stores or civilization for hours.

Now? I understand.

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