Roadtrip Part 3: PoF’s Piece of Pleistocene Paradise

Ask the Readers takes a break for a final week while I’m on my trip. Instead, I’ll regale you with tales from my travels (see Part 1 and Part 2: Alepocalypse). In this week’s edition, I tell you about Physician on FIRE’s (PoF) piece of Pleistocene Paradise.

After a long strange trip with PoF last week, I needed some downtime. Between all of the biking and beering, relaxation was what the doctor ordered. Fortunately, PoF agreed to let me recover at his second home.

We departed Minnesota bright and early and hit the open road. Our first stop was Duluth, a beautiful city on the Western shore of Lake Superior. I like large mechanical things, so seeing the lift bridge in action was a treat:

We stopped in Marquette the next day where we saw this structure. It was built by mysterious aliens eons ago:

We say more signs of alien life at Lakenenland:


PoF’s Piece of Pleistocene Paradise

PoF was awesome enough to let us use his second home. You may think that an anesthesiologist would vacation at a 5,000 square foot mansion on a private beach, but remember that PoF adheres to the principal of stealth wealth. PoF bought his vacation property for the minuscule sum of $15,400:

But don’t let the price fool you, PoF’s vacation home is a little piece of paradise. His place sits on a beautiful, clear lake that was formed during the Pleistocene. The Pleistocene was the last glacier age and the lake was left behind when the ice retreated.

Our girls didn’t want to hear about glaciers though. Instead, they spent many hours trying unsuccessfully to catch fingerlings (baby fish):

The dinosaurs got up every morning before dawn to take in the sunrise:

And the Mrs. and I practiced our… um…

Big thanks to PoF for sharing his family’s wonderful home with us.



On the way home, we stopped off in Madison for an evening. We did what tourists in Wisconsin do on Friday night, eat fried fish:

Saturday morning, we headed to the farmers’ market before heading for home.


Slow Travel

This was our first experiment with slow travel. We were away for over two weeks, something that would have never been possible if I had a job. I still planned too much, but our pace was slower. A couple memories stick out:

    • The PoF and 1500 families like to read. One evening at PoF’s primary residence, we all grabbed a book and a comfortable place to sit and just read. In vacations past, I never would have taken the time to read.
    • At PoF’s cabin, there was a day when I didn’t plan everything. This is highly unusual for me. It was good.

I look forward to slowing it down even more in the future. I’d love to rent some place on the water and plunk my ass there for a month with a stack of books in my backpack, running shoes in my suitcase and some beer in the refrigerator. Next summer…

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33 Responses to Roadtrip Part 3: PoF’s Piece of Pleistocene Paradise

  1. Reading on a vacation by a body of water sounds amazing!!! I use to read two-three books during a vacation week. It was incredible. However, those days are over until my 20 month old starts to get into books. He thinks looking at a picture and then closing it and throwing it at me is fun. He then finds a new book and repeats the process. Book reading isn’t my favorite activity with him 🙂
    Mustard Seed Money recently posted…One Way To Save 5% Each MonthMy Profile

  2. We’re glad you got to enjoy a little downtime at the lake — after a busy weekend on call, I’m headed there today for a week of slow living.

    A quick question: can you fully relax with that surly looking skull staring back at you? I’d be afraid that Todd the Axeman was gonna get me. With an axe. Not a relaxing thought.

    Physician on FIRE recently posted…The Sunday Best (6/11/2017)My Profile

  3. Team CF says:

    A break day or two during a holiday is an absolute must in our book. It’s just so nice to just do nothing for a day and read a book, eat, chat, go for a swim or catch baby fish 😉 Those can be the best days of the holiday: quality time.
    Team CF recently posted…BENL FIRE Meetup Utrecht Edition – Final ReminderMy Profile

  4. Matthew in Michigan says:

    Glad you had safe relaxing time, but no mention of your time in the UP?? I was curious to here your thoughts. Two weeks is a long time to be gone, we’ve never managed more than a week. However next month we will be close to 2 weeks gone for our road trip out to Montanna….with 3 kid’s 12 years and under…..all in a minivan……I hope we survive 🙂

    • We didn’t get to spend as much time there as we would have liked. Besides quick stops here and there, we mostly just passed through. I would have loved to explore more. My slow travel isn’t quite slow enough yet.

      Have a great time in Montana! I’ve only seen small parts, but it was incredibly beautiful.

  5. Slow travel is the way to go. Our family just wrapped up a road trip and I tried to cram way too much into it. Wish I had slowed things down like you and your family. Well, there is always next vacation. Glad you had such a great time!

  6. Mr. SSC says:

    Slow travel sounds awesome! Mrs. SSC and the kids are taking a 2 week roadtrip up to MT with stops planned for the cadillac ranch in Texas to paint some caddies, RMNP, Yellowstone, and more. She’s driving up with her parents and I’m kind of jealous and kind of feel like I may have dodged a bullet. 🙂 They’ll have a month of travel/vacation by the time we all head home.

    I’m flying up to meet them in MT and am looking forward to a nice long stay around there. It’s not as slow as I’d like, but slower than our usual vacations.
    Mr. SSC recently posted…Choose FI Podcast Interview: How we got here and even more SSC household background!My Profile

  7. Brian says:

    Looking good. My wife can be a bit of a drill sergeant when we go on vacation. I have to reminder her that vacation are meant to slow down a bit and we don’t need to have every moment planned. I guess the slow part will be over and you get back in the NSX?
    Brian recently posted…Leaving a Legacy: Class of 2030My Profile

  8. Nice trip, I’d like to take my motorcycle and hit the road. Seems like a lot of fun. Especially when you get to see a lot of sceneries.
    Reading is the best. Try to read every night
    Friendly Russian recently posted…Don’t let your past define your future.My Profile

  9. While you were in Wisconsin did you have deep fried cheese curds with a glass of Miller High Life?

    If not you must return there and complete this ancient ritual.
    TheHappyPhilosopher recently posted…Calling All Bloggers: Help Me Create a BlogrollMy Profile

  10. I love me some Surly. Though I do wish it were a bit hoppier. Maybe my tastebuds are going.

    That’s a pretty incredible sum for a vacation home. I feel like a sucker for buying our new place. We could have purchased a lake house instead and been FI already. 😉

  11. Brandon says:

    Sounds like you guys had a blast!

    What’s the next trip?!

  12. Mrs. BITA says:

    Sounds like a successful first sojourn into the world of slow travel. A gorgeous lake and a day with books – that is hard to beat.
    Mrs. BITA recently posted…Long Term Capital Gains, Roth Conversions and Harvesting GainsMy Profile

  13. Mr. Tako says:

    Fantastic part 3! Two weeks is a great family road trip!

    Seems like your enjoying the newfound freedom!
    Mr. Tako recently posted…Want To Get Rich? Skip The Buffet!My Profile

  14. Awww yeah, that fried fish looks good (and I hate fish). Glad to see you’re enjoying that early retirement life!
    Mrs. Picky Pincher recently posted…79 Ways To Have Fun For Nearly FreeMy Profile

  15. Jason says:

    Sounds like a great trip. Did you stop off at the Dinosaur Park in Rapid City on your way home?

  16. Pingback: The Sunday Best (6/18/2017) - Physician on FIRE

  17. Ed69 says:

    Great slow travel, that is my ideal perfect vacation. Not planning anything and just go where the flow takes you….

  18. redrider_00 says:

    If I didn’t enjoy our second home so much I’d let you use it next summer for a month. We bought it last December intending to rent it out on Airbnb but decided we would only pay way more taxes by earning more money so we might as well enjoy it as a family. Plus it has AC and the farm doesn’t! These muggy Iowa nights call for air conditioning!

  19. Bill Johnson says:

    Seems like you are a regular traveler.
    Where will be your next trip in next vacation?

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