After the reception, we head to a gem shop in Beaver Bay for our only “tourist shopping.” Bruce would like to pick up a few polished agates, since seeking them on the beach is a futile enterprise. I am distracted by a beautiful display of blue topaz. As I round the corner to show Bruce a ring, my backpack comes alive with the sound of ringtones. We have service, and both of our phones are ringing at once. His is live; mine is a message.
By the time I get Bruce’s phone out, it has stopped ringing. He checks the number. It was his boss. He slowly picks out a handful of smooth, interesting agates, and I choose a topaz ring. We also pick up a few Christmas trinkets, and leave before I do some real damage to our checking account.
Bruce pulls out his cell phone as we approach the van. I check my messages; my cell phone message is also from his boss. I spray the car thoroughly with Renuzit while Bruce calls the office. The trucks on Highway 61 provide background noise as he talks with his boss, who is eager to tell him the department budget looks very good. They want him back in 15 hours. After waiting 19 days, we decide to leave town, and the budget impasse ends in less than 24 hours. We add up the packing and travel time and realize the best we could do is to get home by midnight.
Bruce’s boss grants him a day’s vacation. We have been given the gift of another 24 hours. Eight of them paid time off. We hurry south to catch daylight at Gooseberry Falls.