They say that a trip is not an adventure unless something goes wrong. Although no one ever wants things to go wrong, sadly this saying has proved itself to be correct time and time again.
I was cruising up the interstate in Wisconsin, and had repeatedly seen billboards for a Pirate exhibit at the Milwaukee Public Museum. “Arrr!” I said outloud and laughed.
My hope was that I would get my deliveries completed, and end up near the museum for the afternoon and I would go and see the museum.
According to the museums website:
“Experience the Golden Age of Piracy aboard the Whydah, one of the most successful pirate ships of her day, and learn about her roots as a slave ship and subsequent takeover and conversion into a pirate ship in the early 1700s.”
How exciting! A real life pirate ship! There was noting more exciting than being in another country, thousands of kilometres from home, and visiting a real life pirate ship!
Visions of Tricorn hats, women in corsets, and swivel-guns danced in my head.
Sadly, I was too late to visit the museum the first time I saw the billboards for it, and decided that next time I was in the area, I would be sure to visit the museum.
A few weeks later I found myself back in the area with hopes to stop at the museum. Sadly, I worked late and the museum was closed when I was finished.
Eventually, my work schedule, and time off schedule coincided with the museums hours and I was off to visit the museum. I had two hours to get to the museum, and take a quick look around at the pirate ship before it closed.
I programmed the museums address into my GPS unit, and set sail for the Milwaukee Public Museum.
Heading up the highway, I passed by a few signs for the museum, and my anticipation started to rise. I made some turns off the highway, and there before me stood the Milwaukee Public Museum – complete with Jolly Roger signs blowing in the wind! I had almost 2 hours to explore the Whydah! Yarr!
I was in a large straight truck, and there was nowhere close by to park. “That’s Okay” I thought. “I’ll find someplace nearby”
Nearby turned to almost 1/2 hour adventure. As I sought out a spot to fit my straight truck, I got the truck stuck in one parking lot, ran over several curbs, and a small shrub. My frustration and turned to anger as I drove around in circles past the museum and it’s riches time and time again.
Eventually I found an abandoned warehouse with a large parking lot. I parked the truck and heard the satisfying “Pa-Tissss” of the air brakes locking the wheels in place. I let out a big sigh, and looked at my GPS unit and it said I was 1.2km from the museum.
“Perfect” I thought to myself. I still had a little under an hour to get to the museum, and take a quick look around. I figured I could at least snap a few photos and write a travel article about the exhibit.
I locked the doors of my truck, and stepped outside. It was -12C and a strong wind. Looking around at the ice and snow all over the roads, and feeling the chill of the wind, I knew there was no way I would be able to make the 1.2km walk through the city streets and get to the museum in time to take a look around. A sinking feeling came over me as I looked around. I had travelled so far, and waited so long, only to run out of time.
Turning around, I climbed back into my warm truck, and decided to head to the nearest truck stop for the night. This was an ill-fated voyage to visit the pirates of the high seas.
I can only hope that sometime in the future, another museum will host the bounty of the high seas, and display the scourge of Caribbean. For how her secrets are lost to the ages, and the museums short visiting hours.
You can learn more about the Real Pirates exhibit that was at the Milwalkee Public museum by clicking this link.
Yarr, I missed the boat on that one…