CUMBERLAND, WISCONSIN – We nearly hit a deer today.
He stood by the side of the road. He seemed to wait for us to get closer, and then just as we neared, he jumped in front of us as if he wanted to make us crash.
Luckily, I saw him early, and I anticipated that he’d jump in front of us. So we easily avoided an accident…
Greetings from rural Wisconsin.
Seven weeks ago, my family broke quarantine and hit the road to explore America in a camper. We’ve visited 11 states so far. We’re currently in Wisconsin. Next stop: Minnesota.
The best thing about this trip – and the thing that differentiates it from any other trip we’ve done – is the people we meet.
We’ve been to many countries and met a lot of people, but I can say, hands down, Americans are the MOST generous, hospitable people in the world.
Last night, for example, we were invited to dinner with the campers in the next site over. They cooked a feast of wild rice hamburgers, twice-baked potato salad and freshly baked cookies.
We all had a great time. They wouldn’t let us bring anything, despite our protests. Not even dessert or a bottle of wine.
Tonight, we’re being hosted by Mark and Terri in a small town called Cumberland, Wisconsin. They’ve invited us to sleep in a log cabin they own on a lake.
“Summer on a lake in Wisconsin is one of the best places in the world to be,” says Mark.
Here we are, taking a sunset cruise on Mark’s pontoon boat, testing Mark’s hypothesis. I’d say he has a point…
Penny takes the wheel on our Wisconsin sunset cruise
Most Generous People in the World
Everywhere we go, people invite us into their houses… invite us to share meals with them… invite us to camp on their property… invite us to roast marshmallows with them around the campfire… invite our kids to play with their kids… invite us to tour their surroundings…
We’ve been shown such amazing hospitality that I’m a bit ashamed of how much we’ve been “mooching” on the kindness of strangers lately.
But I also think it’s important to share with you… and to document… the generosity we receive.
It’s a juxtaposition to all the hate and anger we see on the television and on the internet.
And it’s a reminder to how much kindness and generosity there is in America in 2020, despite what the media and politicians would have us believe.
And of course, we try to “pay it forward” however we can by spending money in the small towns we pass through… tipping generously… and one day, when we have our own place, we’ll keep our doors wide open to strangers as people have done to us over the last seven weeks.
Hurt by the COVID-19 Lockdowns
On the road today, we spotted some vintage diesels by the side of the highway, so we pulled over to investigate.
(As longtime readers know, I love the railroad and we stop anytime we spot a train.)
It was a short line railroad called the Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad. They’re closed due to the COVID-19 lockdown, but the manager gave us a tour of the railroad equipment in the yard.
We saw dining cars and sleeping cars, and even a first-class lounge car from 100 years ago.
It had leather armchairs, framed photographs on the wall, and wood panels. A relic from a time when aristocratic Americans traveled by rail in luxury.
Like I mentioned, this railroad has been another victim of COVID lockdowns.
“We were taking 150 passengers a day on our railroad, seven days a week,” said the manager. “We were so busy, we had to increase our number of services. But COVID shut us down.
“We’ve lost a lot of money this year. My boss still didn’t fire any staff though. He sent everyone home with full pay. He also refused to accept any help from the government even though he could have.”
Here we are…
Checking out the Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad
– Tom Dyson
P.S. Here’s the next Dyson Family video… Please keep sending us your feedback (at [email protected]) and we’ll keep improving them!
One reader asks Tom for tanker updates… and about investing… and another kind reader offers the Dyson family a place to stay in South Dakota…
Reader comment: I read your daily postcards but would like to see you give us progress reports on the tanker stocks and your thoughts on the gold positions you recommended, as well as any new ideas that are worth exploring. Your reasons for $10,000 gold were encouraging.
Reader comment: Tom, I really enjoy reading your daily Postcards From The Fringe. I actually feel like I am traveling with your family. Question: The four tanker stocks are down a fair amount over the past week. In your opinion, is this an opportunity that we should use to add to our position, or would you suggest that we step back and exercise caution? Thanks for your thoughts.
Tom’s response: The tanker thesis hasn’t changed. I will update tankers in a video recording I’m preparing to do next week for Tom’s Portfolio subscribers. Stay tuned.
Reader comment: Traveling west through the Dakotas can be pretty boring; however, swinging a bit south can make the journey a bit more varied. Highway 50/44 through southern South Dakota or highway 12 through northern Nebraska are both scenic and interesting drives through the Missouri River breaks to the buttes region, onto the sand hills and then Pine Ridge/badlands region. From there, it’s a horizon view of the mountains of the Black Hills.
Reader comment: I invite you to set up camp or just stay with us in our big log house in eastern SD. You’d be out in the middle of nowhere, except you’d hear more bird and animal noises than you’d think possible. Maybe could even let the kids drive the tractor – could even be horses involved if my wife is inclined. The invitation is standing. If you are unable no worries – it’s a great trip you and your beautiful family are on!
Reader question: Tom, I’ve sent you several messages and my concern is still the same! I’m 77 and looking to buy AU for the first time in my life. Can you give me some direction?
Tom’s response: I’m sorry I haven’t addressed your emails before now. We’ve been so busy on the road – and we have such little access to Wi-Fi – I’ve let my inbox overflow with emails. I’m preparing to do a video message addressing all investment-related questions next week for Tom’s Portfolio subscribers. Stay tuned.
And as always, please keep sending us your questions and comments to [email protected]. I read every one you send us, even if I can’t comment on it right away.