10th Day on the Road: Resting in Harbor Springs
I am writing this entry, one of the few I've been able to write directly due to inaccessibility of Internet. Suzanne has been taking notes over the phone for all the rest and doing a wonderful job! Thanks, Suzanne!!
Today I grounded myself in Harbor Springs, Michigan. I have a flaming "saddle sore," and am generally kind of tired, so it seemed OK/necessary to take this step. Besides, Bob Wilson advised me to spend some time in this town (and in Ionia, Michigan, a previous stop of mine), so what choice did I have, anyway? I'm using Neosporin and First Aid Cream and resting, watching the Brazil-Ghana and the France-Spain World Cup matches, and the Weather Channel...
This morning I went to breakfast at a spot recommended by our neighbor, Buzz, which is "The Anchor." Sort of like "The Echo," in Cincinnati, he told Suzanne. It was wonderful, and Jessica, my waitress, was helpful telling me where to find Internet in town. I took a picture to be shared later.
Rest of the day I laid low, trying to rest and heal. Finally emerged to pick up my developed pictures, from Ohio to just south of here, and to write this Blog entry. Great pictures of Suzanne and Pete, and Chuck and other sites -- including Walter Alston's home way down in Darrtown... Somehow, very regretfully, I did not get a picture of Doug, but hope he stops by at the cottage later in July....we can make amends.
I had to buy safety pins to tighten up my pants, as I seem to be shrinking during this trip. Yes, I am eating, but burning around 4000 calories a day.
Once again, I got my biking clothes washed today at the hotel (well, it does cost $150 per night!). So, this should help my rear end problem (sorry!), with bacteria from sweaty biking pants.
The other day I provided a listing of some activities common to many small towns in the Summer. Now that I am presently in the "French Riviera" (my term) of Northern Michigan, here are some others: 44 golf courses (some 20 or so that are public), chamber music, opera, festival concerts, vesper concerts, juried art shows, Trillium Festival, soccer tournament, car show, Summer Solstice Art Show, salmon derby, jazz weekend, yacht race, summer theater, and many more. So, one can see how balance can occur in the world...
For dinner, to save some $$, I bought a bottle of cheap red wine, some cheese, and got an apple from the motel. Another form of balance, for the motel cost...
ABOUT ST. JOSEPH ISLAND...
Now, I want to conclude for today by saying something about my destination of this trip, St. Joseph Island, where we have our family cottage. Why would I travel some 750 miles by bicycle to go there?
Well, St. Joe is the opposite, I suppose, of where I am now (not that there is anything wrong with that!). It is basic, simple, harkening back to an earlier time. For those needing or wanting alot of external stimulation, other than from nature, this would not be the place to come.
I happened upon the Island in 1973 on my way to a 3-week NTL training experience in Bethel, Maine. Totally by chance. One thing led to another, as it can sometimes (Al Dye holds that my life has been one series of accidents), and I wound up buying a Lot in the Military Reserve about 5 miles from Richards Landing by putting down $50 and then paying off over a few years. Bob Courtney was the owner and we have been good friends with Bob and Jennifer and their families ever since. Then I met Lynn the next Fall at ISU and the rest is history (this is a very shortened account!). We cleared the land, had Donnie Adams put up a structure in 1976 (the same year my sister, Julie, and her husband, Bernie, trucked our old 1959 Thunderbird boat out to us from Upstate NY). We will celebrate these two events, as well as my retirement from UC, on July 15. Lynn and I were married on the back "lawn" (I use that term loosely) in 1980. Our children, Suzanne and Zack, and our dogs (sorry) Luvie, Roscoe, and now Lucy, all love this place. In fact, Suzanne and Zack have been drawing up plans for years now about how they might enhance it--there is, indeed, alot of room for enhancement but we are doing well, all the same.
But, what does the Island mean to me? To me, and all my family, it is the touchstone of our lives. Full of blood, sweat, tears and some $$. And good Island friends. Peace. Beauty. Simplicity. Cool weather. Lwelleyn Beach chapel and friends there.
So, I thought I might honor St. Joseph Island, in my way, by bicycling from my front door in Cincinnati to my cottage front door (232 Military Trail) on this trip.
I now expect to arrive, butt and weather permitting, on Friday, June 30 (what would be my Father's, who died at 49 years of age, 90th birthday). To you, too, Dad, goes this journey....
Love to all,