11th Day on the Road: Harbor Springs to Rudyard, MI (80 miles)
I was parked at the side of the road, lamenting the loss of my wonderful biking goggles somewhere along the way (and retracing my ride by 3 miles, to no avail), also having just missed two calls from Suzanne, and wondering where in the world could a motel be (aall this at 79 miles out...) when a car pulls up behind me on the berm. I couldn't quite make out who was in the car, as I was not wearing my glasses. Should I be wary? Should I be welcoming?
Closer inspection showed this driver to be wearing a big smile and he had a cheery voice. He was wondering if I needed help. In the matter of 1 minute he greatly lifted my sagging spirits. He pointed me to a motel just 1 mile up the road, sort of hidden, not on any maps, "but pretty good, just 4 rooms..." Then, he said the public library had email! I got both a room and to the library in Rudyard, where I am now. My "angel" was just sitting next to me here in the library for a few minutes, working on his own material...
Well, that is a highlight, don't you think?
I left Harbor Springs at 8:00 this morning, thinking I might get to Mackinaw City, at the foot of the Big Bridge, to spend the night. Route 119 around the lake from Harbor Springs to Mackinaw City (and Cross Village, the home of the legendary Legs Inn, which was not open when I came through) is very beautiful, and largely without traffic, kind of rolling hills, with vistas of Lake Michigan, sand dunes, and the "Tunnel of Trees" that line the road. Rain seemed to be falling ahead of me, not on me, and I was untouched, largely, all day. I got to the Big Bridge in 4 hours and found out how to get across; no bikes are allowed. I called the Bridge Crossing Authority, and after about 30 minutes an official maintenance vehicle appeared to take me across the 5 mile span. A good $2.00 spent. I decided to keep going, through St. Ignace, passing up scores of motels to take a chance on finding something along the rather forlorn back way to Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan on the "Old Mackinac Road." (By the way, spelling is interchangable: Mackinac or Mackinaw). It was here, along the way, that I lost my goggles and came upon my "angel."
I stretched my trip today because I had badly overspent in Harbor Springs, at $150 per night, with the extra night to heal my derrier (it largely worked, you will be relieved to know, so I won't have to discuss it again!). By cutting out one night due to extended miles today, frugality can reappear. I tend to like frugality, usually.
So, after 630 miles now, I am now looking at the probability--again, weather permitting--of arriving at my cottage tomorrow! Not Sunday, as originally planned, not Friday, as I had begun to think, but on Thursday. I will need to alert the newspaper reporter to the change later tonight.
I began this journey on June 18, unsure about many things. I didn't know if I would have what it takes to complete it. I was afraid my PMR would prevent much of an effort and I would be in considerable pain. I wondered if my itinerary would hold up at all. I wondered if I would be able to come any where near finishing this journey within the 2 weeks I had allotted for it. I was fearful of getting hurt, of breaking down, or of my equipment breaking down out in the middle of nowhere. I was concerned about getting turned around on some back roads and losing lots of time. I was even more afraid of getting run over by a semi. Lots of angst, as you can see. (As I list these concerns I am well aware that the trip is not over yet and any of these things could still occur...hmmm). Well, to this point, anyway, my concerns have given way to a kind of brightness and joy. Hey! This has worked and it has been a wonderful adventure.
By the way, I learned while using email at Harbor Springs that the UC Board of Trustees, in its infallible wisdom, approved my appointment as Professor Emeritus. I am grateful for that, but--hey!! doesn't "Emeritus" seem really ancient?!
I hope all of you are fine and life goes well. I apologize for being unable to respond to comments many of you have posted on this Blog. I have very limited access to the Internet on this trip (and at the cottage, once there) and then just a short time is available. But, for all of you who are following along, I really appreciate your interest and support!
Til next time,