Thursday, August 5, 2010

To St Ignace

This was supposed to be a short day, an easy ride, but it wouldn't turn out that way.

I stopped in Epoufette at this scenic overlook along with about 25 motorcycles and their SAG vehicle. I pulled out first and rode by them. One of them called out, "Hey, we're being passed by a BICYCLE." I waved and smiled and yelled back, "Yup, I'm beating all of you." About 10 minutes later, they all passed by and every one of them waved and honked as they went by. Cool. I found this little gem of a cafe a few miles later. The breakfast was good, but the best part was homemade thick-sliced toast and homemade strawberry freezer jam. Dick caught up with me here and I told him he at least had to have toast and jam before he rode on - ahead of me. He'd already had a big pot of oatmeal but he still had a little room left. It was 28 miles to St Ignace and he rode on - ahead of me - which would turn out to be a mistake. Another negative was that his cell phone had little if any charge left.

In another 10 miles, I had a flat tire (#3). I called Dick, left a message knowing he probably wouldn't check his phone until he got to St Ignace. I started walking. I had a good tail wind and it was sunny but cool. There were a lot of people on this stretch of beach. At one point a man came up to me and said, "Look at this." It was a radar image on his smart phone, then he pointed behind me and said, "You don't want to be caught in this. You need to take cover before it gets here. I see you have a flat tire, and I'd help you, but I have my dog with me."

There was absolutely no place to take cover. I walked on, the storm got closer, everyone had left the beach, it started to sprinkle then rain, I started to cry, but I kept on walking. And then . . . an angel showed up. Ed Kovassos pulled over and offered me a ride. We loaded my bike into the back of his pick up and he drove me all the way into St Ignace to the campground. I was so grateful, his kindness was so appreciated.

Dick called and came to Straits State Park where we would camp tonight, fixed my flat, and gradually I began to calm down. Crisis averted. Our campsite had a great view of the bridge which links Upper and Lower Michigan. No bicycles are allowed, but cyclist can contact the bridge authority, and for a $2 fee, a bridge worker will haul you and your bike across the bridge. But we're not going to do that, we have a different plan for tomorrow.

We met our camping neighbors: (L-R) Alex, Nick, Donna, and Jamie from Cleveland Ohio. After dinner, they invited us over to their campfire. Jamie made us each a delicious s'more. This was a perfect end to a big day.

Thank you to all the angels we met today. Your kindness made such a difference!

Miles completed = 2943

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