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"IN MEMORY OF MARY LOGSDON" - IN NOTE SECTION OF CHECK
AUGUST 23, 2006 – “YES THEY’LL ALL COME TO MEET ME, ARMS REACHING, SMILING SWEETLY; IT’S GOOD TO TOUCH THE GREEN GREEN GRASS OF HOME…”
336 miles of extremely wet road between Harry and Connie Oster’s place and the Bella Vista Inn, located in Caseville, Michigan. That is the equivalent of driving from Schoenherr Rd. and Hall Rd. to Sault Ste. Marie, The rain began just outside of Mackinaw City. It was a thrill for me to see the twin towers of the Mackinac Bridge from the south side today. Bob and I stopped for a photo opportunity and as we were getting ready to leave, he looked at me and said, “Let’s go home partner.” And so we did. The rain was very intense at times, but fortunately there were no major incidence along the way.
I know that I have mentioned from time to time the fact that Michigan has some of the best kept secrets in terms of beautiful coast line and forests and such. Today, that was brought home in surprising fashion. We had elected to follow Route 119 out of Petoskey and Harbor Springs toward the Mighty Mac. That road has just been added to my very short list of places to revisit when time and money will allow. Route 119 from Harbor Springs to Cross Village is one of the most beautiful roads to be found anywhere, regardless. I have been through 33 states and the District of Columbia and I can say that this road is one of the best I have seen for sheer beauty and architectural splendor (yes, believe it, there is more money exhibited here than anywhere I have seen).
The day started out with Bob and I getting up very early in order to be ready to hit the ground running as soon as Connie’s WORLD FAMOUS POLISH SWEDISH PAN CAKES were done. (That was in caps because of the announcer) Yes, I said that right. Connie is so enamored of this recipe that she has it framed – I am not making this up – FRAMED and hanging in the kitchen. I must say that they are very very good. I did not detect any accent at all while Connie was making them, though. Here’s how this works, I think. Connie is Polish. These pancake (French Crepeish) things are a SWEDISH recipe handed down from her Polish Grandmother to Connie’s Polish mother. I believe her Polish Great Grandmother beat the crap out of a Swedish cook to get the recipe. Those Polish girls are TOUGH. In fact, if Connie was cooking with an accent, I believe that it was Samoan, if anything. Connie also plays accordion. She does weddings. You better like Polka’s because she is the only person I know who actually has a copy of WHOOPIE JOHN WILLFARTZ, POLKA BOOK (of polkas).
Breakfast was outstanding.
Harry could go to any open mike night at any comedy club and just have them rolling in the aisles. Now if we could convince them to do a dou act it would be even better. Connie could play accordion and Harry could tell stories between musical riffs.
Man, I don’t want to think about that rain again, but I have to. It rained the whole way down Lake Hurons shoreline. We went into H & H Bakery and Restaurant for dinner and almost flooded the place from the water coming off the rain suits and gear. This place was in Au Gres, but had started in Standish some years ago. I had a good open face prime rib sandwich, but the potato soup tasted like it had been made with Clorox bleach. No, I am not kidding.
We were only going to go as far as Bay City tonight, but the weather cleared just as we were getting into town and we decided to keep on to Sebawaing, which was only 20 miles distant. When we got there, we decided that, since Caseville was only 20 miles away, we might as well head up that way. That is exactly why we are here this evening. This is a good thing because it makes the last run tomorrow just that much shorter.
It is my last evening on the road. I have established a routine of writing every night. I unpack every night. I upload photos every night. Those rare times that there has not been internet access, I have had withdrawal symptoms very similar to those I had when I quit smoking (December 25, 1989, 8:30 PM). As I have written in other journal entries, I have found solace in writing. It has occupied my mind when I had no one to talk with. I have had the added benefit of being able to document my trip for my grandCHILDREN (there kids that was from Mom) should there be more than one, from anyone of my kids.
Tomorrow, my last day on the road, will be bitter sweet. I am ecstatic about seeing my friends and family again. I will miss some of the aspects of the road. I have already stated my list of places I would like to revisit. I hope that the chance comes to do that. I will NOT, however, revisit San Antonio without having someone with me. Tonight, I am sitting in Caseville Michigan, satisfying my need to write, my need to communicate in some way, some fashion with others. You might have surmised that I am not one to be alone. I thrive on being with others and in sharing whatever experience that is happening when I am in the company of others. This journal has helped in some small way to keep that common thread connected with the rest of humanity.
I have found that I still like to write. I have found that, as a good friend of mine in Toronto once said of himself, “I don’t mind the solitude, but it is the feeling of loneliness that is maddening. I have found that I am not bad company for myself.” So it is with me. I still do miss the interaction of loved ones.
I left the house on June 1st, in the rain, with 14,620 miles on the odometer. Tonight I have exactly 30,600 miles on the bike. 15,980 miles have been driven since I left home.
And there’s “Miles to go before I sleep.”
HANTA YO – “Clear the way.”