We started out today from Ludington MI. This was a great town right on Lake Michigan. Growing up in Michigan, I had heard of Ludington…one of those party towns you head to for the weekend. But, this was the first time here for us. Our motel was one of the old fashioned small town affairs. It was old, yet a wonderfully refreshing beginning to our journey. I thought these unique motels were a thing of the past, but Ludington was full of them. Ours was Snyder’s Shoreline Inn. Snyder’s still had old fashioned keys to open and lock the room doors, along with antique-ish round doorknobs, and a wooden door that creaked when you opened it. Our room overlooked the lake, so we enjoyed the view while organizing our bike panniers. Which, by the way, I could write a story on in itself! It will be interesting to see if we can even find anything in all these packs, and how long it will take us to actually discover the needed item! So, I am using the word ‘organizing’ very lightly here.
We left the motel in the morning and headed to the SS Badger ferry that would carry us across Lake Michigan to Manitowoc, Wisconsin. We would then ride 12 miles to Point Beach State Park to camp for the night. Ken and I had a lot of anxiety on whether we would be able to even hold up our bikes, let alone push them to the ferry, and then ride them once we hit the road. We have never ridden our bikes loaded down before! Not even for a trial run. Actually, we are more accustomed to flying on our triathlon bikes, which I can literally lift up with one of my arthritic fingers. And, I do have to tell you, I almost took out the ferry’s check-in podium, and the gal working it, in an effort to control this bike! They say when you tour on your bicycle that you should give the bike a name. Ken named his bike Traveler. I could not think of a proper name for my bike until just now. I will name her Honey Badger. Not after the ferry, although, yes, it is apropos, but after the Honey Badger that is my sisterhood’s, the Glamazons, fearless mascot.
The SS Badger is the largest transport ferry we have ever seen. It had a movie theater, 2 television rooms, a store, a museum, video games, a bingo hall, food, a bar. It can definitely keep anyone occupied with one form of entertainment or another for the 4 hour cruise across Lake Michigan. We enjoyed the outside deck for about 15 minutes then headed indoors to stay warm. Immediately upon entering the main deck of the ferry, though, we had met Mary. She turned out to be our companion for the rest of the 4 hour cruise.
Mary was a sweet, warm woman who was happy to have us as friends so she would not have to travel alone. Mary is a Mennonite who grew up in Pennsylvania. She wore a long modest gray dress and a bonnet on her head. Right away, I thought what a perfect person God chose for us to meet on our first day! Mennonites do not watch television, they do not use the internet, or a smart phone. Mary does have a flip phone and recalled how she asked the phone service to remove the texting ability and was upset that they could not do so. Ken and I are addicted to television, our phones, and the internet. All of it makes us crazy, too! The news is nothing but hype, our government is falling apart, social media is disturbing, nothing is real, and the weekly tv shows are full of smut. So, why would we continue to be plugged in? We put ourselves through so much turmoil, for what? Mary knows, that in the scheme of life, only one thing matters, only one person is in control, only one person can change the course of humanity, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ. She is beautifully content living a simple life, without worldly expectations, or burdened down with material things. Mary recited a poem for our GoPro that she wrote, and later sang a song about serving others. She had a 7th grade education, and has spent her 68 years serving others and loving God. Period. Just a free, unhindered soul running the race God put before her with absolute grace. I am humbled to the core.