Even in a 10′ U-Haul stuff happens.
We arrived in Manitowoc and got our hotel for the night. We drove over to the Badger in the morning to secure our tickets, before returning the truck, and found out the Badger was cancelled for the day due to high winds. We know all about those high winds, but we were surprised that for a huge ferry like the Badger, they would cancel the sail for them. We bought our tickets for the next day and returned to the hotel for another night.
That is when my calculating mind began working overtime. I thought…wait! We could drive around the big old lake and still be in Ludington today and be on the road to our next adventure, Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky, Ohio. It was Tuesday September 15. The plan had been to head to Ken’s brothers in PA for a few days, visit Ken’s buddy Bill who he hasn’t seen in years, then head over to Cedar Point, which is now only open on weekends (but was still 4 days away). We both really wanted to ride every rollercoaster in the park, and there are a LOT of coasters to be whipped around on. We tried to do it last year, but, ironically, the rides were closed down most of the day due to, guess…high winds. We had both felt so denied, that I purchased tickets for this year back in February determined to get my thrills! But, getting there was all about the timing, and now I was forced to re-calculate…again.
So, the re-calculating began…we could cancel the hotel, cancel the ferry, and change the return location of the 10′ U-Haul to Michigan. We called U-Haul and the young man agreed to change the drop off location. The hotel agreed to cancel our room for the night, and we got a refund for the ferry tickets!! Yes! We were back on schedule and, with a full tank of gas, headed out of town when the young man at the U-Haul called back. Blah-Blah-Blah-Yada-Yada-Yada…whatever…I needed to re-re-calculate.
We would have to return the U-Haul, and then complete a whole new contract to drive it over to Michigan. Hmmm…we drove over to the Manitowoc drop off location and told the man what we wanted to do, but that we were concerned about the price of this new rental contract. He did his thing, and then told us the price would be $550.00. Ken and I looked at each other and sadly agreed that was out of the question, we would need to UN-re-re-calculate. We told the man we would keep the truck as originally planned and thanked him, when he said he had already closed out our original contract! Nooooo…my sad eyes got me nowhere. We pulled our traveling companions out from the truck, loaded up the packs, and pedaled down the road.
Oh! With that first pedal stroke, I felt this joy overwhelm me. Unexpectedly back in the saddle again, if only for a few short blocks to the nearest hotel, immediately gave me this sense of freedom. With our ferry tickets re-ordered, in the morning we rode our bikes to the ferry and it felt like the journey was beginning all over again! We met some fantastic people on our half-mile ride over to the ferry and the sail over to Ludington.
I talked with a guy departing from the ferry, who was also heading home after a 4 week bike tour. He asked me if I knew about the road heading out of Grand Marais! The 18 miler that forced Honey Badger and Traveler to throw us off into the dirt multiple times! He had ridden it, too! We enjoyed commiserating about our experience on that gravel dirt road.
Mike and Mary were Christian folk singers back in their day. We talked about their days in the band, Mary’s stroke, the Badger ferry, and Pilgrims.
Ken O’Shay borrowed a guitar from another traveler and entertained us, while we sailed across Lake Michigan.
And then there was Nick. Another impressive young man who just graduated from college. He was finishing his bike tour before heading home to start his career. We shared stories, and laughed together about them! His parents should be very proud of him!! I told him, once you find work, don’t forget to stop and smell the roses. Don’t forget to live, not just survive.
We disembarked from the ferry and found our car. It was covered in intricate spider webs, rust, and dirt…and was dead as a doornail. Ken found a guy to help us out with a jump, and we were officially on our way home. Not wanting to wait around for the weekend, we decided to pass on our play date with Cedar Point, and left it on the bucketlist for another time.
I have to reflect on this one last day in our journey. It dawned on me that I needed to take the advice I had given Nick. We thought our journey was over when we rode into Menominee and picked up our 10 footer. But, wonderful journeys are there for the taking, each and every day. It is up to us to make them happen and allow ourselves to step out of our percieved security. Because, in those journeys, we connect with others. We can be that person who changes a life, or be the recipient of a life changer. Stepping out also allows God to do his best work. Without the experiences, we cannot change or grow. We would miss God’s masterpieces, like the simple pleasure of seeing migrating butterflies, a swan in the early morning fog, or a moose hidden within the trees. Most importantly, we would miss the opportunity to share and praise those masterpieces creatively designed by our Lord God.
Sometimes, calculations just don’t add up. Sometimes, it’s for the betterment. Sometimes, you just need to let God do the calculating.
Me And Honey Badger In Front Of Her Namesake
The Badger Sailing Into Port
Mike And Mary – Christian Folk Rockers
Ken O’Shay Entertaining Us
Manitowoc Breakwater Lighthouse
Sunset Over Lake Michigan From The Badger Ferry
Big Sable Point Lighthouse – Ludington