I went to the lake on Wednesday for an extra-long holiday. It was so lovely. There were renters next door, lovely people who were local, renting a lake cottage. I was so pleased to spend some time with them. The days were lovely (most of them) and I loved the early morning cruisers on the lake.
The sunsets (as usual) weren't half bad, either!
And while I was there, I made a stop at Brownwood's general store. More on that one to come!
They have a lovely garden, although most of the hollyhocks had seen better days than those in the last moments of summer. Still, they were terribly pretty.
Rick rode his bike up to the lake over two days, arriving on Friday afternoon. That evening, his friends Nino, Marie and Mark arrived. They were there to do some serious riding over the next couple of days, and ride they did!
Nino and Marie are blind. Rick and Mark captain their tandems and this intrepid foursome took on two 100-mile days (the last 25 miles of which were in the rain.) But they started off on a lovely day.
There were lots of laughs over pasta and it was early to bed so they'd be ready for the second day's ride to Mackinaw City. My job was to pick them up in Mark's van. (More pix of the group because for reasons that will become obvious, once I got in the van, I wasn't getting out till I got to Mackinaw City or died trying.)
Mark's van. He took a good deal of ribbing about it -- with some good reason. The brake calipers were broken and if you hit the breaks over 50, it would joggle all over the road as first the driver compensates, then the van takes over. I've never driven a van, so this was a bit scary. Mark reminded me, "Don't worry if the gas gauge goes from full to empty; as long as the odometer doesn't go over 400 miles, you'll be fine." OK. "Oh, and by the way, the engine light comes on. Don't worry." Cool. I get that. My Toyota does that, too.
So, with a good deal of trepidation, and a pick-up timetable of 2:30, I hop in the van around one (for what is normally an hour drive) and take off. Well, that might be overstating it. I decided to take the old road and hardly saw a car all the way. The few I did passed me because I was only going 42. A nice cruising speed. They were probably faster on the bikes. At least downhill...
All was going well till I got lost. If I went the way I knew was right, it would have been fine. But I thought I'd go the way Rick comes home from a restaurant we like that's along the way. So, I'd done it in the past, but backwards.
Well, I got hopelessly lost and bushwacked around back and forth till I found a road name that sounded familiar. (This could have been risky.) Then it was fine. Until the rain came. I learned that the wipers didn't work. Oh, they went back and forth, but unless one was as tall as Mark, you couldn't see the clear spot!
Well, I got there a good hour late, I was worried the riders would have been sitting and waiting. Fortunately (or unfortunately, as the case may be for them) they had been riding in the rain and that slowed them down, so they only beat me by a few minutes.
I have so much admiration for what these guys do. Not that I want to do it -- I love taking pictures of the bike, but I'd rather not be on one. But boy, the stamina and dedication they have, and the joy on their faces as they talk about the Otsego Alps or going up the wall -- well, I really admire it!
Our weekend ended on a rainy note, time to finish Bob Spitz's excellent biography of Julia Child ("Dearie") and make a start on "The Life List," my book club's selection. Entertaining, but I always feel a little cheated when I guess the end by the middle of the book. Much like a Hallmark Movie. And now, I'm back to the last days of work. My life is going to change.
I think that's a good thing.