At 5:00 AM, it looked like we would have a miserable day today. We were in the midst of a major thunderstorm, a huge sound and light show accompanied by torrential rain. By the time we left at 7:30, however, the sturm und drang had largely passed and we were left with a cool, cloudy day and very wet roads. The clouds stayed with us all day, keeping us cool and creating generally pleasant riding conditions. We sped along through agricultural fields and some very pretty small towns. The skies threatened all day but never unleashed the downpour that seemed imminent.
The highlight of our day had to be Yale, Michigan which claims to be the bologna capital of the world. In the early 20th century, the town claimed three bologna factories. Today, there’s only one left, but it’s a big one. The annual Yale Bologna Festival starts tomorrow so, unfortunately, we’re going to miss the festivities. I gather that one of the highlights is the outhouse race. Yes, they actually put outhouses on wheels and race them through town. I’m sorry that we’ll miss the event but I was able to find a picture of last year’s King and Queen of Bologna. Wouldn’t you like to be the King (or Queen) of Bologna?
Now we’re in Port Huron, the gateway to Canada and the boyhood home of Thomas Edison. It’s also home to the Blue Water Bridge, a 6,100 foot span originally constructed in 1938, and renovated and expanded in 1999. In 1938, 61,000 vehicles crossed the bridge. In 2008, almost 5,000,000 vehicles took the trip. Tomorrow, we’ll add 35 bicycles to the vehicle count.
Since we’re near a large body of water, I should introduce Cap’n Blythe, another one of our riders. Blythe is a hospital administrator and nurse practitioner — always a good person to have along on a trip like this. Blythe joined the Navy fresh out of college and wound up staying 30 years. She’s now a Captain — the highest ranking officer on our ride — and in the process of retiring. We’re dedicated to helping her transition back to civilian life. Whenever she says things like, “Dinner’s at 18:30”, we say, “No Blythe, dinner’s at 6:30 tonight”. It will take a while but I’m sure she will successfully transition to civilian life. The question is where? Blythe is trying to decide where to live once she retires. You can give her your advice by commenting on this post. I’m sure she’ll appreciate your suggestions.
Day’s distance: 88.1 miles (141.8 km)
Average speed: 17.1 mph (27.5 kph)
Day’s climb: 800 feet (243.8 meters)
Total distance: 2,946.4 miles (4,741.8 km)