DAY 3: Blue Water Ramble

The Blue Water Ramble is an annual cross-border bicycling event. I rode it in 2000 and 2001. In each instance, we rode from St. Clair High School to Algonac, Michigan, then took a ferry across the St. Clair River. Then after riding all day in Ontario, we crossed the river again on a ferry from Sombra, Ontario to Marine City, Michigan. In 2001, it was gray, cold, rainy and windy. This year is was merely cold and windy. Though the temperature reached 53 degrees, the wind and humidity rising from the river, made it seem much colder. Thinking it was going to be warmer, I had elected to leave my full-fingered gloves, hat and waterproof socks in my hotel room. Riding with Larry (the banana), Roger and Pat ,and several others from the Lansing area, we had a great time, but Wendell and I were tired and cold enough to settle for a forty mile day. It actually worked out to be fifty miles, by the time I got back to the hotel.


Larry in his "big banana" body sock


Roger (note shower cap)

Roger at the St Clair River

Roger and Wendell in Algonac

ore boat passing the St Clair Inn

Another ore boat (click on photo for enlargement)

Wendell and Kathi went back to KOA. I took the afternoon to work on this journal. Days one and two worked just fine. When I reached day 3, I was not able to get the card reader to see any of the day 's photos. Though I was able to see them on the camera, the file containing them when downloaded to my laptop was shown to be empty. Logging onto the Internet and searching the card-maker's website, I discovered that premature ejection of the card is known to cause memory card directory damage that makes downloading impossible. I don't believe that I ejected the card improperly, but the directions were poor and there may have been an incompatibility with my operating system. What I thought of as a solution was apparently not. My 128 Mb memory card was now inaccessible and possibly ruined. Without another solution, I couldn't take any more pictures.

Tired of big meals, I decided to head to the hotel bar for a burger. The band that was playing rock music all looked older than me. I was glad when they took a break. Looking around the room, with the exception of the waitress, in her twenties, and the bartender, around 50, everybody looked older than me from my perspective. One regular was talking to another regular at the bar about people they knew with drinking problems. The one fellow had "recovered" from a drinking problem and cirrhosis of the liver, but was in the bar nursing a Bud. He said that he wanted to live thirteen more years to reach 80. The other man explained how he had struggled to walk across the room due to his smoking addiction and breathing disorders, but showed off his inhaler to prove he had conquered the problem. He too was nursing a Bud. I had estimated him to be about 70. He announced that he was 53 and then in response to the other man's expressed desire to live to be eighty, exclaimed "why would anybody want to live that long?"

Looking at the folks crossing the St. Clair River today on the ferry in the Blue Water Ramble today, I saw several riders in their seventies and eighties. They appeared much younger than the two fellows in the bar. While most of the people my age have suffered the ravages of disease or serious injury, and it is clear that behavior is not the only factor in the aging process, the two fellows in the bar brought home the importance of healthy living.

50 miles

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