Swimsuits, check. Sunscreen, check. Long underwear, check.
When the kickstand goes up tomorrow morning, our Victory’s nose will be pointed north (instead of south, toward work). We’ll leave early for a week-long ride around Lake Superior. Maybe we won’t need the longjohns, but you never know how warm it will be on the shores of Gitchi Gumi.
After leaving the Twin Cities, we’ll start our circle around the lake at Duluth and travel eastward across Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. We’ll cross the border into Canada (Passports, check.) at Sault Ste. Marie. It always amazes me how the U.S. side of the lake is so filled with towns and people, but the Ontario side is so sparsely populated and wild. Toronto and Nipigon are a long way–even worlds–apart.
The camera is packed and ready to, and my notebook, too. I want to add another book to what I hope will become my “Ride” series. I know others have circumnavigated Superior and written about it. But this will be our ride, our experiences and insights.
We’re excited, and anxious to be on the road. And we’ll be doing our best to stay safe and, as the women from the Christian Motorcyclists prayed during the Blessing of the Bikes, to “remain upright.”
If you don’t believe in God, ride a motorcyle. Seriously. Because when you’re on a bike, you’ll find occasions to talk to a higher power. Take today, for instance.
We joined the Hosanna! Bikers today for the 20th annual Blessing of the Bikes. We met at Hosanna! Lutheran’s sprawling parking lot. Pastor Mike Swecker gave us a prayer and sent us on our way. I didn’t count the bikes, but there had to be at least 100.
We were headed south on MN3, making a left turn onto the Vermilion River Valley Road. A long stream of bikers is hard to miss. Nevertheless, as we headed into the turn, a man in a blue SUV made it very clear: he. wasn’t. going.to.stop. He bore right down upon us and didn’t even slow down! Ralph and I were directly in his path. I looked straight into the cab of his vehicle and his expressionless face told me he wouldn’t mind tiddly-winking a biker or two onto the highway. Somehow, by the grace of God, all of us made it.
“Jesus Martha!” were the first words out of my mouth, followed by “Thank you, God.”
The rest of the ride meandered pleasantly around the Cannon Falls area. The highlight of the trip was the dead end in which we circled around 20-ft. diameter grove of trees and headed back to Lakeville.
Back at the church, we listened to the Daisy Dillman Band (how did I live through the ’80s and not hear them before this?), ate hotdogs and had our Victory prayed over by members of the Christian Motorcyclists Association. Oh, and I sold four copies of Ride Minnesota. Thank you, God. It was a good day.