When I Left To Go Back To My Tent I Could Run The Drawbridge

The Canadian Side Of Lake Huron
Aug. 15, `82

I’m somewhere in the suburbs of Niagara Falls, Canada, sitting in a
restaurant, watching the sunset out the window while drinking a
Labbats Blue. Last night I camped in a corn field forty miles from
here. By ten in the morning I was enjoying the falls. I spent most of
the afternoon walking up and down the sidewalk on the Canadian side of
the falls enjoying the view of both the American and Canadian Falls.

As I look at the map, I am noticing that I will arrive home a couple
days early. Home sounds good, but my original plan was to bicycle the
Georgian Bay area of Ontario, and come back into Michigan through
Sault St. Marie. I guess I’m back on track now.

Aug. 18

Dad died one year ago today. The firmament is a better place now that
all his good energy has merged with it.

I’m sitting on the ferry, on my way to Manitoulin Island. Even
though I began biking at 6:30 this morning, this is my first cup of
coffee. I had to pedal 45 miles in four and a half hours to catch the
ferry’s 11:20 departure time. I was lucky to make it. The last couple
of days I have been heading into a 25 to 30 mile per hour wind. All
that pushing has taken a painful toll on my knees. Biking out of
Niagara Falls was something of a headache, also. I could tell that
finding a camping spot in Canada’s more densely populated areas was
not going to be easy.

While waiting at a bridge that was drawn up to let a freighter pass, I
noticed some campers down by the canal. I still had some biking time
left, but I wanted to avoid camping hassles, so I went down and asked
the guy if I could set up my tent. He told me to ask the man running
the bridge. He, the man running the bridge, did one better. He offered
me his backyard to camp in, which was only a stone’s throw from the
bridge. After I set up camp, I went back to visit the old guy. By the
time I left to go back to my tent I could run the bridge, and I knew a
whole lot more about navigation.

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About bwinwnbwi

About me: Marvin Gaye’s song, "What’s Going On" was playing on the jukebox when I went up to the counter and bought another cup of coffee. When I got back, the painting on the wall next to where I was sitting jumped out at me, the same way it had done many times before. On it was written a diatribe on creativity. It was the quote at the bottom, though, that brought me back to this seat time after time. The quote had to do with infinity; it went something like this: Think of yourself as being in that place where infinity comes together in a point; where the infinite past and the infinite future meet, where you are at right now. The quote was attributed to Hermann Hesse, but I didn’t remember reading it in any of the books that I had read by him, so I went out and bought Hesse’s last novel, Magister Ludi. I haven’t found the quote yet, but I haven't tired of looking for it either.
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2 Responses to When I Left To Go Back To My Tent I Could Run The Drawbridge

  1. Now that is a great lagnappe for the day. Learning to run a drawbridge.

  2. bwinwnbwi says:

    I agree totally–but, not until I looked up the word lagnappe–a small gift given to a customer by a merchant at the time of a purchase (such as a 13th doughnut when buying a dozen), or more broadly, “something given or obtained gratuitously or by way of good measure.”[1] The word is chiefly used in the Gulf Coast of the United States, but the concept is practiced in many countries where community is the emphasis, such as North Africa, rural France, and Holland. Thanks for everything, lagnappe speaking that is. Take care.

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