Dear Friends,


On Friday a number of campers arrived and we noticed more people coming and going.  We learned that the churches from District 9, which includes Berrien Springs, were having their annual camping weekend here. 


Sabbath morning when Mary and I got up it was raining a bit.  But we got ready and went over to the main building at 10:30.  Mary asked if I was going to check on the Diamonds, but since I had woken them up on Friday morning, I told her I was not going to wake them up two days in a row.


It was announced that we would have church first followed by Sabbath school.  I never did hear or see the name of the pastor, but we think it was the youth pastor from Pioneer Memorial Church.  He did an excellent job.  For Sabbath school he had the kids under 12 line up on one side and the teens up to 20 line up on the other side.  Then he told each of the teens to take one or two of the younger ones outside and help them find something natural to bring back.  Then each of the younger ones picked out an adult who was to go up front and give an object lesson using the item from nature.  Everyone did very well and it was interesting what they came up with.  Some of the things brought in were dirt, flowers, ant, grass, stones, mushroom, and frog.


When we got out of the meetings, it had almost quit raining.  The Diamonds had decided to take a break, and told us that they took a little walk between rain showers.  After we had lunch together, we went our separate ways to take naps.  I know I had a good one.  Since it wasn’t raining, we took a little walk up to the main building to see what might be going on.  When we got there, no one was around and then we figured out that they must be at vespers in one of the outdoor meeting places.  While we were sitting on the porch in front of the building, it started to rain a little, and then a little harder until it was coming down fairly hard.  So we just stayed there and watched as some of the kids and adults came by looking a little wet ­ well some looked a lot wet.  The shower did not last long, so we went back and played a game of Rook.  I don’t remember who won!


When we got up Sunday morning it was still a little cloudy and cool, but promised to clear up and it did.  We decided to drive back down to Midland and ride the 30 miles of the Pere Marquette Rail-Trail of Mid-Michigan, which connects Clair and Midland.  We first drove to Midland and dropped off the van, then took the bikes and Mary’s chariot up to Clair.  When we got to Clair I found that I had forgotten to take the little bracket that allows Mary’s chariot to be connected to my bike off of the mountain bike and it was back at Au Sable.  Without telling Mary I decided to use the safety strap to fasten the cart to the road bike.  I even took a shoestring out of one of my shoes to use as a backup in case the safety strap broke. 


The trail was great ­ smooth, 12 feet wide, very well marked, a little downhill and it was a great afternoon with puffy white clouds in a blue-blue sky!  We rode about 10 miles to Colman where we found the only food available was Subway or a Pizza Man place.  We choose the Pizza Man place and had really good pizza.  Jane said it was the best she had ever had, and I think she really meant it!


Everything was just great!  We were enjoying the pretty trail, well all except the couple of time when Jane saw a snake.  The make shift connection between the cart and the bike appeared to be working just fine.   But as we were approaching the marker indicating we had 12 mile to go to Midland, the safety strap let go.  It made a lot of noise as the spokes of the rear wheel ran against the cart’s tong.  I stop as soon as I could, but the damage had been done.  The rear tire was flat because the stem was broken off and I did not have a spare tube with me.  Luckily, the wheel did not appear to be damaged too badly, but I still could not ride with the flat tire.  It was decided that I would ride Dolph’s bike to Midland and get the van and come back and pick everyone up.  The trail ran beside a road, so it would not be hard to find the others.


I covered the 12 miles in about 41 minutes, which is about a 17.5 mph average.  It took me 5 minutes to find the van, since we had left it near, but not at the trailhead in Midland, and then about 17 minutes to get to where the others were waiting.  We had a little rain on the way back and it was very dark by the time we got back to Grayling.  After another Rook game we all went to bed.


More to come…