John and Diana are traveling around the country with a 37-foot RV and an 18-year-old cat. This is their story.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
We are now parked near the shore of Lake Huron, in Mackinac city. In the distance is Mackinac Bridge. We plan to take a ferry to Mackinac Island tomorrow. The heat wave that currently covers the mid-section of the states does extend this far- heat advisories have been issued. I took a dip in the lake shortly after we arrived here, and the lake water is very pleasantly cool. John and I went on a bike ride last evening over the Pere Marquette Rail-Trail from Clare to Farwell and, even though it was early evening, we did get a bit over-heated. Still, that part of the trail is quite beautiful with an abundance of wildflowers at this time of the year and the discomfort of feeling a bit warm was worth it! Before I close here I would like to write about a man I met last Saturday at the laundromat. His name is Larry the Cane Maker, a title which he is quite proud of. He first caught my attention because of his appearance, a rather short man with long scraggly hair and an equally long sparse red beard. He had a porkpie hat on, which he wore backwards. He was clad in a back vest and pants which were adorned with silver and turquoise. He had a bit of a limp and walked with a cane which was as ostentatious as the clothes he wore. It also was adorned with silver bling, and an antler served for the handle of the cane. Larry informed me that he had 40 other unusual canes in his camper which he also had made (I later learned that the small old rusted camper is the home of this man and his dog - he has no money to travel very far in the camper because his only income is a disability check). Larry went back to his camper and brought out a beautifully finished cane, which he called his pirate's cane. It was a very unique cane complete with a skull and gems which lit up when Larry pushed on them. He informed John and I that the cane could be smoked and the smoke would come out of the skull. On the lower end of the cane was a bowl for the tobacco. John thought it was a work of art, and could be sold for a fair amount of money. Larry acted surprised to hear that and indicated that he had not given much thought to selling any of his canes. He also would not give John any clue as to how he made the pirate cane because that was his "proprietary secret". Larry shared a lot with me regarding his personal life which I found quite interesting. John and I in our travels often encounter similar people who are living hand to mouth; we often wonder what brings them to live the way they do. After meeting Larry I have come to a new appreciation of his ilk.