frenchtown fiber

Chris Mundy and Kate House try to make art while navigating the crap life throws at them.

Friday, July 31, 2009

The Badger VS the Hydra

Kate went to Dorney Park yesterday. That's an amusment park in Pennsylvania. She tells me she went on some crazy upside-down roller coaster called the Hydra, and puked in the flowers when she got off the ride. I can't believe everyone doesn't puke after a ride like that. Unfortunately, I recently had a similar experience.

When Joe and I were on vacation, (It was 2 weeks ago, but already seems like last year) we took a ferry ride across Lake Michigan on the SS Badger. SS stands for steam ship, by the way. The badger was the last and largest steamship built in the US, in 1952. It runs on coal, and there are mountains of it on the dock. The propulsion system of this ship has been designated a "National Mechanical Engineering Landmark." I had never heard of such a thing, but there you are.

We bought our ticket on-line ahead of time. For two one-way tickets and a motorcycle, I think it cost nearly $300. I'm sure it would have been cheaper to drive around the lake, but this saved a lot of time. Also, we get a kick out of this kind of thing.

Motorcycles get to board first. You were warned that you had to bring your own tie-downs. About a dozen motorcycles drove in and everyone busied themselves tying them to the grates on the floor. We were warned to do a good job, because the lake was rough.

Then, after all the cars were on, we were treated to a feat of dexterity and skill as a driver proceded to back the longest, weirdest truck I have ever seen onto the Badger. It had some kind of gigantic round THING wrapped in yellow tarp on the trailer. It must have taken 4 or 5 tries, but finally it was on the boat.

After watching the shoreline recede, Joe and I went below deck to the gift shop. Our main objective is always to get a sticker for the bags on the bike. I was down there for about 5 minutes and realized I was sea sick. And that, my friends, was it, for the rest of the 4 hour ride. The only way I could be somewhat comfortable was to lie on the deck and try to be still. Finally, finally, Joe said he could see land, so hooray, my misery was going to end. I stood up to have a look the land, and WOW I GOTTA PUKE! The whole front of the ship was full of folks watching the approach, so I didn't want to barf over the edge in front of everyone. I managed to run half way across the boat and down to the bathroom and made the sink. Bummer.

We docked in Luddington, MI, which is a really lovely town.

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