Day 15 may not have made much progress in the way of paddling away the miles, but it sure did go along way in refueling my mind and body. After calling Oscoda, Michigan home for the past 24 hours, I can truly say I landed on a great beach!
After paddling for right around 11 hours yesterday, with a few stops in between to talk to new friends like John (check him out as my 1st video special guest here) it was time to start looking for a place to call it a night. My marine radio kept echoing the warnings of rain and thunderstorms for the following day, so I knew I had to find a spot to possibly stay an extra day.
Well the Lord works in mysterious ways, because as I started to worry it would have to be a long days paddle to Harrisville, all of a sudden a huge beach opened up after miles of coast lined with houses. It was home to the Sacred Heart Catholic Church. I had always heard stories of wayward strangers seeking shelter in churches in old tales from the past, but could a huge guy soaking wet on a paddleboard be shown that type of kindness?
No…What I recieved was way more than that!
Deacon Al, (soon to be priest in a few days) invited me to wait for Fr. Charlie to see if camping out for a night was a possibility. Instead of Fr. just showing the generosity to let me stay a night, he welcomed me with a big helping of humus and cake.
In the morning he invites me to the huge luncheon, where the kindness and support I was shown by hundreds of Michiganders was just overwhelming. A special thanks goes out to Darryl first for his service to our country, but secondly for the ride and generosity he showed to me…all while sharing some amazing stories of his own.
If I hadn’t been given enough love already in Oscoda, Fr. Charlie and Deacon Al pull up to my tent in the afternoon to invite me to an evening of the best burgers, fresh caught fish and brats, with the company of Fr. Emmanuel from Nigeria. It was truly a blessing to have been shown the undeserved hospitality that I found from Fr. Charlie.
If anything sums up these 1st 15 days, it was what Deacon Al said after dinner. “It’s usually the good we do, that goes unnoticed.” It his world, so often we continue to focus on the negative, but in 15 days of traveling, all I have seen from people towards a pure stranger on a paddleboard has been love, and warmth. Their good definitely hasn’t gone unnoticed from me!
Tomorrow it’s back on the water, and I can’t wait to see what Lake Huron has in store for me next!