Monday, July 9, 2012

St Ignace Michigan has a truck stop with a well-lighted diner open all night, corner of Highway 2 and I-75.

My Indian Trails bus rolls from the St Ignace Transportation center at Nine in the morning. It is east of the I-75 interchange with Highway 2, the blue highway across the Upper Peninsula, sung about by Drew Nelson. Doesn't Drew Nelson have a band called Highway 2 as well as a song? I have heard him sing the song on deck at Camp Blodgett, West Olive on the Lake Michigan shore.

It's exceedingly clean for an independent truck stop, free of ties to Flying J or Pilot. Truck stops of this quality only sustain themselves at corners of two mighty roads. Decades ago, I saw the truck stop at M-59 and US-23 fail and succumb to the bulldozer. I will not be taking Nelson's glory road when the Monday sun is new. My path returns me to the land of the trolls, a funny name I use sarcastically. My bus will go south and take I-75 to US-31 and onward to Grand Rapids. I will be sleeping for most of the trip, although the bus transfer in Boyne Falls will provide notice to wake-up.

The truck stop had plenty of life when I was dropped of by Kurt, night driver of the Kewadin Shores shuttle. He had just dropped off twelve Jamaican housekeepers at a brick house by the Comfort Inn on St Ignace's shore. The group had switched between French and English fluently, and couples had snuggled amorously. I was the end of the line, the runs across Big Mac to Mackinaw City completed until late Monday morning. I was framing a shot of the diner's lit facade and a couple departed the door, turned corner and proceeded to make out. When I found a table with a plug, right by the door, a young man with an unwashed Abercrombie & Fitch look ordered carryout at the counter and gushed, "I was stranded last night on Trout Lake and the police arrested one of my friends!" That's about thirty miles north of St Ignace, a sixty to seventy dollar cab ride, if it came to that. Luckily, a person they met gave them a phone charger and they were able to arrange transportation by the morning. His friend was released from the jail, uncharged. He wished me a great night, adding a respectful sir.

The waitress is an attractive woman in her late thirties, and she wears the glasses of a business analyst. I am, as she explained, sitting where all the people waiting for the bus wait. The waitress had a stack of stories, a woman who moved up here to be single and succeeded. One night, a homeless woman was dropped here, found sleeping on a bench in downtown St Ignace. She had an ostomy pouching system and no money. And she stayed at the truck stop until shelter was arranged and people paid for meals for her for a few days. A released convict was advised by a New berry judge to get out of state. So he hung around this truck stop for 24 hours until bus fare was raised. Patrons blew him to three square. I have no idea where he found a cot. A boy just came in with his diploma and his girlfriend, winning the waitresses challenge grant of 20 bucks. He spent it on breakfast and his girlfriend who waitresses had him leave the remaining eight dollars.

A woman and a man arrived for a late night breakfast. She entertained her man, who drove her here in a Lincoln LTD, by reading jokes loudly from the Porcupine Press. Here's simple truth one: Partners help each other undress before sex. However after sex, they always dress on their own. Moral of the story: in life, no on helps you once you're screwed.

I hear the men's club that sits at table 23 and arrives at 6 AM is a scream. Table 23 is the round table right behind me.

No comments: