We enjoyed a rather marvellous day. Cuppa performed something of a miracle by managing to get me out the door and on the bike before nine o'clock. The day was cooler and less humid to begin with, and given the relatively early hour, we biked in relative and enjoyable comfort.
After doing our 45k/28mi and showering, we ended up down by the St Clair River under the bridge that connects us with Port Huron, Michigan. It almost always seems 10°F cooler there by the water, right next to Lake Huron, and so it was very pleasant there today when the normal temperature around here was in the mid-eighties Fahrenheit, which is rather cool for this summer.
Although I have blogged a bit about this before, in Bean American for example, I was almost dumbfounded by the stark contrast between the two sides of the border today. I counted maybe fifteen cars on the American side (far left above — sorry about the distance), but there were probably well over one hundred cars on our side (far right above). People were out on the Canadian side, strolling, sitting on benches and lawn chairs, enjoying the day as they saw fit. I could see no bodies on the American side.
We have three chip (French Fry) trucks under the bridge on our side (one is shown to the left above). There is nothing on the other side. Consider that there is another chip truck and more people in a park to the north of the bridge and two chip trucks and even more people in another park just to the south.
Canadian kids were floating with the current in droves (see middle above). There was always some group or other going by. The current is so strong that it carries them right along; they don't have to swim; they simply go with the flow and have a blast. There were no American kids in the water on the other side. There were also usually about twenty kids or more hanging around right under the bridge. I photographed a few of them to the right (above), and you can see one boy diving off. Again, there were no American kids cavorting on the other side.
Canadian seagulls were even out in force, but there American counterparts were nowhere to be seen. And I couldn't help but include the picture of the Dad and his baby although it has no relevance whatsoever. He had biked the baby there in the cart or whatever that contraption is called. (If you squint, you might be able to see that he is holding the baby up against his shoulder. How wonderful is that?)
I wonder what the differences inland would have been today. Were Americans biking on sideroad and trails like Canadians were, or were they walking the trails and enjoying the same day in the same way? If not, why not?
I can't explain the differences to any great degree. Yes, for whatever reason Americans don't do chip trucks (at least where I have been) so that might explain a small part of it. But we have several music festivals by the water in summer, and they don't. It's not like the physical environment is any different on this side of the river. They have the same climate on the other side: same summers, same winters. Why aren't they out enjoying such a fine summer day too? What the heck are they all doing anyway?
It's all very curious to this old fella.
(PS: I'm not making any value judgements; I am simply observing and reporting.)