On the 20-minute ride downstream to the Wisconsin landing, we stood on the bow of the ship as it slogged its way through the water. Mike commented on the changes he had seen in motorcycles and the people riding them. He had been riding since the 1960s, and he believed the number of riders had increased nearly every year, and the number of older riders had sky rocketed. When I mentioned I had recently read an article that pointed out statistics showed older riders were involved in many more fatal accidents than their younger counterparts, he smiled and said a lot of elderly people also died of old age.
Most of the people on the ferry left their vehicles and stood watching the water glide past; a few were taking pictures. There is something fascinating about a river, the constant movement of the water. Few people can ignore a river’s magnetic draw, and the Mississippi is king of the flowing waters in America. .
When the ferry landed at Cassville, the motorcycles roared off first, followed by the autos. Mike was leading the way on his red Harley. I doubt that old age will ever catch up with him.
Donald Richter’s column appears every other week in the Commercial-News. He is a member of the Vermilion County Museum Board.