I was woken at 3 AM by a tremendous rain storm. I took a look outside and was very glad I wasn't camping. I casually wondered if the water in the parking lot would flood into my room, then dismissed the notion as a result of watching too much Weather Channel. That channel makes way too much fuss about every last thunder storm.
Star Motel in Manistique. It proved to be cheap, wonderfully spacious and very clean and nice to the point that in order to protect the carpet, I put spread out maps under Leonardo. However, I am getting ahead of myself.
I stopped at Manistique's tourist office. When he saw me come in, the guy behind the counter punched up the weather forecast as that was he found cyclists always wanted to know. It was 12 degrees Celsius out. I made a comment about how glad I was about bring my fleece gloves. He replied that one should always bring warm clothes to the Upper Pennisula regardless of the season! (Remember, this is the tourist information officer talking. ;-) )
As I neared the Star Motel, as recommended by the cyclist, I saw a circus tent set up near a mall. I gave it a once over and kept on going. I went to a nearby restaurant recommended by the nice old lady who ran the motel for supper. In the atrium there was a sign announcing the Culpepper and Merriweather Circus would be performing at 7:30 that night. I took this in and filed the information away. My plan had been to go into Manistique to see the sights after supper, but I thought I might give the circus a try if I got there in time, which I did. So I went to the circus.
And yet circuses have played background roles in some of my bike trips. One of my memories from the trip in Spain was countless posters for circuses. On the Calgary to Winnipeg trip, I saw the circus-themed "Madagascar 3 Europe's most wanted".
Sadly the Culpepper and Merriweather Circus rather resembled the Circus in the movie before the Penguins buy it. It was a very modest one ring affair. Their advertising featured their big cats prominently. Alas, they were easily the weakest act. The two tigers and the magnificently maned lion seemed rather bored and unimpressed with their trainer. He made me think of Bruce Campbell's character on Burn Notice. After a few rather dull tricks, the cats were coaxed away and the cage was taken down by the trainer assisted by the roustabouts. I was struck by how small they were compared with to the lion trainer. Looking more closely, I noticed they seemed Latino looking.