Thursday, June 27, 2013

Day #31: A Month on the Road

Today's Route: Traverse City, MI to Luther, MI (66 miles)
Total Trip Miles: 1527

Wowsers! I've been on the road for a month now! That's one-twelfth of a year! For what it's worth, I can't think of a better way to have spent that month.

As you may know, I love to look for inspirational graffiti as I'm biking along. Often times this graffiti appears on streets or on signs. Here is today's graffiti, which I found on the TART bike path along the waterfront in Traverse City.

What do you suppose it means?

And here's a building at a beach in Traverse City that I rode by early this morning. I know it might look churchy, but it's actually a public restroom. Doesn't it look very moon-like and cool and all?

I love the looks of this restroom!

I have this seemingly morose habit of fixating on roadkill that I see as I'm biking along. What kind of animal is it? What was the likely angle of impact? How far along is the decomposition? I was a little disgusted to see this kill on the road:

Really? They couldn't scrape away the carcass before painting the yellow line?

When I got into camp this afternoon, I decided to go through my things and see if there was anything that I've been carrying that I haven't really used. If so, I might as well lighten my load and send the stuff home. Sure enough, I was able to find some stuff.

All of this is going home!

Here's what I'm sending home:
  • Stove, Pot, and Fuel Bottle: When I travel solo, I'm generally of the frame of mind that cooked meals are more of a hassle than they are worth. For example, I'm totally fine chowing down on cold canned soup, or preparing super-simple meals with my water immersion heater. But, with Jake, I wanted the stove so that we could have more "proper" meals. Now that Jake is no longer riding, the stove is no longer needed. Plus, it's getting too hot to cook around the stove, let alone eat a hot meal.
  • Running Shoes: This item was debated from the get-go. I did use the shoes once, while on a hike the first weekend of the trip. My Teva sandals would have been perfectly dandy for the hike.
  • Course Materials: I have a training manual and a few other items from the Leadership Training Class that I took in Missoula. I certainly don't need these items while I'm traveling.
  • Maps: I no longer need the maps that have gotten me thus far on the trip.
  • Hard Sunglass Case: While I'm riding, the sunglasses are on my head. While I'm not riding, the sunglasses are safely stored in my handlebar bag. It's as easy as that.
  • Other Miscellanea: Some socks, some personal hygiene items, etc.

I can't believe I've been carrying this stuff 1527 miles across the county! I'm going to swing by a post office tomorrow and send this shit home. I can't wait to see how much this stuff weighs! Why I didn't go through this little exercise weeks ago is beyond me.

The weather has been getting warmer and warmer by the day. As my campground tonight doesn't have showers, I finally had my first real swim. Hence, my swimsuit is not being shipped home.

Cooling off in the river.

After the swim, I hung out in the tent for some multi-tasking: being modest (I was still wearing my bathing suit, as it was still really hot), relaxing in the horizontal position, beginning today's blog entry, and avoiding the biting flies and skeeters (oh, and avoiding the ticks, too, which were hanging out underneath the rainfly).

Writing today's blog... my hammock of drying clothes watch from above.

After dinner I headed over to chat with the campground host, Tom. We're the only ones in the campground tonight. Actually, that's not true; Tom's baby kitten, Tux, is also at the campground.

What an adorable little kitty! Tux and I played for about half an hour. As I lay in my tent tonight, I'm going to scheme up a way to take that precious little gregarious kitty with me on my tour.

Tom was telling me that he needed to put down his last cat in November. The two of them had been quite close. Tom was so heartbroken when the cat died that he had red tears tattooed onto his face. (I did think it was a very artsy set of birthmarks that he had beneath his left eye.)

Ah, just another day of bike touring!


  1. Maybe the graffiti was actually a Dan Henry pointing the way to umm, oh never mind! I have to wonder if the painted over sweater is still there! Now I understand a bit more about the road kill :)


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