In a world increasingly preoccupied with throwaway materialistic things; where people are constantly busy earning money to pay for those things, or so their children can have those things;
This is the story of my dreams of travelling the world by bicycle. Because it's there. And because I dont want to die without experiencing the truly important things in life .

A sense of wonder and a sense of adventure.

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

5000 kilometres down 2000kms to go.

A special hello to my Russian readers. What's the cycling like there?
O' and to my 1. Canadian follower , I'll be back soon.

Day 42.

Kalkaska Mi, where zombies run camping grounds.

 The day was pretty run of the mill, woke up, cycled 100km in the drizzle passing through the pretty town of Petoskey Mi, and then stopping in Kalkaska due to the dearth of camping grounds in this part of Michigan.


It all sounds pretty Polish around here and when you don’t have a choice of camping grounds you have to take what’s on offer. The Polish may be fair skinned but I don’t think that explains the appearance of the camp ground owners. Extremely fair skinned, skinny to the point of malnutritioned and with dark rings under their eyes. Either druggies or zombies I’d be thinking. I’m opting for the later and was trapped when Adi accepted the agreement of $15 per night with a hot shower in the zombie den thrown in. This is one time I was tempting her with a motel, but she didn’t take the bait. Like a lamb to the slaughter she chose our campsite and then went off to get her shower. I will pass up the shower tonight.  She took my advice of not taking any valuables to the shower den, which will cover her if my guess is wrong and they are just common old druggies. If she doesn’t come back I’m hightailing it out of here before dark.

Ironic really that we should go from Michigan’s top rated camp ground to surely one of the worst. Well Adi is back from her shower with no obvious damage and I am still alive to write about it. It’s still 3 hours before sun set. The mossies’ don’t seem to be biting. They probably OD on what’s available around here.

On the brighter side there are no obnoxious teenies wandering around or bawling babies. In fact everything is pretty peaceful. There are no motorised golf carts guiding monstrous RV’s to their hook up sites. It stated ‘New Owners’ on the gate. I wonder what happened to the old owners?

Zombies lack basic coordination skills I know that so I shouldn’t need to lock the bike. I don’t think they can ride a bike. God why didn’t I take more notice of the Walking Dead movie when it was on!

I’ll lock my bike anyway. Adi has a bit of a cold and thinks she may need to take something to help her sleep. I suggested that she see the camp owners, I’m sure they’ll have something in their drug cabinet to help her sleep.

Day 43.

The poor old Michiganians. The weather in this part of the world could certainly be better. I have seen pictures of what these chaps and chapesses have to go through in the winter and I would be telling myself that this snow and sleet might be bad, and I know that I don’t have any feeling in the wee fella all winter, but at least I can look forward to a nice hot summer and a Budweiser on the deck. But low and behold its summer, Niel the wheel   has rolled into town with his trusty side kick Adi and the weather is crap. We cycled to Cadillac Mi today in light rain interspersed with heavy rain and with the Mercian temp gauge rarely getting above 13C. I would probably have expected a similar days cycled back home in the winter.

So I think I should be excused for firstly, choosing to stop at a McD’s for lunch even though I had no blog to post. And secondly for giving Prudence Prescott, Miss Michigan 2011, the brush off while leaving McD to get on the road again. Pru got the brush off not because she wasn’t a looker. No she was a perfect  cheerleader but because I was cold. Getting on the bike and pumping out some miles was the quickest way I could see of warming up.

Pru also made the fatal mistake of rushing over , getting between me and my bike, and uttering those now very familiar words that I have come to hate here in the US. The same sort of words  constantly utter to me in Vietnam last year, (‘Hello, what your name?). …Rambo, piss off. 

Pru simply asked “Where ya cumin from, where ya goin? NOOooo not another where ya cumin  from.

It’s not that I don’t mind telling people what I’m up to. I realise that they probably don’t get out much, but my upbringing has taught me to just get on with my own thing, don’t trust strangers and mind your own business.  So I kind of get my back up when people cut me off and want to know my itinerary for the next month.

Adding to this is the timing. Timing is critical when you want to know someone else’s business. Ask them once they have had a few rums around the campfire and I’m sure they will tell you their life history but  asking them when they are just leaving camp as they are cleated into their pedals, or as in the case of Miss twin Mt Michigan’s when I’m freezing and want to go, and you will get a short reply.

Later that day I had Mr wobbly Trek complete with badged h/bar bag and helmet mirror ask me from the other side of the road as he wobbled West and I cycled East ,” where ya cumin, were ya goin?” I put my head down and pedalled harder. Adi reckoned he had crossed the traffic and was chasing us, but I didn’t look around and by sun down there was no sign of him.

That evening we checked into a $38 roadside motel festooned on the inside and out with ‘God Loves America’ and ‘The paint Never Fades on the Red White and Blue’. But the price was right, and it was a welcome little establishment where no campgrounds were on offer.

A knock on the door in the morning, ‘were ya cumin from, were ya going”

Piss off.

Day 44.

A 50km dawdle along the cycle way to Midland Mi in lovely sunny weather and then a flat stretch through the countryside to Bay City where we knew there was a State camp ground, with all the amenities, on the banks of Lake Huron. What could be easier than that?

But in true cycle touring style things can always turn to puss. We get to the outskirts of Bay City and for reasons that I can’t fathom now we start our approach to the centre of town before ascertaining exactly where the camp ground is.  Seeing a small derelict shop masquerading as a hardware store I go in to try to buy some Kerosene for ‘Ken’ the cooker.  Not surprisingly they don’t have any although the owner reckons they may have had a bottle in 1952. After mounting the Mercian empty handed, and answering the ‘where ya cumin from, where ya goin?’  he told me we had cycled past the camp ground and it was 10kms back the way we had come.**8!

Adi’s suggestion was that we should get a motel. *%!

How Most People live in Bay City.
Not happy I cycled to the centre of town thinking that the rundown neighbourhood that we were in would not support even a biker’s motel. Unfortunately the centre of town was having trouble supporting a central business district let alone a motel and the only one I could see seemed to house anorexic people who peered out at us from behind torn and faded curtains.

More annoyed than ever and now in an uncontrollable ‘I’m just going to get the F.. out of here’ I cycle East in the hope that the outskirts might have a normal roadside motel.

How they used to Live in Bay City when the Cars were Selling.
Wrong….. By the time I had calmed down we were certainly East of town and not entirely sure of anything else. I told Adi, who was a mite annoyed by this stage that the nice gas station girl will point us in the direction of the nearest motel.

‘Where ya cumin from, where ya goin’

‘I don’t know, you tell me.’

She told us that there were no motels in these parts and that we would have to go back to Bay City and find the camping ground which was now 25kms away!

It’s a nice camp ground but Adi is not in the best of sprits. I don’t know if it was the extra 50kms of cycling today, turning what was a 110km day into a 160kms  or whether it was the sight of the tent again.

Day 45.

Today we zig zagged through wind farms along pleasant country lanes. The sun was shining and at the half way point we even found a cafeteria that sold nice food. I settled for a steak sandwich which didn’t touch the sides and Adi had a very healthy blueberry pie and ice-cream. Taking it in turn we fielded ‘The Question’ a few times and then filled out the cyclist’s visitor book. The highlight of the day for me though would have to be the teams of girls toiling in the fields complete with their porta loo on the back of the Ute trailer. Sugar plant horticultural research.

Sugar Babes        

Day 46.

The Michigan summer is back. It’s hosing down so we are sitting it out in a camping ground that gives cyclists discount , has Wi fi and shelters  due to the fact that it rains all the time. It’s not all gloom and boredom though. We have chubby buggy people to watch as they head off to the toilets or laundry in their motorised carts or big ass utes. We make regular forridges down to the camp store for our fine food and I got to rotate Adi’s tyres about an hour ago.

Hey, we Eat like Kings on our days Off.   Breakfast.


5000 kms pedalled,  and 2000kms to go.



No comments:

Post a Comment