Day 51

Escanaba, MI to Engadine, MI
$5 :: grocs, snacks, ice cream
100.5 mi :: 7.45 hr :: 29.0 mph :: 12.8 mph :: 3943 mi

Met the first cyclist whose company I didn’t enjoy – a guy from New York who talked too much & too fast. Plus he was fat & eyed my snacks enviously.

Since I was carrying quite a bit of food, decided not to go out to eat today. Also money. Contemplated what life would be like if one refused to accept money. Decided this would be a good way to find out what money is.

Marilee the other day asked what I do to keep my mind “going.” She thought she’d go crazy on a bike for eight hours. I failed to mention books – I like to think about what I’m reading. The current book, “On The Road” by J. Kerouac, lends itself well to lots of small reading breaks during the day. My lunch stop at Indian Lake State Park was the best reading spot yet. They had these individual tables on the lake surrouned by trees so it felt like had the whole lake to yourself. Calm, clear, quiet water – distant trees lining the opposite shore.

Stopped to talk to a hobo-looking guy on a bike. Introduced himself as “Glenn Campbell. Seriously.” Said he’s been out on the bike 12 years, and he looks it. Since his wife left & took everything. He’s getting ready to retire though, when the S.S. checks start coming in November. His mom’s alive & well & 97 years old in Sault Ste. Marie. Says he’s been everywhere, but he likes Florida & Michigan. Here he can collect cans on the road & trade them at a party store for a 40-ouncer. A good 40-ouncer helps him relax, he had one this morning. Hell, yesterday he had five. But sometime he’ll go a week without one, just so. He smokes too, Bugler tobacco, that’s why he’s so slow. Doesn’t carry much, most obvious is a tarp-covered cage that holds his two parrots, Billie & Trixie. People like to take pictures of ‘em, & sometimes they give him money. Billy’s been on the road with four years, he’s got a lot of miles on him. Trixie was wild in Florida, fell in love with Billy & followed him into the cage one day. Billy eats anything, but he likes grass, McDonald’s coffee, and beer best. I wished Glen a lot of luck and a happy retirement. He said year, he’s about ready for it. A nice little apartment near his mom in Sault Ste. Marie.

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