Day 64

Beulah, MI to Paris, MI
$13 :: notepad, pizza, ice cream
99.02 mi :: 8.02 hr :: 34.2 mph :: 12.3 mph :: 4466 mi

The real struggles are what make this trip interesting. The beginning of the day would bore anyone-I just enjoyed myself. Had a yummy breakfast with Dewey and Sandy. (I almost sharked the bill, but Dewey came back just in time and snatched it away. ) I rode into the beautiful day. Stopped in a beautiful park for a banana, and to get the next chapter’s news of expatriate Jake Barnes’ longing for the lady Ashley. Then a nice conversation with Dad. Then, for some reason, I bought a pizza that I didn’t really want. Read more Hemingway while I ate it.

I didn’t make it too far down the road before I felt the pizza gut strike. I seem to get these sudden bouts of the runs whenever I eat pizza against my better judgment. I was relieved at least I was on a nearly trafficless road. I threw the bike into the bushes, ducked in myself, squatted, and began the ordeal. It was an oddly beatific experience. I felt safe and strangely comfortable in my chosen spot, with the sun caressing the maples and the traffic on nearby 37 seemed away behind the hill. I stayed there for half an hour before I was able to go on. Gently at first, then back to normal.

I struggled again looking for a place to overnight. I started the search at about 6:30. Momentum carried me past some promising spots. The ones I did stop to investigate had problems-A house too close, too overgrown, too close to the road, etc.. I resolved a few times to stop at a house and ask if I could sleep on the lawn. But I didn’t like the looks of the people saw. Maybe I was just too timid. Finally, at 8:30, getting dark, I stopped to talk to some folks at a township house on the road, hoping they’d invite me to camp there. No, they directed me to a county campground four miles away. I didn’t want to reject their advice in their face, so off I went, back the way I came, then to Paris Michigan. Now it was dark. The park was 11 dollars, and I didn’t like the looks of it. But there was a bike path running by that looked very nice. Didn’t have to follow it for very long before the path broke off into the trees, leading to a flat grassy spot. I rolled out the bag under the stars.

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