to Battle Creek, MI

By Ben |

A tremendous thunderstorm passed through overnight, but again none of my gear got damaged.  When I took down the tent I found it was covered with slugs, though!

I rode into Kalamazoo and visited a bike shop, where I got a new mirror to replace the one that broke yesterday, and the People's Food Coop.  I had been looking forward to visiting my first actual coop since the Twin Cities, but it turned out to be a little hole in the wall place without much selection.

to Kalamazoo, MI

By Ben |

I left Holland this morning and headed south, electing not to continue following the shore since that would take me back west and I wanted to go east to Kalamazoo. I followed back roads south until I reached the Kal-Haven trail (which goes west as far as South Haven on the coast), then followed the trail into town.

After two free, paved state trails, I was expecting Kal-Haven to be free and paved, but it was crushed limestone and cost $3. Still it was a good trail and got me to the western edge of Kalamazoo about 6:30.

to Holland State Park, MI

By Ben |

I had a strong headwind all day, and the road from Montague to Muskegon was pretty unfriendly to cyclists, so that I was tired and discouraged when I got to town. I tried to get info about the trail to Grand Rapids, which would have shortened the distance to Kalamazoo, but what info I could find just pointed me more toward my original plan, to continue south.

Aug 25: Reflections on Wisconsin

By Ben |

[posted to the Wheeled Migration Yahoo Group on August 25, 2004]

Hi folks! On Tuesday afternoon I took the ferry from Manitowoc, Wisconsin, to Ludington, Michigan. I'm now on my way down the Lake Michigan coast, hoping to reach Kalamazoo by Friday. Here are some reflections on my two weeks in Wisconsin.

Local produce I sampled, buying most of it directly from the farmers: apples, beer, bison, brats, cheese, corn, cream, eggs, fudge, ice cream, melons, milk, peaches, pears, peppers, tomatoes.

Favorite place I visited on purpose: Tunnel #3 on the Elroy-Sparta trail.

to Montague, MI

By Ben |

Last night there was a serious downpour that plastered my tent and bike with mud, but nothing got damaged.  I woke to the sound of foghorns in the harbor but didn't see any fog until after I had finished errands in town and hit the road -- then the fog was thick enough I felt I had to turn on my taillight.

to Ludington, MI

By Ben |

I was on the road at 7:30 this morning, anxious not to miss the ferry.  As it was, I got to Manitowoc 2 hours early, though very tired from yesterday's ride.

I stopped for a snack at a local place and wound up buying a full lunch plus dessert, the deal was so good.  Got to the ferry in plenty of time and checked the whole boat over before it set sail.

As soon as the boat left harbor, I wished I had skipped the rich food on shore...  I was queasy for about half the trip.  But it was still very enjoyable.

Aug 23: Appleton Update

By Ben |

[posted to the Wheeled Migration Yahoo Group on August 23, 2004]

Hi, folks! I had a great visit with my friends this weekend, in spite of record-low temperatures and a bear on the loose. They let me sleep indoors. ;-)

I'm at a Kinko's in Appleton now on my way toward the Lake Michigan coast. There's a headwind this morning but it's been very easy going so far; I'm going to have to resist the urge to go all the way to Manitowoc today because I don't want to wear myself out like I did after my last day off.

to Reedsville, WI

By Ben |

It was a long haul east from Hortonville through Appleton and an assortment of small towns, due to a headwind and my taking the weekend off.

I used my filter mask for the first time today, to pass a field where they were applying liquid manure.  It worked better than I expected.

Stopped for the night at Rainbow's End campground on the west side of Reedsville, within easy striking distance of Manitowoc.  It's a nice enough campground, except the showers are coin operated!  Humph.

Plans are coming together well for Michigan.

Coffeens' House

By Ben |

I spent the day on the 21st with the Coffeens.  I used their Internet connection in the morning and then helped Steve move sand for four or five hours, partly to the front steps and partly to Lynn's new zen garden.  Last night a bear walked through the zen garden, so we left the tracks intact and I got some photos.

In the evening I got the autoharp out and played a few songs for Steve and Lynn and then a few more when Chris and Becky got home from work.