After breakfast this morning, I packed up my things and was eager to hit the road. I said goodbye to 'Becca and went to church at the UU church southwest of town. The congregation was not particularly welcoming during the coffee hour, but as soon as I was out in the parking lot with my rig they had a thousand questions. Fortunately it takes me a long time to put on my sunblock.
I hung out at Bill & Anne's this morning while they got ready to leave for Worldcon, then headed into downtown around noon. I ran some errands, then hung out at the library for most of the afternoon.
I woke this morning to find that a heavy dew had undone all of yesterday's careful drying. I knew it would be a short ride into Ann Arbor, so I got coffee and waited for the sun to rise and dry the tent again. Got on the road around 10:00.
The ride into Ann Arbor was fairly quick and uneventful; I got in a little after 3. Stopped to use a phone book and was able to get my bearings very easily; found a library, a bookstore, and a photo shop to make some postcards, and I still got to the Murphys' house early.
I was pleased to have found tonight's campground while I was doing research at Keith's... it's a private campground right next door to W.J. Hayes State Park, which my DeLorme's Gazetteer notes is in the "Scenic Irish Hills" and has hiking trails. I called the campground from Battle Creek, and they said they'd charge me $17 a night, which is a bargain by Michigan standards. So that's part of why I went so far yesterday: to get closer to tonight's stop so I'd have time to hike.
I headed southeast out of Battle Creek toward a campsite I had called yesterday and found to be $18 a night for tents, which is cheap by Michigan standards. However, I got there by 2:00 and decided to keep riding to another place that also looked good. I figured if it was too expensive, I'd just keep going all the way to where I planned to stop tomorrow night ($17) and spend two nights there instead of one.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.