to Battle Creek, MI

Submitted by Ben on Sat, 08/28/2004 - 00:00

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.

At 1:00 I met Sister Ginny at the Sisters of St. Joseph, who is the founder of the Manitou Arbor Ecovillage, now 6 years in the making.  They have a plot of ground and a rough plan of what buildings will go where, but that's about it: no organizational status, no deed transfer, no floorplans, no financing.  Over the years people have come and gone from the group, some frustrated by the consensus decision-making, others just out of time.

Sister Ginny is highly qualified to start an ecovillage: she has degrees in ecology and at least two related fields, she teaches eco-spirituality at the Sisters of St. Joseph, and she has lots of connections.  The members of the group have all the skills necessary to make this happen... they just need to do it.  I'm sure progress is being made, but it's a little slow for my taste.  [Note: five years later, they have more plans, but still haven't built anything: http://www.manitouarbor.org .]

From there I rode to Battle Creek, getting in around 5 PM.  It was very satisfying to see the familiar landmarks and realize that I'd pedaled all the way this time!  A Greyhound bus passed me just as I entered town, as if to remind me how I'd arrived the previous times.

I had dinner with my friend Keith, who's hosting me for two nights, and went with him to a social hour at Sign of the Covenant Metropolitan Community Church, where I'm an "honorary lifetime member" on account of my contributions 7 years ago.  Looks like most or all of the female members have left the congregation, but that doesn't seem to concern the men much.  We had a nice talk, and I'll see them again tomorrow morning.

Total distance: 29.67 mi

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