Friday, November 9, 2012

Idaho to Michigan

From Idaho, my next stop was in South Dakota.  Along the way I had a humorous de-ja-vu moment.  I was in Wyoming, pulled up to the left turn lane at a stop-light, and while waiting for a green it struck me that the combination of street and sidewalk and vacant lots and shady businesses looked very familiar.  That in itself did not bother me, it happens all the time.  But as I made my left turn it occurred to me where I’d been that made this place seem so familiar.  It was that exact place, 4 months earlier.  I had walked through that intersection on my way to dinner after checking into a motel and parking the bicycle for the day, back in June.  
Craters of the Moon, Idaho.  
Wyoming, elevation 9000 feet.

     On to Spearfish, SD.  I’d been meaning to get out there since retirement began, but let’s face it, it’s not really near anything.   That shouldn’t stop you from seeing the Black Hills.  Very spectacular country, and well worth the detour to see.  Maybe even better when the weather is more hospitable.  Niece Donna took me on several beautiful hikes in the area

Hiking in South Dakota was fun but the weather convinced me that I should be moving on.  I made it to Milwaukee in three days when I had planned on two.  I thought I could spend two nights there and see most of the people I wanted to see, then drive to Michigan by noon.  Reason prevailed and I spent one night in Milwaukee, saw only a fraction of the people I wanted to.  The drive to Michigan was only 120 miles but most of that was through Chicago and it took me 3 weeks.  Well, it seemed like three weeks.  It was more like 7 hours.  I got to the home of my friend James at about 7 PM, exhausted, unable to follow directions from the GPS…  It was a long tough drive.  

Then Friday morning, the reason for all my hurrying.  I finally got to pick up the new bike.  It’s a bike I wanted since they first came out (they were sold out when I tried to get one) and I bought this one on ebay without seeing it, without testing it… sent a check for the full amount and asked the seller to store it for me for 6 weeks.  Andy was great for every step of the way and when I picked up the bike it was clean and the battery was charged and the world is a great place.

The Corn Palace.  I always thought it was a museum, but it's not.
From there I headed north to Traverse City to see some friends in a mountain bike race.  As if to remind me that it’s too late in the year for me to be this far north, it snowed.  And yet I linger…

I’ve been camping in the Manistee National Forest and wishing it was just forty degrees warmer.  I’d even be happy if it was just forty degrees.  But I have friends to see here and I’m tired of hurrying to get somewhere.  So I put up with the weather.  As I write this the forecast calls for temps in the 60s (good!) and thunderstorms (bad!).  As soon as the rain clears, the temps go back to the 30s.  Oh well.  It still beats working.

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