Three days ago, we packed up the campsite and loaded up both the camper and the ever-fashionable mini van, finally departing in a fabulous caravan of five bikes on the roof of a van trailing a slightly grubby but well-loved pop-up camper. We left the Holland State Park and drove three hours, arriving at the Petoskey State Park, where we disembarked and reset our campsite.
Upon discovering the undeniable presence of a ghastly horde of mosquitos, we found brief sanctuary in a Greek restaurant. Ergo, I discovered a previously dormant affinity for fried fish, Lake Perch, which happened to be the daily special.
In the following days, we became used to the buggy campsite — mostly because we spent much of our time exploring on our bicycles. We decided to bike from Petoskey to Charlevoix and back, which is about a 45 mile trip. Charlevoix is lovely as ever — partly because the inhabitants generally accepted our spandex-clad presence in every bookstore in town. (Side note: I read part of a magazine about Bob Marley in one of the aforementioned bookstores while my family was browsing, and from what I gather, “Tuff Gong” would have accepted us too.)
Anyway, I would also like to apologize here to my Strava followers: while on vacation, it seems that the little mental switch in my head that says “your bike ride hasn’t started until Strava says so” is malfunctioning or merely works while connected to wifi. In other words…I haven’t really used Strava during my rides, or have forgotten to hit “record” until halfway through. I promise I’ve been getting in more mileage than I have logged on there — training for the big ride and the looming RAIN ride is still in full swing!
Back to the timeline: the day after our 45 mile ride, we decided to take a rest day and explore nearby Petoskey and Harbor Springs. We decided to visit a bookstore (because on vacation if you’re not biking, you’d better be reading) and I quickly got lost in some book, stopping only occasionally to sheepishly glance at the front counter and hope the proprietor didn’t notice just how long I’d been sitting there making free use of his merchandise. Wholly engaged in my illicit activities, I paid no mind to the pursuits of my little sister. However, outside the store, I walked into a ten-year-old completely incapable of containing her excitement: Zoe proceeded to give me a carefully wrapped journal (in red, of course. Burgundy, to be exact. Zoe pays attention to everyone’s favorite color.) She specifically instructed that this journal was to be used for Bethanywhere; she had chosen one that would neatly fit inside a jersey pocket. Of course, I was very touched, knowing that Zoe didn’t have very much money to spend, and she had chosen to make her vacation treasure a gift for me.
I have a few plans for the journal (all Bethanywhere related, of course) but I shan’t put them on here because I suspect that Zoe might find them. But it shall most definitely be put to good use.
And on that note, I must say goodnight, because I need to go to bed for a very important day of laundromats and more bike riding tomorrow.
Thanks to everyone again for reading,
P.S. Because we’re used to the splendid view that is cornfields back in Indiana, we’ve gone rather overboard in photographing everything in beautiful Michigan. Here are a couple of our best shots: