Day 12 – Journeying Inward

You would think that after riding 80 miles on Tuesday, I would want to slip into my hammock at sundown. But I felt drawn to the nightlife energy of Petoskey and sat in City Park Grill past midnight, eating a very late dinner then logging the day's post.

You would think that after making the big climb east out of town and finally (1:00 a.m.) getting hammock strung amongst the Cottonwoods on Timmo's Back Forty, I would sleep soundly.

But I found myself awake much of the night. Agitated. Was it the full moon, our the yips and yaps the local coyotes? A bigger meal than I'm accustomed to, much later than usual? And what was this need to be surrounded by people, while keeping quietly to myself earlier?

With daybreak, I felt out of sorts. Ungrounded. My head was fuzzy as I boiled coffee water and thoughts roamed the day ahead.

I've been on a dozen or more tours in the U.P. with Timmo and feel a deep connection with this old soul. And even though I've never been to his place, I felt welcomed camping there that night. When I first entered his home in the morning, the first thing I noticed inside was a typed Bike Camping list on the shelf in the foyer. Familiar. I felt myself relaxing. Agitation dissolving. Fuzziness receding.

Timmo was making the long drive up from Chicago, having a two week break in his Yoga teaching schedule. He would not arrive until later that afternoon. I spent the rest of the morning organizing gear and studying maps. And early afternoon I set off inland, uphill, and into the midday heat for a very special destination.

Fun road riding here with steep climbs and 40+ mph descents. At the top of each big hill I was rewarded with a view of another sweeping vista.

Once over these big ridges I settled into an easy 18 mph clip on flat US-31 heading east, threading my way between huge inland lakes.
I stopped at a market in Alanson and picked up a generous bag of peanut and tree nut-free candy and snacks. Half an hour later I arrived at the best destination yet.

As the young adult counselor escorted me into the great wooden dining hall, Kylie's face registered confusion. But just for a second, until she realized this really was her dad standing here for a surprise visit.

For over an hour we sat in the shade of the front porch. Intermittently talking softly, and sitting in silence. Enjoying our presence together. It warmed me to hear of her friends and experiences so far during these three weeks away at summer camp.

I quietly pedaled "home" to Timmo's into the blast furnace wind, stopping once for a refreshing dip in Crooked Lake, and once again at the sight of a lone cyclist approaching. I thought maybe Timmo had made it home and had pedaled out to meet me. But no, it was a young fellow on a classic orange Hillborne touring rig. Billy was riding up from Cincinnati to his parents house, just three miles down the road. And while I was feeling a sense of accomplishment, going for a 40 mile ride in that heat, Billy was logging a 130 mile day.

I arrived at Back Forty to Timmo preparing dinner and his daughter Nellie seated at the dining room table. We enjoyed a macrobiotic meal while solving all the problems of the world. After Nellie left, Timmo and I talked late into the night.

When I started writing this it was early morning, cool with thundershowers. Soon I had to put this device down and I joined Timmo for meditation, chanting, and a long Yoga practice on the deck. It's now early afternoon, sunny, hot and humid. It feels so comfortable here, I'm going to wait until later this afternoon and cooler temperatures before pedaling back to The Lake, then south.

Tonight I'll hang my hammock on the beach somewhere between Charlevoix and Elk Rapids. To my Traverse City friends and family: I imagine I'll be in downtown TC early Friday afternoon.

I'll keep you posted! Jim

Asana of the day:
Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana (Revolved head to knee)

Day 12 mileage: 41.4
Total trip mileage: 751
Maximum speed: 45.7 mph

Song stuck in my head:
Bloodshot by Trampled By Turtles 

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