Day 17 – Mears to Macatawa

The devil of dark thought appeared
Oily black stain spreading across my mind
How could he show his ugly face now
In this light journey
I invite him to ride next to me
Offering fruit and sips from my water bottle
Loving kindness to dispel hate
But today he sees my weakend state
And is not so easily dissolved in my resolve
Spear of fear jabs tender heart
His tenacity on this of all days
Brings me to tears of rage
Shifting gears I turn the cranks in anger
Exercise
Exorcise
I churn the cranks of anger

I imagined this last day and night on the coast would be quietly joyous, with perhaps a little melancholy. Bathing in The Lake and breaking camp early, I found myself laughing aloud as I passed effortlessly through the cool air.

Seven miles later in Silver Lake I lingered much longer than expected, wishing for even more time to write, then frustrated with technology's technicalities while logging the post of the previous day. I finally rolled out of town at noon.

The next forty miles to Whitehall came fast and furious. I rode with aggression. And on the old country lanes I experienced a range of strong emotions. Finally in this sparse space tears streamed and dissipated in warm, dry wind. Riding stronger with each mile, I rolled in to town after just two hours and 15 minutes.

More technology frustrations plus a trip to the grocer to replenish a dwindling food supply again kept me off the bike too long.

Frustration and other strong emotions affected me. I felt out of sorts. Lost. And for the first time this trip I found myself off course. Several times. Blowing past turns and not realizing it until miles after the fact. Backtracking. Rerouting. But as long as I was moving on the bike, these misdirections weren't bothersome. Just more miles. And with each passing mile I got stronger.

Still following the Shoreline Tour route I spent much of the day on roads with nice names like Lakeshore and Shoreline. But their namesake lie hidden by homes and industry. Unlike the rest of the journey, I only caught a few brief glimpses of The Lake all day. I kept churning. Yearning.

Riding through Muskegon was disorienting, like riding through any big city is for me. I sailed in to Holland with darkness setting in and found my way to the next Shoreline Drive. Sights set for Saugatuk State Park.

But to get there would require riding the Blue highway at night. Even with a powerful LED headlight and two LED taillights, I didn't like my chances out there. For the first night this trip, I resorted to Plan B.

Tonight my camp is a generic hotel a few miles from The Lake. Not what I envisioned for my last night before turning east.

So I've decided to treat myself with a little more lake time tomorrow. Coffee in Saugatuk. A nice long swim at the expansive, white sand beach in South Haven.

I'll then turn eastward on the Kal-Haven trail to Kalamazoo. Not knowing my route from there, I'll thread my way home, road by road, town by town, breath by breath.

Peace, Jim

Asana of the day:
Balasana  (Child's pose)

Day 17 mileage: 117.26
Maximum speed: 32.6
Total trip mileage: 1212

Song stuck in my head:
Hurt covered by Johnny Cash

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