Day 15 – Leland to Elberta

The Leelanau Peninsula is magical. I'm glad I gave myself plenty of time up there. I was out of my lakeside camp in the cedars and in the town of Leland early this morning. Seated outside at a cafe, breakfast consisted of an Americano supplemented with salami and goat cheese purchased in Northport the day before. I studied maps and read a few more chapters of The Girl With The Glass Feet as the town woke up. Dozens of cyclists rolled past, either solo, or as part of Sunday morning group rides.

Cycling Mecca up here. Grand views from mostly wide, smooth shoulders of M-22 following the coast. About as close to Heaven on Earth as you can get, I imagine. Too bad for the cars.

The previous day I wondered, "Where's everyone going? And what's the hurry?" as I moved in a much slower space, every moment feeling like I was right where I wanted to be.

Today I realized how noisy cars are. I mean all cars, not just ones with loud exhausts. When I was alone on these thickly forested roads, the woods came alive with the songs of birds and trees. The songs were always quickly deadened to my ears by the approaching sound of four tires with wide contact patches gripping hot tarmac. Gleaming grills punching gaping holes through soft air, striving for the next place to stop.

Breathing and smiling, with every stroke of the pedal, I was happy right where I was. Just this. Just now.

An iced coffee in Glen Arbor. Swimming and washing jerseys in Lake Michigan at the crowded beach in Empire.

Continuing south, I was met with the smiling face of Timmo. He got a lift from friend Robert and joined me for the final miles of the day on his Waterford road bike. After riding solo for two weeks, this felt nice and comfortable.

Tonight Timmo sleeps in his tent on the beach, 10 feet from the water. I've hung my hammock between two cedars halfway up the steep bluff of this surreal beach forest.

Tomorrow Timmo will ride with me to Manistee before tracking back home. I continue south.

Breathing and smiling, Jim

Asana of the day:
Trikosan (Triangle)

Day 15 mileage: 67.79
Maximum speed: 33.1
Total trip mileage: 996

Song stuck in my head:
Ain't No Telling by Jimi Hendrix

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