Distance from St. Charles to Niles via bike: 450 miles
Number of days I have until my high school reunion: 3
What would you do?
The rain was pelting down when I left the motel room to catch the 5:38 am commuter shuttle from the motel to St. Louis light rail. Fifty cents for a fifteen-mile ride to the rail station.
It was still coming down hard as I dashed to the train platform. $2.25 for the two miles to the airport.
At the airport, I picked up a rental car and headed back to the motel, stopping first at Lowe's to buy a drop cloth to protect the car from my bike, which was coated with Katy Trail crud. I could have left it out in the rain to take a bath, but by this time the rain had stopped. I took the bike apart, stuffed it into what passes for a trunk these days, and filled the rear seat with my panniers.
Eight hours later, I was at the South Bend airport, where my niece was waiting. We shuffled the gear to her car and hied to Elkhart and her house, my home for the next three days.
On Friday, the final leg of the journey: 25 miles to classmate Ralph's house in Niles, and two more miles to the high school and the first of the reunion activities. The reunion was a blast. My sister and I decided that they get better as we get older: people mellow, old cliques and old grudges are set aside; we're all in the same boat. Except for those who are on the far shore - who are, of course, leading the way for the rest of us.
So ends the saga.
Of course, there's more. There should always be more. I'm still traveling, bopping around Michigan, visiting old friends and relatives, continuing to meet new people. And DeAnne will join me to ride the 400 miles of DALMAC before we finally come home.
But that's another story.