Saturday, August 3, 2013

Niles, MI

Day 77: Saturday, August 3, 2013
St. Charles to Niles: 27 miles (3490 total)

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.

Bret in Waco


  1. Congratulations! It sounds like a great trip and it has been fun to read about it. Hopefully we will see you out on the flying field when you get back in and settled.

    1. I've been at the flying field for the past five days! You didn't notice??

      Actually, that's Merillat Field (34G) in Tecumseh, MI (Google coordinates 41.974 / -83.9235). I've been sleeping in a hangar and hanging out with the FBO, have met a lot of very nice pilots and mechanics, have seen some really cool aircraft, and have even found a house with hangar for sale on the field. It's beginning to feel like home.

  2. congratulations on making the trip! i've been sporadically following your progress and adventures... i only have minor trips to report, mostly family backpacks and the like. but, i feel inspired to follow your example some day!

    see you sometime when you get back in town. ---p


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