The local trail system holds a fundraiser every year which drives a lot of money for maintenance. Every year they have held it in May, but I really think they should move it to June. This is Michigan. The past two years, the weather mid-May has been very chilly and last year it was miserable with constant rain. It seems they would get better turnouts if the weather was more consistent.
The cold did not slow me down. I always use the day as a "shakedown"day to test my camping equipment for the year. This year, the only new piece I'm trying is a Trangia stove. I wanted to try this single burner stove because it has a good reputation and the fuel,denatured alcohol,is available at any store with a paint department.
After gearing up and visiting with a few people and comparing bikes,I took off and found the trail well peopled despite the cold. It was a cheerful and friendly crowd out enjoying the overcast day. I really had a pleasant ride, ran across a few friends and spent time visiting and taking some long breaks on the thirty three mile trip.
Spring has finally caught up and the forests in the area coming into bloom with new foliage.
There were a number of people on the road, and despite the gloomy skies no challenging weather came around until the last couple of miles. We had a little light rain fall on us, that's all.
I was able to set up camp at my normal place although the picnic tables had been removed. Hmm. I also noticed that the signs designating the numbers for the campsites were also gone, the trash can was nearly full and both fire rings were nearly full. Double Hmmm. Well anyway, after set up camp, I went down to the trail head where I was greeted by cheering volunteers acting as if I had accomplished something. When I told them I wanted to pay for the campsite, they pointed to a DNR officer who pointed back at them. He told me to go ahead and camp there, he wouldn't know what to do with the money anyway, and he thought the county parks department was responsible. Triple Hmmmm. I'm probably the only one in the world who cares because I like the place, but we'll just have to see what happens this summer, I am going back there for a film festival in a few weeks. Who knows what I will find then.
The rest of the visit was pretty routine, I went for dinner and drinks at Joe's Bar in downtown South Haven,watched some of the golf tournament and watched the nasty weather develop. It wasn't miserable and wet, just cold for May. A consistent 30 MPH wind had developed coming from the north across the lake. During the night, my tent, never warmed up. I have been comfortable in it at temps as low as 10 degrees F, but the wind at that level went right under the rain fly and kept any heat from accumulating. I didn't get any rest. Oh yeah, the stove. I'd been told they need a wind screen. They do. In that wind the stove burnt all the alcohol it held before heating a cup of coffee. More on that another time. I won't bother with the trip home. I did whatever I had to to keep from being frustrated, geared down, stopped often, took it slow and tried not to exhaust what energy I had left. Oh well, things happen on tours, just suck it up!
This is a shameless attempt to save the the most advanced civilization in
history from imminent self destruction by eliminating carbon emission,
dependence on foreign sources of fuel,obesity, hypertension and diabetes.
Cycling accomplishes all those things at once and helps us develop a better
understanding of ourselves, each other and our relationship to the cosmos.
Oh, horse puckey!
I like to ride bikes, have been doing it all my life.
The rest of that crap is just a fringe benefit,
and the blogosphere gives me a chance to share my interior
monologue with virtual rather than imaginary friends.