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.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

It's just nice to get out!

      We've all been couped up  letting our frustrations out by taking rides alone and wondering when it might be safe to venture beyond our homes.  The day emerged, at least in part, a few weeks ago when the world realized that "outside" was a least more safe than "inside.'  State and National Park campgrounds were opened a couple of weeks ago and I finally took advantage of it by making a three day trip to the lake shore.  The ramble down the Kal-Haven trail is always a fairly easy trip and the shade it provided made the trip pleasant despite the boiling heat.  Reaching South Haven in the early afternoon I was faced with another challenge beyond the Covid 19 pandemic.  
     The rising water level in the Great Lakes has been in the news for the past couple of years, I got to see the threat in real time at the bike entrance to town.  The Black River has not been flowing into the lake and is flooding the low levels of town creating a detour from the trail.  After reaching my campsite and setting up, I returned to town for lunch and provisions, I went down to the trail to see if this reputed flood was real or just an over reaction.  
      It is real enough.  There is water standing ankle deep through the streets at the lower levels of town.  It ain't goin' nowhere.  Just sitting
for months creating a local aquarium in the middle of town.  I don't know what  the local authorities plan to do about it, but calling The Netherlands for advice might be the best they can do.
      At the campground, there seemed to be a sensitive awareness to the pandemic.  People stayed separate to their campsites for the most part except for a few groups like the one above who huddled all together under a shelter with, of all things, a fire going in the middle.  The fact they were ignorant enough to squeeze together under the circumstances is irrelevant.  They were likely to get sick from CO poisoning or smoke from enclosing the fire pit.  People's kids!

      Back in town on Thursday I found the beaches busy, with cars lined up at all points.
On the beaches people seemed to be well spaced and conscious of their distancing.   It looked nothing like the horror show we see on the evening news from other parts of the country.
The beach itself is becoming more scarce.  The threat of beach erosion is now a reality.  I took this photo from the street in the residential area south of town.  The beach has nearly disappeared
compared to this photo taken three years ago.  Now the water has grown to the dunes and covered the miles of beach below the the dunes.
      The south beach near the pier has shrunken to half it's size and the town has built artificial dikes in anticipation of more water or violent storms.  Something is developing and I feel it is not the greatest.  In town (on a week day) traffic was sparse and the workers and customers wore masks both on the street and inside.  I avoided a couple restaurants and bars I would normally visit even though they have open air and outdoor seating.  
      The night went well except that the group next to me ( in photo above) stayed up half the night yammering about their RV's.  Fortunately they were driven in by a  severe thunderstorm and I was able to sleep.  In the morning things had cooled off considerably
and I enjoyed a pleasant ride back over the somewhat sloggy trail.  It was pretty uneventful
except for the standing water on the trail the last 10 miles.  It had already been a slow roll with the softened trail but I ignored the urge to bail out to the pavement just because I didn't want to deal with traffic.  I got caught in a torrential downpour about a mile from the trail head and shelter.  It's amazing how fast I can climb a grade on an 80 pound bike when properly motivated, I impressed myself.
I didn't need a shower when I reached home.

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