Monday morning I woke up. After coffee and breakfast I said goodbye before heading out the door. I followed the road up the hill. I made the mistake of turning onto the first trail I saw. Either way it was taking me west through the woods so I followed it for awhile. I reached Hutchins Creek and followed it south until I found the river to river trail. The river to river trail then went back north. I could have stayed on the trail I was on and ended in the same spot. Slight waste of time.
Either way I reached the trail head and the last forest trail for some time. I'll be on roads until St Louis and a bike trail through much of Missouri. Anyway we trekked down a couple of gravel roads to Route 3. I followed that road into the town of Grand Tower. I stopped at the gas station for a root beer and then headed to the campground.
Devil's Backbone is a campground right on the Mississippi River. Despite storm and river flooding warnings, I set up close to the river. Every ten minutes a barge goes by. The wind was rather strong but the rain didn't come until after I fell asleep. No flooding though.
Tuesday morning we woke up and Brown's pad had a crack in it and he was limping. I knew we would have to take the day off. It was frustrating because this was only our second day back on the trail.
I sat around most of the day; reading, tanning, eating, and watching the barges go by.
Wednesday morning Brown was walking better. I put his shoes on and he was clumsy for a minute. Once he got the hang of it he was doing fine. We left Grand Tower and headed out on Rte 3 towards Chester.
We take a thirty minute break every three miles. It's a little difficult to find shade along this road. Often I find myself in somebody's yard borrowing shade from a tree. I passed a small bait/convenience store. I got a root beer and an ice cream sandwich. Brown jumped in the pond out back to cool off.
I sat out front and the guy who worked inside (possibly the owner) came out. He sat and talked to me for awhile. He spoke a lot. Barely a moment of silence between thoughts. My favorite story he told was when he was in Vietnam. I've met a few Vets on my walk; their stories are always very intriguing. After an hour we continued walking.
I made it to Crain Baptist Church. Once there, I took Brown's shoes off and his pads were wet. His pad that had cracked was soft and shedding the cracked portion. There was an additional deep chunk that had come off from being wet and soft. I cannot make a decent pace stopping every other day for healing. I also feel awful for putting my dog through such pain.
I decided that the best way forward is on bicycle. I returned to Alto Pass to stay with the friends that I had made there. They have a family member who does long distance touring rides. I was able to get a wealth of information from him. I'm currently in the process of purchasing a touring bicycle and dog trailer. I wish I could continue on foot. My fear is that I will see less and have fewer interactions on bike. However, it's a necessary evil to continue forward without putting additional strain on Brown. Maybe I'm wrong though, maybe I'll be able to see more by being able to deviate further from the trail.
I haven't owned a bike since I was a child. This will change the dynamic of my journey but I'm going to roll with it. It's important to be flexible in life and accept and adapt to the circumstances that confront you.
Since returning to Alto Pass, I've ordered a bike and trailer; attended the 35th annual Tomato Fertility Party; went blackberry picking; went canoeing/kayaking, bike riding and enjoyed the hospitality of the locals. I hate not moving every day but if this is part of the journey, so be it. I keep myself busy by cleaning the house. One day I rode the bike to a local farmers market. I spotted golden cherry tomatoes, $1.50/pint. These would be $3 or $4 back in DC. So I bought three pints and was popping them in my mouth on the bike ride home.
Today I rode my bike to Bald Knob. Atop sits a giant cross. Peddling up the ridge reminds me that this bike dynamic will be challenging, I look forward to it though. Until I roll out of town, I'll continue to enjoy the amazing summer produce, especially the local peaches.
It's a bizarre sense of comfort and anxiousness to be stationary. It's nice waking up on a soft bed to coffee and a hot breakfast each morning. However, everyday I feel like I should be walking, exploring.
Thank you readers.
"What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us."
It was a long drive from Illinois to DC. The highway was rather scenic though. I drove until midnight and slept in the car at a rest stop. When I woke up the next morning the fog was so thick I could barely see anything. I headed out anyways and the fog soon dissipated. Driving through the Appalachian mountains was crazy and I got excited when I passed the Appalachian trail.
I made it to DC and was so happy to be back in the city. I wish I wasn't driving though. I thought driving on vast, seemingly endless roads were bad. City driving is the worst. I drove to NW DC and spent the day with my friend. We've been friends since high school, so it was great to hang out. He shaved my head for me and we celebrated with some grand cru that evening. In the morning we watched the soccer game. He had to go to work that evening, so I decided to head out of town.
I drove to NYC. A few of my closest friends live in Brooklyn. I met up with two and we grabbed dinner. Another friend stopped by before the night was through. In the morning I left for Connecticut.
I had to pick my mom up from the airport. I kept my beard so she could see it. It was great to see her. Normally I see her once or twice a year. However, now I'm out in the wild and reunions feel better than ever. From the airport we drove to my grandmother's house. She has alzheimer's disease. I like to think she remembers me, I'm not sure though, either way it was so nice to see her.
We then went to my uncle's house for dinner. It's been so long since I've had grilled food. It was incredible. The next day was the wedding. The church was built in 1652, it was beautiful and on a historic street. My cousin looked incredible. After the wedding we were bussed to the reception. It was a great venue and I had a lot of fun celebrating with family and friends.
The next day I visited my grandfather at the cemetery. I think about him a lot on my walk. I'm not sure when I'll be east again so I wanted to make sure to visit. That evening we went to my other uncle's house for a cookout. More grilled food! More family, more memories.
The next morning I dropped my mom off at the airport and headed back to NYC. I met up with three friends for brunch. We did some Sunday funday, day drinking and watched the pride parade for a bit. We then retreated back to Brooklyn for a quieter spot and watched a soccer game. We headed back to the apartment, had a little game night, then went to bed.
Monday and Tuesday were spent hanging out with friends around Brooklyn. Caught the USA/Belgium game!
Wednesday morning I said goodbye. It's sad saying goodbye to everything you once held close. Especially since this will most likely be the last time I'm on the east coast for a very long time. I began my long drive west both excited to get walking again and crying for the life I had. In Pennsylvania I was pulled over for driving in the left lane. I didn't realize that was a thing. The cop saw I wasn't from PA and was just passing through, so he let me off with a warning.
I drove until I reached Indiana, pulled into the first rest stop and slept in the car. The next morning I finished my drive to Carbondale, IL. I'm back with the kind family that took me in Alto Pass. I'm going to stay here for the fourth of July weekend.
On the fourth of July we went hiking/chanterelle mushroom hunting. We harvested over ten pounds of mushrooms from the forest. We made cream of chanterelle mushroom soup, mushroom fried rice and mushroom penang curry. I've been very food spoiled here. We stayed in eating instead of watching fireworks because Brown gets angry at the loud bangs. The neighbor came over with an assortment of homemade desserts. I had a raspberry, vanilla cream puff and some blueberry pie.
Saturday morning there were Belgium waffles with blackberries. I read most of the day. Their band had a gig at a local wine vineyard. Afterwards the musicians came back to the house and continued playing. It was wonderful to listen to everyone play and sing as the evening faded, they're all incredibly talented.
Sunday supper. My hosts had ordered food from a woman that lives in town. She works at a local orchard. She is Mexican and made us an authentic Mexican feast. Everything was delicious. Her guacamole was on point. That evening I received another gift from these amazing people. They got me trekking poles!
Words cannot describe how lucky and grateful I am to have arrived at their home. Truly kind, genuine people always surrounded by friends and family. The comforts of life outside the forest make it difficult to leave here.
It was an amazing vacation. I was taken in by strangers and welcomed into their community. I met up with some of my oldest and closest friends. And I celebrated a joyous event with family. It felt strange to have not been walking for the past two weeks. I ate everything in sight, as if I would never see food again. I'm looking forward to getting back out there. I've been walking for so long now that it seems more normal than regular life.
Thank you readers. Thank you everyone in Alto Pass for being wonderful, welcoming people. Thank you friends and family for the goodies you sent me off with. Thanks to everyone who made my vacation joyous. Thank you for being you. Happy birthday Judy!
"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy."
Each morning I wake up to coffee and hot breakfast. Brown was able to put his paw down but only lightly. I suppose the timing of the injury is good. Considering that I had planned to take ten days off to head back east for my cousins wedding. I'm fortunate to have found such kind people whom are willing to let me stay a couple of days until I can rent a car to drive back. They even bought me my next pair of hiking shoes. Such kindness is humbling. People that open their homes to strangers are incredible.
The day after I showed up on their door step so did a stray kitten. It has taken to me and sleeps in the bed beside me. We went to a summer solstice party at their friends home. It was a pot luck and we brought peach/black raspberry cobbler. We picked the black raspberries on a trail near their house. There was a huge bonfire. A bunch of musicians had gathered and played bluegrass all night. It was nice to hang out and listen to live music. These hills are very soulful; the people in these small communities full of character and kindness.
Tonight we're going to watch a few bands perform. The couple I am staying with is also getting up on stage. They're very talented. Then tomorrow morning I head out of town to make the long drive east. It'll be interesting to be in a car for so long. However, I'm very excited to see my family.
This downtime feels strange. It's weird to not wake up and walk everyday. I think this is the longest we've stayed in one spot. It's strange to think about not walking for two weeks. I'm hoping to pack on some pounds during my walk hiatus. I'm sure I'll lose them somewhere in Missouri. But in the meantime I'll be stuffing my face.
Thank you readers. I might not post during my break but you never know. I'm incredibly grateful for the help I've received this week. Really would have been at a loss without it.
"Not till we are lost, in other words not till we have lost the world, do we begin to find ourselves, and realize where we are and the infinite extent of our relations."
Saturday morning I woke up and Jojo, the campground owner told me to head over to the trailer café, breakfast was on her! I got a breakfast sandwich and the cook asked me is that all? I said maybe some hash browns too. That came out sharing a plate with eggs, toast and sausage in addition to my breakfast sandwich.
After I ate I headed over to the office where a few people were hanging out. I enjoyed a cup of coffee and shared the story of my walk. A woman, Judy asked if I had hiked Rim Rock on the way through here. I told her I had just rested there but not hiked the trail through. She told me that I had missed a beautiful area and she would drive me back there and pick me up if I wanted. I took her up on the offer.
Rim Rock was definitely beautiful. Reminded me a lot of Hocking Hills minus the waterfalls. After an hour she came back and scooped me up. I then packed up my things and headed out of camp.
I was headed to the Garden of the Gods. I reached the campground just as it began to rain but got my tent up before it got heavy. The rain shower didn't last too long and soon I was out of my tent and headed for the trail up the to the cliffs. It was just as the sun was beginning to set; the Garden of the Gods offered sweeping views of the forest. Standing up there watching the sunset, with the wind beating my shirt against my chest, my legs so weak on the edge, I didn't know if I could trust them. In that moment looking out onto the endless horizon, everything felt infinite. It was beautiful and breath taking. The view made the long walks along the farm roads worth it.
I hiked down from there and went back to the campground. I cooked up some dinner, made difficult by the heavy winds. I read my book in the little daylight remaining, then turned in for the night.
Sunday morning I began to pack up and as I was doing so a park ranger was driving through the campground. He saw that I did not have a proof of payment slip on my campsite. He asked if I had payed? I told him I had not, but was heading out and would do so on my way out. He said that I better do so now or he would write me a $130 ticket. I took the envelope filled it out put the receipt in the envelope and slipped it into the self pay bin without any money in it. Sorry not sorry.
I finished packing, then left and got on the trail. I passed through the town of Herod where I stopped to charge my phone. The trail in some places is very muddy. Torn up by horses, covered in horse poop. Without my trekking poles and with my shoes falling apart my march has slowed and is very difficult. It feels like every mile is two. I am trailed by aggressive gnats, fortunately however, no mosquitos. Brown and I are covered in ticks though.
The day was long and it got dark before I knew it. I found a small primitive campsite off the trail and decided to just stay there the night.
Monday morning I woke up and got moving. Not too far up the trail I came across an old church. The latest mailing was from 1982. I would like to have grabbed a picture but my phone died the night before. A little ways up the trail I came across a horse camp ground. It was unoccupied. I needed water and to charge my phone so I did. About forty five minutes later two people came through on horses and said "just helping yourself are you? ". I wanted to reply "it's the least you can do since I'm covered in mud and horse crap from you tearing up the trail". However, I responded with "I'm sorry, my phone died and I was weary about continuing on through the woods without it, in case of an emergency". They then asked where I was coming from and I told them about my walk. I said I was sorry for trespassing and began to grab my things. The man then said, "you might as well stay and get a full charge". Then they were off.
Further on the trail I slipped on a rock crossing Lusk Creek and fell hard on my wrist. My knee took a scraping, my face went in the water along with my cell phone. When it wouldn't turn back on, I was devastated. When it finally did but wouldn't recognize my memory card, I was even more so. All my pictures, lost. I was so upset. Eventually everything dried out and began working again, such a relief.
I pushed on and made it to Eddyville. Just before I got to town it began raining. I found a church and was going to set up outside but the doors were unlocked. I went in and and dried off a bit. I ate all their cookies and drank a Capri sun. Made dinner and hot cocoa. There was a couch there and so I crashed on the couch with Brown between my feet.
Tuesday morning I woke up and the forecast called for 80% chance of thunderstorms. So I decided to take the day off and hang out in the church. It ended up barely raining.
Thank you readers, sorry for the delays.
Around 10:30pm a car pulled up to the library and then quickly drove off. Five minutes later it was back with two police officers. The woman got out of her car and I said "was that necessary?" She replied "I just want to return my books and you scared me". She left and the cops came over. I told them about my walk and they ran my ID. After it came back clean, they said it was fine to stay the night.
People here are very concerned about late fees. Someone returned a book at 3:30am. More people came and went as the sun rose and prior to the library opening. When the library did open I used the restroom and filled my water bottles then headed out of town.
I walked on the same road all day. Mostly passed farms and a few residential areas. Around Hebron a man invited me inside for a soda. I drank three. He gave Brown some food and water as well. We continued on. My destination was the truck stop off highway 65. There is a Dennys and Pilot Flying J and a few other fast food options there. I set up camp behind the trucks and Arby's.
I got Brown a roast beef sandwich from Arby's and I went to Dennys. After I ate I read my book and eventually went to bed. It rained overnight.
Wednesday morning I woke up and went to Dennys again. They have a two dollar menu. I then packed up and sat outside the Pilot gas station charging my phone and reading. While sitting there someone gave me their leftovers for Brown. He got french toast, pancakes and sausage.
There was a guy asking for gas money. We were talking for a bit. I was about to offer him gas money for a ride when the manager came over and kicked him off property. Turns out he wasn't using the money he was getting for gas. Once my phone was fully charged, I began walking. Yes, along farm roads. Until I reached Crown Point.
If the country is in a housing recession, this town doesn't know about it. I walked through several new neighborhoods and many under construction. New schools, the hospital has a new wing. There was a lot of construction on the south side of the town. Once passed that, walking down Main St was lovely. Large mature Oaks and maples and homes in all different styles from different decades. All with character and charm and nicely manicured. The downtown area is also nice. The old store fronts had businesses rather than being abandoned. Nice town.
As I walked further through town, I passed a Domino's. An employee came out and called out to me and gave me a medium cheese pizza for free! A few blocks further I reached the Erie-Lackawanna trail head. There's a Walgreens at the trail head. I sat outside on a bench and began to enjoy my pizza. A car drove by and a guy got out and said "no offense, but are you homeless". I really gotta work on my image. I told him no, I am hiking across the country. He was going to offer assistance, I declined and thanked him. It made me happy that he stopped to help what he thought was a homeless man.
After Brown and I finished our pizza we jumped on the trail. While walking a man on his bicycle stopped to talk and walked a bit with me. He's a veterinarian and was kind enough to check out Brown's paws for me. We chatted a bit and then he was off. Roughly two miles up the trail I found the picnic pavilion I planned on camping at. I finished reading my book while waiting for it to get dark. A cyclist gave me a protein bar. Once it got dark I set my tent up. Richard, the veterinarian came by with some cookies and medicine for Brown. It was so nice!
After he left I went to bed. Figured I'd have to be up and out early since this is a popular trail.
Thursday morning we packed up and headed down the trail. It didn't take long for the mosquitoes to smell me out. We had a small swarm following us. Up the trail a bit I ran into Bill. He hangs out in a pavilion in the town of Griffith. He's a bike mechanic and helps people out for donations. He said he would do it for free because he loves meeting and helping people but the city made him get a permit. Anyway he has mosquito repellent handy and lets me use some. We chatted for awhile and then I finally got moving.
I continued up the Erie-Lackawanna trail and parted with the American Discovery Trail. The ADT doesn't head into Chicago. I was headed to Wolf Lake to camp but I ended up only making it to Hammond. A man waved me over from the side of the trail. I was weary at first but the fire station was right there. Well within ear shot of my whistle. He asked how far I was traveling and where to. I told him about my journey. He's a homeless Vietnam Veteran. Him and another vet sleep in a small clearing off the trail hidden by trees. He suggested that I camp out with them for the night.
I said OK. While the two of them drank their dollar beers, I listened to stories about the war. They were impressed with my cook stove. I was sad that they didn't even have tents or tarps. They just strung whatever fabric they could find over the tree branches and spread more on the ground. With what little they had, they were offering me their gloves and ear warmers. I refused, I knew they needed it more than I did. When one of them went to sleep, I turned in also. The other guy stayed up talking to himself.
Friday morning when I woke up, he was gone. The other guy was going to grab some coffee so I gave him a couple bucks to grab me one as well. As soon as I finished packing up he came back with the coffee. He reviewed my map and offered some advice. He grew up in Chicago and is very familiar with the area.
I originally was going to grab a hotel in Chicago for two nights. However, there's a huge conference in town. The affordable hotels were booked up and everyone else raised their rates on the weekend. I couldn't find anything affordable. I decided to get my rental car early and sleep in it for a night.
I headed out and soon ran out of trail. I walked through mostly neighborhoods until Wolf Lake. There I hopped on the Burnham Greenway trail. Again I ran out of trail and made my way to the car rental place. Unfortunately, you need a credit card to rent a car from Enterprise if you have an out of state ID. I only have a debit card. There was a Hertz next door, so I tried there. They do it but were out of cars. I felt devastated. How would I get out of Chicago and down to the southern leg of the ADT? I was at a loss.
While sitting there I saw some people returning cars so I figured I would check back. They had one left but were reluctant to rent it out. Probably 1) because I look homeless, 2) you aren't supposed to have pets in the cars and 3) because the car had definitely just been used to transport weed. He said he would put on the paper that the car smelt like smoke, so I wouldn't get charged. The car smelt like weed, not smoke.
I drove towards the city on Lake Shore Drive. Slight traffic when I got there, but I didn't mind. It allowed me to look up at the buildings. Just past the main downtown area, I stopped in a park and people watched. Then tore the car apart and found a lighter, an ice cream sandwich wrapper, natural male stimulant and a small amount of weed. I swear there's more in there, the car still smells of it.
I drove back south through the city and caught the sunset over the skyline in a park. I decided it would be to difficult to sight see the next day. With a dog and a car, I would be limited. I settled for just a driving tour of Chicago. I made for the highway and headed south. Moving that fast is pretty scary. The milage you can cover in a car is intense. I drove until one in the morning and pulled off. There's a hotel there so I parked there and camped out in the car.
Saturday morning I woke up and entered the hotel through a side door. I ate as much as I could, then hit the road. I reached Evansville and found a park to hang out in. I also found a Barnes and Noble across town. This town is very spread out. I got the third book in the series. Went for dinner at Golden Corral. Binged. Ended up back at the park reading. Probably going to park in a hotel parking lot tonight. Get some free breakfast again in the morning.
Thank you readers and people I've met this week. Thank you everyone for the kindness you've shown me.
"Oh darling, when it's you I see in headlights, driving down the golden highway. And salvation in the beauty of some brace. And the deer is gone without me to the valley of surrender. There is still another world along it's tracks"
Saturday morning I woke up and made some coffee. I packed up and left the trailer around ten. I headed out of town and it became clear I was in for another day of road walking. All I see are massive fields. Farm after farm. We take short breaks under the few trees that line the road. Brown jumps in the ditches and cools off where he can.
I was headed to Tippecanoe State Park. When I finally got there I was happy to be on a trail, in a forest for the first time since I crossed into Indiana. Bittersweet though. This SP is teeming with mosquitoes. Not just a few, but swarms. I reached the park office and explain my walk. I know it's Memorial Day Weekend but ask if there are any campsites available. The ranger told me that by law they're required to keep a few unmarked sites available in case of thru hikers or bikers.
I get to my campsite and set up and end up jumping in the tent. The mosquitoes are too much to contend with. I nap for an hour or two. I woke up to cook dinner but wished I had gone hungry. I was slapping myself like crazy trying to fight them off. After I was done cooking, I sat in my tent eating, trying to count the mosquitoes hanging out on the outside of my tent. I stopped counting at sixty.
I felt trapped in my tent. Eventually the park rangers drove by spraying something from their truck. Probably deet, probably dangerous to breathe. It did nothing to stop the swarm.
Sunday morning I woke up and dreaded having to leave the tent. While packing up I was barraged. I packed up as fast as possible and headed out of there. I was followed for two miles through the park to the main road. Getting bit up the entire way.
A couple miles up the road I stopped at a gas station/deli and got a sandwich. Just up the road I hopped on the Erie-Monterrey rail trail to the town of North Judson. Pretty much similar to the rail trails I've been on through Indiana. Farms on either side of the trail. Not enough trees or shade to break the baking sun.
When I reached North Judson, I was hot and out of water. I hit up the grocery store and purchased a gallon of water, a watermelon and lemon sherbet. I devoured the sherbet immediately. Then walked to the park. I figured I would camp in the park and sat on the bench reading my book until dark. I pitched my tent, crawled inside and went to bed.
Monday morning I woke up to police outside my tent. I told them about my walk and fortunately they were understanding. They told me there was going to be a Memorial Day Parade here in a few hours and I needed to be gone soon. I packed up then sliced open my watermelon and ate the whole thing for breakfast. It was amazing.
As people began to gather for the parade, I picked up my bag and headed out of town. If you guessed that I would be walking on farm roads past huge sprawling corn fields, then you guessed right. I'm desperate for a change in scenery. I passed a house with a family outside unhitching their camper from their truck. The dad asked me where I was headed and I began the story of my travels. He offered me a soda and pointed me in the direction of Kouts. I was headed there to camp. I told him I was probably going to camp at the library since there would be shelter from the evenings thunderstorms.
When I reached Koutz, I sat down at the bench outside the library, pulled out my book and read. Twenty minutes later the man I had met a few miles back pulled up and gave me another soda and a gatorade. I thanked him for his kindness. The lightening, thunder and rain came around eight thirty. It continues as I write this.
Oddly enough people have come up to the library to return things. The most recent at ten. I feel awkward, I look pretty dirty from sweating the past few days. Haven't showered since Wednesday. Huddled under an awning, I probably look homeless. I began to wonder if people in these small towns have seen homeless people before? If there are even homeless people around here? Towns with no more than two thousand residents.
I just realized I'm in a new time zone. Thank you readers. Thank you Mr. Miller for the sodas.
Wednesday morning I woke up and began packing up eyeing the dark clouds overhead. I walked over to the pizza place and used the restroom. When I came out it began to pour. I sat around for a bit and chatted with the owner. An hour later the rain stopped and I headed back to the trail. At this point Brown was not feeling it and lied down. His paws are worn so thin. I let him rest for a little longer, then we continued on.
The temperature rose and the humidity was thick. The sun beat down on us on the walk today. Nineteen miles on the bike trail. No shade. The trail is surrounded by farms. Farmers apparently don't like trees. They block the sun from their crops. So each time we rested it was in the sun. I had only two liters of water on me and no store on this stretch of trail. I have been reluctant to filter the creek water I've seen because I'm sure it's full of fertilizer and pesticide run off.
Each break I examine Brown's paws. They have begun bleeding. I feel so bad but he doesn't seem to notice. He keeps on trekking. We eventually make it to Rochester, IN.
There's a Walmart and I head in for some ice cream. I checked into the Super 8 and rubbed lotion on Brown's paws. Which he licks right off. Tomorrow is our weekly zero day. Hopefully the rest will help his little pads heal.
Thursday we spent the day hanging out. I did my laundry in the sink. Then I walked to the post office to pick up my resupply package. Also I ordered a new hip belt for my backpack. I've lost enough weight for the old one to be obsolete. It was at the post office waiting for me. The rest of the day I spent catching up on shows I used to watch.
Friday morning I wake up and binge on the free breakfast. I headed back to the room and packed up. We headed out of town and onto a long stretch of farm road. At this point I feel I will be able to see these crops through. From seedlings to new growth; eventually I'll be able to see full grown corn stalks. All I see is field after field of corn at different stages of growth. Over it. All I can say is: at least it's flat.
Fifteen miles later I made it to Bruce Lake. There's a camper/trailer park called Hoosier Hideaway. I walked up to the office and asked if I could camp here. The owner said they don't really do tent camping but I could set up in his yard if I wanted. As soon as I got my tent up he came over to me and said: "if you're only staying one night, I have an extra trailer that no one is using. You're welcome to it." So I packed my tent up and am in a double wide, three bedroom trailer! After we settled in Brown and I went down to the shore and played tether ball.
Tried to watch the meteor shower around 10:30 but didn't see anything. I didn't want to stay up too late for it so I went to bed.
Thank you readers. Happy Memorial Day weekend. Five more days to Chicago! I'm pretty excited.