June 25

25 06 2009

Day 19:

After a great breakfast we left the comforts of the Hampton Inn with clean clothes and ice-cold water bottles – thanks again Sue! It was shaping up to be another hot day, despite the early raindrops. Luckily the rain held off, the forecasted thundershowers were nonexistent, and the sun was shining all day. We stopped by Ray’s bike shop before leaving town to get Jake’s pesky rear wheel looked at once more. Another broken spoke seemed to be the problem. With that fixed, our tires pumped, and a new supply of tubes, we headed down the Pere Marquette Rail Trail. We cruised along the nicely paved, and flat, trail for about 18 miles until we stopped for cold Gatorade and snacks. After refueling we continued to follow the trail until it ended in Clare at mile 33. We found lunch in town at a Chinese restaurant and firmed up our plans for the remainder of the day. We struggled in the wind for a few miles on a busy road, but after stopping for ice cream and more cold drinks things got a bit easier. The afternoon brought back some hills we haven’t seen in a while. But even in the heat, the hills were a nice change in terrain. After working on the uphills, there is a rewarding breeze on the speedy downhill stretches. We followed the rolling hills around multiple lakes until we arrived in Lake George, bypassing one campground and sticking to our original plan. We called to make sure there were sites at the campground in Temple (that certainly wasn’t a problem, we are one of 2 groups here tonight!) and completed the remaining 9 miles. Once in town, we got directions to the only restaurant and headed that way. We arrived at Club 61, a run down bar where our interesting stay in Temple began. Stepping in the door, everyone in the pub stopped and stared at us until we sat down – I guess we were a little out of place! We quickly ordered burgers, but had plenty of time to take in our surroundings as we waited about 45 minutes for food. A rough crowd in the restaurant, fixated on beer, cigarettes, and Keno made for some very entertaining people watching. Leaving the restaurant we found the campground just down the road. The park was closed for the night so we started towards the tenting site area, but found a deserted campground and another mosquito invasion. So we headed back to the main campground, climbed under the gates, and set up on a slightly more inviting site. With the exception of a group of women a few sites over, we are the only ones in the whole campground. That explains why only the women’s bathroom is unlocked. We bought some shower tokens from them since the store was closed when we arrived. Each token costs 75 cents and is worth just TWO MINUTES of shower time. We ended up with 3 tokens, a total of 6 minutes for 4 people! Dad decided to take one for the team and forgo the shower tonight, though I am not sure if he is the only one sacrificing – Jake shares his tent! The three of us, in the women’s bathroom, rushed through our super short showers and headed back to camp. We started a fire to keep the bugs off and called home. Tomorrow we hope to make it to Ludington, ready to cross Lake Michigan. It seems that everyone else is fast asleep and I am almost there myself. Glad I brought the earplugs!