We got in to Ludington late and the forecast was for thunderstorms at 5 AM. Packing up a tent in a thunderstorm is not my idea of fun. Since the probability was 80-90% on most apps and the rain was to continue for a few hours, I opted to sleep indoors.
The gym was hot and stuffy and would surely be crowded with that forecast, so I found a spot in the hallway below an open window. There was no screen, as I discovered later.
There were lights in the hall that stayed on, so I placed a bandanna over my eyes and went to sleep, past my bedtime.
At 12:40 AM, I felt something by my eye and swiped it away. I noticed the bright light so I reached for the bandanna and put it back over my eyes. Something fell on my face. As I swiped it away, I noted that it struck the floor with a distinct “click”. That got my attention and I opened my eyes fully. There were a good dozen beetles on me, about the size and color of roasted coffee beans.
I jumped up and brushed off those I could see, pulling a few out of my hair. I looked down and there were at least a couple dozen on my sheet.
A quick look around revealed hundreds swarming around the open window and my luggage. I closed the window and moved my sleeping stuff to a darker part of the hall, hoping the bugs were attracted to the light. The luggage I would deal with in the morning.
The window turned out to be merely a point of entry and the bugs dispersed from there. They crawled, they flew, and they hung out on the ceiling, sometimes letting go and falling to the floor with a “click”.
Getting back to sleep took more than an hour, as I kept hearing them land nearby, or feeling them on me. Three hours of sleep were not going to be enough for 94 miles. I know I slept because I awoke from a dream: the bugs were multiplying. The younger generation were a reddish-brown. They covered the floor until the floor was no longer visible. Everyone was awake and standing. Someone got on the phone to the Trail Boss to inform him that we were all leaving, one way or another. That’s when I woke up.
When I got up at 5:15 it was dry. There was no sign of rain past, present, or near future. We packed up and rode in the dark to a restaurant where our breakfast was scheduled. This was our first day needing lights. We arrived at the appointed time and they were not ready, telling us it would be ½ hour before we could eat. Since the rain was starting, they said we could come in to stay dry and we could drink some of the warm, pale brown water. They called it “coffee”. With ½ & ½ added, it looked like the Mississippi River. We waited for breakfast and waited out the rain.
Heading out it was dry and dark. The first half of that would soon change. We started on a busy US highway, moving to quiet back roads through mixed hardwood forest. The roads were mainly straight and flat. The wind began as a headwind, shifted to 4 o’clock, and eventually became a tailwind.We were in and out of rain all morning. We had picnic at the site of the historic Idlewild Club. (See the 2018 post for details and a photo of the historical marker.) At mile 57 we moved onto a paved bike path. (See the 2018 post for a photo of the Little Free Library along the path, seemingly in the middle of nowhere.) We stayed on that path for nearly 40 miles and will return to it tomorrow morning.
Arriving at camp, the bike got a preliminary cleaning, the tent went up, then clothes and I got a cleaning, then the bike got finish cleaning and lube. I had to clean grit off the back of my helmet. I hope my shoes dry by morning.
I don’t care about tonight’s forecast. I will be sleeping in my tent.