TRIP 2001

Update #14 - June 18th
Shawano, Wisconsin - 3290 miles (5264 KM)

The remaining couple of day's ride through the Upper Peninsula went okay. For the most part of June 15th (my 45th birthday), I had clear skies and a bit of a tailwind to push me along the northern edge of Lake Michigan. In fact, I did a whopping 41 miles in the morning. The weather changed to the opposite about 14 miles out of Escanaba near Rapid River. I had just enough time to put on my rain suit before the skies opened up. I got really drenched heading south along U.S. 2/41. A couple of miles north of Escanaba, I hit a groove in the pavement wrong and tipped over. Luckily, there was no traffic and I got up quickly. Nothing was damaged, ripped, bleeding, or torn except for my pride.

About a couple of minutes after the spill, a cyclist showed up from behind me who was cycling around Lake Michigan out of Chicago. We talked for a few minutes. Before leaving, he surprised me by slipping out his wallet and giving me a twenty dollar bill. I never caught his name. For the night, I camped out in the old offices of the local Habitat affiliate in Escanaba, Michigan.

The next day, I had a great tailwind to push me along the remaining miles left in Michigan. I had ridden almost fifty miles in the morning. I decided to keep on going and headed south along U.S. 41 to Oconto. I was able to contact the minister of a small Baptist church there. He offered to help pay for a motel room since there was going to be a bad storm come through the area. There was no room at the church because his large family (ten kids) lived in the church, which was an old social hall.

After church on June 17th, I rode from Oconto to Shawano. I had a hard time finding a church with a possible Sunday night service. I found a church listed in the phone book but it was out in the country about three miles from town. When I got there, there was nobody around. I had used an old phonebook.

In cases where I cannot contact directly with a minister or there is no Habitat affiliate in town, I go to either the police or sheriff's office to see if they can help me connect with a minister. Neither of the ministers on call were in town. A kind policer contacted his Methodist minister. One of the church members came by to the police station to invite me over to their house. Since the weather was supposed to be bad today (June 18th), I got invited to stay an extra day. This is my first day off since June 3rd and almost 900 miles cycled.

Tomorrow if the weather is okay, I'll be heading westward to Wausau. From there, I'll be heading off to St. Paul, MN. A couple neat things will happen real soon. In a little over 300 miles I'll be passing the distance equivalent to 4 times around the Equator (99,604 miles). I'm also within 700 miles of passing the one hundred thousand mile mark of travel for my ministry since February of 1993.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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