Friday, August 5, 2011

Effingham, IL

Well here I am - 3/4 of the way to Chicago to start my tour of Lake Michigan.  The drive was uneventful - it did start raining just south of Memphis and rained on and off the rest of the way to Effingham.  What a name for a city.  I wonder who or what the city is named for.

I am listening to John Irving's "A Prayer for Owen Meany" in the car.  6 hours into a 20+ hour book and I am loving it.  Much better than that crappy "Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy".

Anyway, I am staying at a Super 8 - after staying at 13 of them  in 30 days, I have become fond of them.  Also, they are pretty inexpensive and have everything I need that a more expensive hotel has.  Sometimes more.  Alot of the nicer hotels don't have the microwave and frig in the room.

One of the more interesting thoughts that went through my head as I drove further north is that I have "ridden here before".  Well not exactly, but I have ridden about an hour north of where I am staying tonight.  It seems so surreal to think that I will either drive under or over the exact spot that I cycled just over a year ago.  I must admit that I had a deja vu moment walking into the Super 8 with my bike.  I almost expected Vikki to be in the parking lot washing her bike when I got here.  Memories I will have forever...

Well let me update the happenings since I have not blogged regularly.  Susan Reed and I have been planning to do this ride for almost a year.  Susan has lived in Chicago most of her life, yet has never ridden all of Lake Michigan.  The goal was for us to ride the first two weeks with her husband, Kirk, as SAG. The third week Kirk had other commitments and so Susan and I would ride self-supported on the Wisconsin side of the lake.  However, about 3 weeks ago, Susan broke her foot and is in a boot.  She won't see the doc until the 22nd so, now, Susan is also riding SAG.  She has been very gracious about continuing with our plans even though she won't be riding herself. 

So, tomorrow, I will meet Susan and Kirk in Wilmette and we will drive to Michigan City, IN.  Bill Mendenhall and his daughters will be joining us there along with my old roomie, Vikki and her husband Craig.  Susan Carlson and her beau will be joining us as well.  It will be nice to reminisce with my old Transcon friends.  Susan's friends, Mark and Jeff, will be joining us on Sunday.

Well, I need to oil my chain...

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