July 3, 2005 – Sunday – Day 8

48 States or Bust – The USA on Two Wheels
Miles Today:194 – Total Miles: 1891 – Daily Average: 236
11:30am-4:30pm – 5 hours
Flint, MI to Gaylord, MI
(-stayed at an Econolodge -)
(MI – 13/48)

Awoke with a charley horse cramp in my right calf this morning. It’s been happening to both Karen and me occasionally lately. We have been eating our bananas (which are suppose to help with such things), but still having the little problem. The cramp goes right away.

Before we could leave, I had to back out of the little front yard. And Karen had to give me a push from the front of the bike to do so. A bit later, after we had gassed up where Karen had to give a little push, too, Krista commented, “I know why you’re losing weight, Karen, you’re Joel’s reverse!”

We went to Archies Family Restaurant. As we pulled into the parking area, Don noticed that I didn’t leave the bike in gear. He suggested I do so because then it would be less likely to roll out from under the kickstand if on a hill – or if tapped by a car.

With some soy milk that Krista had bought especially for us, Karen and I had some oatmeal. We also split a pile of delicious blueberry pancakes. Don remembered how much I liked pancakes from the motorcycle rallies we had been to together. He also perceptively asked if I had run this morning, and I said that no, we were going to run in the afternoon today. Krista reminded us that we were in the ‘thumbpit’ of Michigan. And when one looks at the state on the map, it sure does look like a mitten, with Flint area being in the ‘thumb’ pit.

Before we left the restaurant lot Don gave us a lesson in the proper tying of doo-rags. (Those are handkerchief-type things that form-fit around a head with a little tail that comes out the back. They make a helmet feel a little more comfy, and help with absorbing the sweat. I’ve gotten into the habit of wearing one.)

Don and Krista rode with us for quite a number of miles before turning off and heading back home. It sure felt good being part of that little caravan.

It was another glorious day for heading down the highway. It was very cool in the morning, and the air was even fresher than before. Most of the way was very flat and we were planning to hit Duluth and the Aerostitch store on Tuesday. I had made friends with Carla, one of the telephone saleswomen. Because of that and various other reasons including being a little tired, and wanting to be sure to have a room on this holiday weekend, we decided to end the day kinda early. We talked about the numerous pros and cons quite awhile, and then just decided to stay here. The choice could have gone either way.

At the end of our run on the broad highway we stopped at a Subway for some dinner. As I was getting laundry together in the hotel room for drying, Karen reminded me about my socks. As we hadn’t showered last night because of the late hour, I hadn’t bothered changing them, and so I said that yes, they needed to be done. With a cute smile and joking tone she noted, “I was wondering what that strong smell was coming downwind on the motorcycle all day long!”

Author: Joel Perlish

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