Day 107, Zeeland, MI to Middlebury, Indiana. 211 miles
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."
We left Zeeland around 11, but first a word about Amber. You know you're welcome at someone's house when they run out the door, arms waving, to greet you as you’re riding down their street. Yes, she did. And she cooked a feast for us. Made us feel at home. Saturday night the people gathered at her feast were her parents, her sister and brother-in-law and their son, six of her kids, and QG and me. There's a lot of living going on at Amber's house.
Amber is a single mother of eight-actually, nine-living in a three bedroom house with one bathroom. But I exaggerate. Two kids have moved out so she's a single mother with six kids in the house. She babysits the baby next door to generate a bit of money.
If I was any kind of a guy at all, I would have made this 50 States Adventure a fundraiser for Amber and the family. She stays busy in the kitchen too. "This is where I live," she says. Being single for two years, she's still just trying to get her feet under her. But we all had a wonderful time with her and her wonderful brood.
We jammed in a bit of time to visit Teresa and Joel, more fine friends, but just not enough time. We just got started and had to leave. Drat! Maybe we'll do 50 States in 50 Months next year. Okay, maybe not.
Jason is another friend. He's one of those people that I can tell him anything without worrying about him judging me. Jason and Sheila rolled out the red carpet on Sunday too, treating QG and me to a feast. He barbecued ribs, asparagus and romaine lettuce on the grill, serving up a king's fare, with potatoes too. I can say with authority those were the best asparagus (asperagi?) I ever ate. Then they took us to Lake Michigan to see a sunset in a CAR! What glamour, what style.
Awesome times with wonderful friends in Michigan.
Today we headed out, but not before touring the Capitol in Lansing. Very nice, and it was their third, as one and two burned. Most capitols have these commonalities:
The original ones burned as they were made of wood.
These are made of limestone, marble, and granite, more for fire resistance than aesthetics.
They held the governor, house and senate, but the court has moved out.
They are Renaissance themed in decor. The front doors are not used.
Today's met all the criteria, and the entry drives me crazy. If you spend a jillion dollars on a spectacular entry, why send everyone-literally-under the stairs?
Another commonality is we have never seen any branch, at any time, working. I'm just saying. My opinion, we have enough laws anyway. Stay home.
Stephanie took only QG and me on the tour. We got great service that way. There is more banter and it makes asking questions much less tedious. This Capitol contained the fewest paintings of governors, as the governor must pay for it himself. So they didn't. Cheapskates. One governor's painting looked unfinished, and Stephanie pointed out he had it done that way on purpose, as the governor's work wasn't finished. And they voted for this guy. Nice tour, nice Capitol, not even in Iowa's league, but very well done.
We roared out of town with guns blazing. That's how we roll, oh yeah. A freeway, a couple highways and too many stops-vittles (Michigarian for groceries), gas, rest stops, and a botched attempt at a Post Office. Closed at four. Lameos. We entered Indiana. Not good. No sign, no welcome except a TOLL BOOTH. Time for a Rant.
If this isn't the stupidest, most arcane way to collect taxes to fund highways, I don't know what is. Think 'The Three Billy Goats Gruff.' The idea of a freeway (think 'free' 'way') is to go. Then they stop you. And what about the carbon footprint everyone whines about? How much fuel is wasted stopping and going? And how much money does it cost to collect the money with tool booths and people? Can you imagine shopping and at the end of the aisle you lined up to pay the tax on your food? Or you're enjoying a concert and they stop in the middle of a song to collect
the toll? Or you're skydiving and... Okay that's enough. Deep cleansing breath. What's wrong with a simple gas tax?
It rained on and off all day, not enough to don rain gear, but kept the ride cool and a bit damp. We arrived at the (PP!) KOA and it still drizzled down enough to keep us inside and the picnic table wet. No big deal.
Wonderful time in Michigan.
If a Michigan person eats too much, is he a Michigainer? Sorry.
Tomorrow we'll visit the Amish in Shipshewana and we may tour a factory (Of what, I won't say) and perhaps a museum. See you then. Thanks for following.
Now we're in the tent and it is raining like crazy. Sweet dreams.