Today's ride was 88 miles from Lansing, IL to Benton Harbor, MI. We travelled along the Lake Michigan Shore and passed through towns that were ever more familiar to me, including Michigan City, New Buffalo, Bridgeman, and St. Joseph before our destination. We did see the Lake at times, such as this photo taken in the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore:
We also found a swedish bakery to and stopped for some refueling.
When the owner heard our story about cycling with a mission to fight poverty she paid for our drinks and later came out with three delicious Swedish pancakes with Lingonberry sauce at no charge:
I may be gaining weight on this trip even though I'm cycling close to 100 miles a day. That's Dan Kiel, who I am doing most of the riding with along with Pete Wiersma. Both are from Zealand and doing the full ride
And now some things about camp life. Lighthouse ministries is a joint RCA/CRC mission operating in a very large, old church building here in Benton Harbor. The first thing to do when arriving is to set up your tent, unless we sleep inside like last night. There are many areas set aside for sleeping inside, but many tents were being set up on the church lawn. I opted for the privacy of a tent over the security of an indoor slumber party and set up near the entrance.
The second thing to do is take a shower. This is when it becomes important to get in from the ride earlier rather than later because usually there is limited hot water and the shower area tends to get hot, humid and dirty due to being overwhelmed with the 150 or so people. This ministry was proud to have just recently installed 3 showers in the basement, but apparently they are close to each other so they were designated Women's showers. This left the makeshift outdoor shower as the only option for men. It was set up on the front lawn of the church:
Obviously, this is cold water only and not really private-I'm sure the people must be wondering what is happening here as they drive by. You may think the other side of the shower would be more private-wrong!
Anyway, with that out of the way, maybe you would want to wash some clothes. Most cyclists did not pack an entire week's worth of cycling clothes so getting tomorrow's clothes washed and dry becomes a priority as the week progresses. There are laundry options available but usually only on weekends. If you look at the far right of the photo above you can see the in-camp laundry tub, along with the rinse bucket. Drying happens wherever you can hang your wet clothes. This is my tent and bike right now:
Hoping for a dry evening tonight.