Sunday, May 21, 2006

I should have packed my boots.

Our first five days of riding are officially over, giving us a week to recover in Flint. We rode rolling hills for the last few days and saw a lot of fields and rusted out farm implements.

There were nothing but small farms between Kalamazoo and Howell. It looked and smelled like the part of Wisconsin were I grew up.

What has eight wheels and is full of liquid shit?

This is the biggest tractor I've seen on the trip so far. I've heard they have titanic gps-guided machines for field work out on the Plains, but with it's six foot tall dualies in the front and rear, this manure hauler is the current title-holder. Imagine the torque this thing generates- sheer gearhead boner material.

The rural character of this place is pretty saturated. For long stretches, lone extended-cab three-quarter-ton pickups are the only traffic, and they are all caked in mud from the dirt roads and cornfields. The people are amazingly helpful when we get lost and ask for directions- quiet guys with burned-red faces, worn out camo and insulated flannel shirts, and stars 'n' stripes belt buckles, unexpectedly patient and interested in our trip. Their dogs are all either well-behaved or chained to something.

This place wasn't open when we rode through.

I'd like to think that this is some kind of local line-dancing hotspot.

We got soaked by rain on the way into Charlotte (pronounced shur-LOT) and ended up in a motel off the freeway. Watching the Ultimate Coyote Ugly Search on CMT was the perfect way to finish the day.

What up, Dukes of Hazzard? Everyone has some old car in the yard out here.

These people were neighbors.

This is the court house in Mason, which is a county seat. Historically this square was a meeting place for farmers and business people. Cool old architecture all around downtown Mason.

Not pictured but playing a key role are the cubic yards of fried food and gallons of cheap domestic beer that have fueled us through Southern Michigan. The little bars and cafes are great, but they make me very thankful for fruit and vegetables, and sometimes they make me want to puke french fries.

Andrea will post the rest of the S. Michigan story later...


Kate Hoffman said...

AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!! You fuckers are awesome. I know it's probably a looong way off, but we've got a futon here in NYC that would be honored for you to sleep on it.

I miss youz guys. :( HAVE A FUN RIDE! I'll be reading along with you!!


Anonymous said...

Hey, Ira-

Long time, no talk. Ricki here - your mom gave me the blogspot address. You both rock, and I'm glad that I can live vicariously through the both of you on your great adventure. You are an inspiration to boring adults everywhere who would LOVE to have the balls that you do to pack up and see the world. Kudos, and safe travels!


Jeff Wright said...

Great pics so far, looking forward to reading more stories.

Stay dry and travel safe.

[165] said...

andrea and ira-
keep pedaling. keep posting. keep having a good time.
we'll keep the home fires burning