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A Deluge of Rain

December 5, 2013

Michigan – Sunday, November 17


It was time to get packed up to set out for the last 2 days of my journey, so after Taryn and I had breakfast I got the van loaded up and the weather was not looking good. Despite that, I had made arrangements with my friend Jan to do a little walking in Boyne City together, and her mom joined us too. We dodged the raindrops and covered about a mile and a quarter without getting too wet. I went back to their place on Lake Charlevoix, which I had visited numerous times up through our college years – and parts of it looked exactly like I remembered. It’s such a pretty part of the state. We visited for a while there, and warmed up with some hot chocolate, then I set off. My destination today was my aunt Phyllis’ house in North Muskegon, so I had a bit of driving to do and I wanted to fit in as much walking as I could. I passed through Charlevoix again and since the rain had temporarily stopped, I got Tula out for a walk while I could. When we were about 3/4 mile away from the van, the clouds opened up and it didn’t take long at all to get absolutely soaked. I had a rain jacket on, but no umbrella, and soon even my shoes were squishing out water. Tula had to stop and shake several times. I dried her off quickly as best I could when I got back to the van, but it was pretty hopeless and there’s nothing like a wet dog shaking herself off inside a vehicle! I wasn’t even able to get any pictures today because it was just too wet to take the camera out!


I made my way slowly through the heavy rain until I came to Elk Rapids, where the rain let up a little bit, so I grabbed the umbrella and left Tula in the car and walked only about a half mile before I decided I didn’t want to battle the wind with the umbrella. So I went back to the van and set off toward Traverse City. It was pretty slow going because the rain was coming down so hard. It was even beginning to thunder and lightning a bit. I turned the radio on and listened to all the bad weather news – 60+ tornadoes in Illinois and then rolling on through Indiana and Ohio, and some torrential rains and wind in Michigan; some of which I was coping with now. This was some of the heaviest rainfall I’ve encountered during the whole journey. I finally made it to Traverse City, and I was worried about driving through some of the intersections because they were so flooded with rainwater. I watched other vehicles go through the intersections while spraying up big roostertails of water. I drove through downtown Traverse City and was disappointed it was such a bad day to be outside because it looked like a fun town for walking.  Since I was already pretty wet anyway I decided to get out for one more mile of walking in the downtown area, where there were a surprising number of people out in the wet weather. It helped that there were a lot of overhangs and awnings.  By then I’d had enough rain and was feeling a bit chilled, so I got into some dry clothes and shoes and stopped walking for the day – I was only able to cover 4.7 miles, but felt lucky to get that much in. I’ll have a few extra miles to walk tomorrow.


Once I was warm and dry, I finished up the slow, rainy drive to my aunt’s house, and it was incredibly nice to walk in the house and smell a yummy dinner waiting! We had a wonderful roast beef feast, and spent the evening visiting. I think it was good for me to be ending this final week seeing a lot of family, because it helped with the transition of a wandering life on the road back  to a more normal life back home in Michigan. I could sort of pretend I was just driving back from one of the countless trips I’ve made up north. But there was still one big day to go!



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