Today marks one month of being out on the road. Time is just going by so quickly but that always happens this time of year. I think I would be right on the money in terms of getting to Portland, Oregon by September if I didn't have this amazing opportunity to spend a chunk of time in Chicago. I'll gladly be late if it means getting to explore a new city with some of my best friends from home. I have made all the arrangements in terms of places to stay from now until Monday, July 18th, the day after Pitchfork Music Fest, and the day my friends head back East and I continue to head West, starting the second half of my trip (although, I'll still be less than halfway once I leave Chicago).
A 20 mile ride is still waiting for me today as I write this. I actually backtracked a little to visit a coffee shop 3 miles East of the motel I stayed in last night. I've just got a lot of time to get to the next stop in Gary, Indiana where my host, Edward lives a short walk from the shores of Lake Michigan. These short rides are nice but, I feel better about eating my weight in peanut butter sandwiches when I actually break 50 miles on a day's ride. Soon enough I'll be exhausted and starving in the Western, more barren half of the country so I guess I can enjoy this vacation within a vacation as much as possible – I'm certainly looking forward to it! I just have to say it again how appreciative I am of all the good people I've met that have fed me and given me a place to stay in this first month – this has been a completely unexpected part of the journey. I thought time alone in isolation was going to be the main theme but I have been so lucky to experience, first hand, the kindness of strangers in strange lands.