And then, just like that my alarm was going off at 3am. The woods were silent, my campfire turned to embers, but the waves nearby made their presence known. In the pitch black I packed up my gear one last time, threw dirt on the coals, and rode back onto the beach. I needed a few pedal strokes and some lake water splashed on my face before the grogginess wore off and I remembered I needed the water to be on my other side.
The moon was bright, but just barely so, for this last beach ride. The ride was so low, surprisingly, that I could just ride around each of those damn sea walls. Going through Port Huron, the noise of my tires bounced off the buildings, stirring an occasional dog. Only rolling into the Amtrak station did I finally see other people shuffling in and out of cars. It was pretty clear rain had fallen recently, though I was dry my entire ride back. You could see storm clouds overhead.
The conductors from three days before recognized me, and as the train took off light finally entered the sky. It was the first real brilliant sunrise I had seen all week, and almost immediately after it ended storm clouds moved back in and poured down for the entirety of Michigan, and some of Indiana too. I was pretty tired and running on a solitary sausage, so I napped occasionally. The Midwest is starting to get its yellow foliage, as I imagine the rest of the county is as well, and there aren’t many better ways to see it than on a train cutting swiftly through, with only an occasional sign of civilization.
Apparently some snails hitched a ride back on my bike, and after moving them to a safer spot for the ride home from the station they are now living fat at a friend’s apartment.