2008 Race Report #16 1/2: The Life of Riley continued...



Katelina at Lake Michigan





After leaving Evanston I headed up to Sheboygan – a 2 ½ hour drive become 4 hours with 294 late night construction. As I drove and mile markers streaked past, so began the usual tumbling thoughts of failure flashing through my mind – the tracers of getting dropped from the peleton leaving trailing sparks like a dying sparkler.




Driving the RV






At first I was feeling additional stress because we did not have an electric site at the state park and generator use was taboo at the campground, but checking weather enroute I was happy to discover that the weather reports were calling for days in the high 70’s and nights in the mid to low 50’s – hence no need to run the A/C.


I pulled into the park about midnight and backed into the parking spot,and then after a quick brushing of teeth, hit the hay.  




My bed in the RV






I don’t know how to describe it really – how with the change of surroundings came a sense of comfort, of freedom and of health brought by the cool night air.I could feel the cool night air from the pines and maples and oaks drift down through the blinds onto my incredibly tired limbs. Like an elixer the contrasts of the cool air and the warmth of my blankets, the insulated close knit sounds within the small space of the RV and those of the crickets and leaves extended my usually short transition to deep sleep and for a long time I hovered in that ‘in between’ of startling memory flashes and vague ideas, bright colors and deep contentment.


I breathed deeper, slower, imbibing those stirrings within the night airs and slowly, inexorably, I fell asleep. Dangling next to me, the 5 chrysalides of our butterflies joined me in slumber...




4 chrysalides and one last caterpillar ready to change





The Life of Riley: For the 3 days in between Evanston and Racine, we did very little. In theory I was going to race in Cedarburg on Tuesday, but that quickly went out the window as we experienced 3 of the most perfect mid-western days in a row that have ever occurred in our latitude: each day was brilliantly sunny with the occasional puffy clouds to add interest with a temperature between 73 and 78 degrees as a high. The nights held forth small breezes and temperatures in the mid 50’s.





Morning in the messy RV










We spent most of our days at the beach - cooking out, reading, and splashing in the cold water. Kat chased seagulls and made sand castles...



Kat chases seagulls... again








Making drip castles






After our first night we were fortunate enough to be able to move to probably the single best, most isolated campsite at Kohler Andrae state park – we had a forest behind us and could hardly even see the next campsite.




A drip castle with moat






We slept and slept and slept. Our first night we slept until 10:30am – 10 hours. The next night we were in bed by 10pm and only awoke at 9:30am – 11 ½ hours! This was perfect healthy, stress free living – walks on the beach, reading, music, incredible meals of fresh produce and grilled meats by the lakeside, followed by roasted marshmallows, Bug Spray and more reading by the campfire.



Katelina chased seagulls, crushed sandcastles, splashed in the 60 degree water, rode her bike and ate lots of burnt marshmallows.



Kat at the beach


I rode for an hour easy on Monday and Wednesday taking Tuesday completely off. Otherwise I spent my time either cooking, eating, sleeping, reading, or sitting facing Lake Michigan and Katelina with my toes in the sand. It was magical.