Breaking news! My road trip is over. I arrived to my final destination in metro Detroit yesterday. Here’s one final road trip picture of me and JJ, taken in the driveway of my parents’ house, where I’m living now.
This was after 15 days, 3,041 miles, and nearly 50 hours in the car.
But let’s jump back to where I left off in my last road trip post, in Omaha, Nebraska.
We woke up in our awful motel room, and went for a run before an eight-hour drive to Chicago. I think the one nice thing about the shithole of a motel we stayed at was that it was one block away from the Keystone Trail, a 13-mile trail that runs along a creek in the heart of Omaha. It was a lovely place for a run.
The trail dipped under roads, and I kinda love being under bridges. Maybe I’m secretly a troll. I also love riddles, so there could be something to that hypothesis!
The drive to Chicago was pretty uneventful. At one point near the Illinois/Iowa border, I had to pull over at a rest area because I was getting drowsy, but after a half hour of lounging in a reclined seat, I was ready to hit the road again.
A few minutes later, I crossed the mighty Mississippi!
My time in Chicago was busy, productive, and fun. I stayed with my sister Laura, and she was in the process of moving, so there was a lot that I could help out with. One night she and I assembled her new bed. One day we spent six hours clearing out her old space. I hauled so much stuff to the dumpster that I definitely counted that as my workout for the day. I also rented a U-Haul cargo van one day to move a queen-sized mattress to its new home, 90 miles away.
I also had a couple nice workouts. Laura’s building has an 8-story, 114-step stairwell, so one day I spent 53 minutes climbing it 12 times, and doing various exercises at the top, like push-ups, squats and jumping jacks, while I waited for the elevator to take me back down.
Another day I used a Chicago Divvy bikeshare bike to go for a great ride to Humboldt Park and back – about eight miles total. Despite going to Chicago once or twice a year for the past 20 years, I’ve never seen that park, and it is huge and lovely. There’s a big pond in the middle, with tons of ducks, although for some reason most scattered when I took a selfie.
JJ and I went on a few long walks, too, where he got to smell all sorts of new smells, and met a couple new Chicago doggie friends.
One night Laura, her boyfriend Chuck, and I went to trivia night at a bar down the street. We came in sixth place, out of about 15 or 18 teams, which we were excited about, because there was only three of us, and the teams that scored better had twice as many people.
I ordered, at that restaurant, a buffalo chicken sandwich, and swapped the fries for chili.
We ordered in another night, and I had a chicken and shrimp dish from a local Italian restaurant, with broccoli and a few potatoes on the side.
My next stop, after leaving Chicago, was St. Joseph, Michigan, which is where I totally had a bonehead moment that resulted in me missing a 5K race.
St. Joseph is only 90 minutes from Chicago, but you cross into a different time zone, from Central to Eastern time.
I was signed up for a 9am 5K race in nearby Benton Harbor, but when I woke up in the morning, I put on a watch that I hadn’t switched to Eastern time. As a result, I thought I was leaving at 8:15 for a 9am race, but it was actually already 9:15, and the race had already started, and would be over by the time I got there.
I realized when I was halfway there, and pulled off the freeway at the next exit. I went to a nearby park, and ran a 5K anyway, on my own. It ended up being a little longer than a 5K because I was guessing on the distance and not following a pre-established route.
Next to the park is the cemetery where my grandparents are interred, so I included the cemetery on the run and paused to say a quick hello.
The park is called Riverview Park, and shockingly enough, it has great views of the St. Joseph River. I am totally jealous of the house in the distance with all those stairs down to the dock!
Even though I still got my workout in, I can’t count this run towards my goal of competing in 40 races in 2019.
So, to make up for it, I went to a different race the very next day!
First, though, came the final leg of my drive: 2 hours and 45 minutes from the western edge of Michigan to the Detroit suburbs. I made it back to my childhood home!
(Circle back to the beginning of this post for a few more road trip details!)
This morning, I headed to Northville, Michigan, for the Run Michigan Cheap – Northville race. They offered a 5K, 10K, and half-marathon, and I signed up for the 10K.
This company, Run Michigan Cheap, does dozens of races all over the state. They are simple, no–frill events, and that’s fine by me! I just want a bib and the opportunity to race. I paid $35 when I walked up that morning, so it is cheap, and it would’ve been cheaper had I registered months ago.
The race started at Cass Benton park, and the start line was just a couple timing mats placed on the sidewalk.
The course was gently hilly, and basically followed a branch of the Rouge River.
Their photographer got a picture of me crossing the finish line!
And I got a finishers’ medal, too!
(You don’t see cattails in Los Angeles, that’s for sure!)
My time was 1:00:19, which is slower than my PR but I think my fastest time all year. I need to write a post updating my 40-race challenge, so I’ll double check that and get all my stats sorted.
And now I’m in Michigan. A new chapter begins. I have a lot to do, and a lot to look forward to, and while I enjoyed this road trip so much, I’m thrilled to not be living out of a suitcase!
Keep it up, David!