After a long nights' walk into Berrien Springs I was able to find a place, in the city park by the river, to rest during the hot daylight under tall shade trees. I had reached the goals of this walk, first Bloomington, then stepping into the state of Michigan. If there were time for me to walk to the Upper Peninsula before my obligations back at home called I would love to keep going without a pause. Walking to St. Joseph was my goal for the last stop before I started driving back toward Kentucky.
I figured if I could get some rest and an early, early start I could make my way the fourteen miles to Silver Beach in St. Joseph before noon the next day without attracting very much attention.
A photographer called from the newspaper in St. Joseph, as I was about to fall asleep in the shade at the park, wanting to know when I would be in St. Joseph. He had heard I was in the area and wanted to catch up with me. I told him if everything went according to plan I would be in town around noon. The days had been hot, I told him my intention was to get most of the miles before the day warmed and if all went according to plan I would call him when I was close to the city. I didn't know that a front of wind and rain was about to blow in from Lake Michigan delaying my planned arrival to the town named after the patron Saint of the Universal Church.
In my universe plans are subject to change.
I awoke and readied to leave early for Saint Joseph, before the sunrise but kept seeing lightening in the distance while I shaved and packed my gear for the days walk. I was about to get out of the van to leave when it began to rain. This was the first time during the whole trip I was delayed because of rain and I jumped at the chance to sleep in. The thunder and lightening with waves of rain put me quickly into a deep sleep. When I opened my eyes to see the puddle outside my window was dancing with rings from raindrops, I closed my eyes guilt-free and settled in for another dream. When I finally awoke the sun had begun to rise, the streets had dried from a strong wind bringing in a cold front. The cool wind and bright skies made for a beautiful morning.
St. Joe was not going to let me go quickly and quietly away in the dark of night.
The day I had thought would bring me from Berrien to St. Joseph fell short in miles but was filled with fun times and good people. Getting out of Berrien Springs took some doing with the wind blowing in the opposite direction I was walking. People, young and old stopped for pictures and conversation. I was called by a radio station and talked on-air while the man who had called from St. Joe, who had found me at the edge of Berrien Springs, stood by. He photographed us and interviewed a few people who stopped while he was there. We all joked and cut-up while also talking about the far reach of diabetes and what we all can do to help. Later the lead writer from his newspaper came to get his own notes on the story saying we would make a good feature story. The photographer had taken notes and heard my story several times but I was happy reviewing it one more time
At the end of the day, the first this trip I had to labor all day against a hard wind, I had to stop in Scottdale on the outskirts of St.Joseph I still had six miles to go.
The timing was right somehow. I was stopped for a picture outside if a restaurant when a man I had met earlier pulled in who gave me a ride to get the van after the women at the restaurant agreed to watch over the World for a few minutes.
When I returned to Scottdale a television-reporter, who had been searching for hours, found me in the restaurant as I was about order, excitedly asked for an interview. I obliged.
St. Joe was calling, but would have wait another day.