July 24. Day 41.
It was so hard to leave Monica’s behind and as we were getting ready Claire and Emma both insisted that they were going to bike to Chicago with us. They even filled up their water bottles. They are great kids and we will certainly miss them (though I’m not sure Ethan will miss getting beaten up and told that he looks like he’s 40 years old). After lots of goodbye’s we headed out toward the lakeshore, where we would connect with the Robert McClory Bike Path and head south to the Windy City. The bike path wasn’t paved and the gravel was actually kind of annoying. It’s the best way to go tho, so we stayed on for a while. Eventually, Ethan found a road that ran parallel, which we rode for while until we had our first break. We ended up going 20 miles before I needed to stop to eat, which is not normal. I guess I was just so excited that I didn’t really notice. We stopped for a Clif bar then pushed on.
We followed the trail, which ended up becoming the Green Bay trail, until we came to a McDonalds. Ethan had to use the bathroom and we needed cold water. We also were kinda hungry and could’t wait for our lunch stop in Evanston. We sat in the a/c for while, which was hard to leave, but the comfort of “home” awaited in the big city. We pushed on to Evanston and we think at this point we officially connected our west coast tour and our Lake Michigan tour! Woohoo! Lunch was delicious Chipotle, which I think we both could have eaten 4 more servings of. It was getting really hot and the wind decided to blow right in our faces. Fun! We continued south and got our first glimpse of Lake Michigan. This officially made us feel like we were in familiar territory and it felt SO good!
We followed the Lakeshore route, which eventually puts you in the Lakeshore trail. The trail was busy with people walking, biking, and roller-blading and it was a little stressful. But, we were riding along our beautiful lake and couldn’t have been happier about it. We ran in to another bike tourist on the path and stopped to chat with him for a while. We hadn’t seen any other tourists in a long time, so it was great to talk to someone who felt our pain! He had a tailwind though, so he wasn’t feeling nearly as pooped as we were. Anyway, he was doing a zigzag across the country and might end up going through Lansing so we gave him our info. After that it was a few more miles until we cut back into the city toward Stevie and Jordan’s place. Of course, we had to stop to get a picture with the skyline. We made it!!!!
After a couple of miles along a busy city street we finally turned down their street. Hooooorrrrraaaaayyy!!! We were exhausted but our excitement that we had finally made it here overtook our tiredness. Jordan let us in and it felt oh-so-good to be in a place that kind of felt like home. We showered and put on clothes that we had left here in June. Fresh clothes have never felt so good. After Stevie got back from work we ate at a delicious Thai place and came back to watch the second Naked and Afraid XL episode. So entertaining! I’m telling you, if you don’t watch that show, you should. It’s great.
Well folks, we are currently relaxing after a great 9 hours of sleep and an awesome, healthy breakfast. Ethan is hard at work trying to plan our route through Indiana and Ohio (which is proving more difficult than expected). I have full faith in him that he’ll figure it out though. We’re in Chicago until Monday morning, so we’re hoping to relaxing and let our bodies heal a bit. And spend some quality family time!!
7 states down y’all!!! Looking forward to the last part of this crazy adventure. Stay tuned!!