Day 6 on the bike. 41 miles. 3.5 hours.I was a bit spooked yesterdy when landing in Roger City only to find no motel rooms. So this morning I called ahead down the road to Alpena to make reservations. The Best Western had just 1 room left. Logistics.

Why the room shortage? The short answers: It’s summer and it’s the weekend. So I need to be extra careful until I get out of  this vacation wonderland area and to be especially mindful on the weekends.

In all honesty, now that I’ve arrived in Alpena and biked across it, I can’t think of anything positive to say about the place except to say the city planners were a tad too enthusiastic when they were staking out the city limits. History is going to prove just how wrong they are when the place at some point in the not too distant future folds up like an accordian.

Right now the local economy is running on the excess consumerism generated by their big box stores. Alpena has the new and improved super-Walmart vesion 2.0 and everone from the outlying ares have to come here to shop because the low low prices drove everyone else out of business.

This new Walmart model has the super-sized grocery that everyone now has to dance with whether they like it or not. If you parachute in from another culture like I did then one can clearly see just how we Americans have sacrified our freedoms and our way of life for price and convenience.

And there isn’t shit between Cheyboygan and Alpena except for the tiny outpost of Roger City. 80 miles of wilderness. Want to buy a cup of coffee? Forget it. Want lunch? Forget it. Want gasoline? Forget it

And the irony is that the citizens here have gradually gotten used to this skrinkage of amenities that they’ve now kind of all fallen in lock step with driving 20-30 miles to buy even the least little things. There is so little  here you’d think this was the Alaskan outback or the Upper Penninsula.

And you probably think that I should feel sorry for everyone that lives here don’t you?  Nope. Can’t. This is a wretched  place  that was created mindfully with eyes wide open and I will never (ever) come back here.

I am grateful that there is booze in this world. Without a cocktail at the end of day a man could certainly lose the habit of smiling and given enough time, forfeit his very soul.

In the immortal words of Rumi, “How can you be satisfied with so little?”

PS – You wonder why I’ve got really nothing good to say? Why these biking posts seem to be nothing but gripes? Why there isn’t any good food/beer commentary?


Because it doesn’t exist.