Tuesday July 21: La Porte to Kendallville, IN

90 or so miles, and more Really Nice People (and a great lake!)

We didn't have any sort of a strong tailwind this day, but it was so nice we may as well have. We left La Porte on a route that was somewhat detoured from what our route map said -- but which ended up being much better. The day was beautiful, and the sudden appearence of a Greek Orthodox Church reminded us that we were getting into Yet Another region of the states. The Amish buggies and hay carts were another. *smile*. We rode in through North Liberty, where we stopped at a gas station for a Pit .5 (the first leg of the day was about 27 miles). It was still hot -- Pit 2 and Pit 3 were trying to maintain all the shade they could -- but then the break of the day came: the lake.

It turned out one of the detours had changed our route to go right past one of the lakes in the vicinity -- and boy did we take advantage of it! The lake access was down a flight of wooden stairs to a small cement landing, from which you could step down into 1-foot deep warm lake water, and then wade out quite a long ways before getting into water deeper than 5 feet. We played, floated, and generally reveled in the lake, wishing that we could do this more often. In case you're ever near Wolcottville, IN, Atwood Lake is definitely worth checking out.

We then continued on -- and were promptly stopped in Wolcottville by a local ice cream/video/tanning store (we only got the ice cream). We were within 14 miles of camp, though, so we weren't worried about getting in late. I did take one picture for the audience, that of the Kendallville Water Tower. We like the water towers because it can give you some physical idea of how far away the next town really is, so they're important landmarks. We rode to camp at Bixler Park, through town, during which we got the warmest reception we'd had to date. People were sitting on their porches, their lawns, or standing in the doorways, waving at us and cheering us on. It was a wonderful morale booster -- even for those with high morale! When we reached the camp I was calling out "I love this town! I love this state!" I was so happy and energized from all the good feelings. Quite an antidote to our Illinois experience! The Big Board read: "Swimming is allowed. All camp spaces are in shade. Mosquitoes are not a big problem. Life is good." It was.

It did, however, storm again that night -- hard! More thunder and lightning than the previous storm, for much longer. There was no shelter right there, although some campers moved to the firehouse (I think?) out of concern for our location -- next to a lake with many many trees around. We had a good spot, though, and our tent only got more muddy, and we weren't sitting in a pool of water. I still like Kendallville.

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