We are very comfortably situated in The Cole Porter Inn tonight in Peru, Indiana, in the “Kiss Me Kate” suite, after a relatively brief fifty six mile ride here from a campground on the Tippecanoe River.
Since it’s a holiday weekend lots of people were camping on the river — including our very friendly camping neighbors from Chicago who were recently backpacking and who were very interested in our tent and bike trip. They were also very interested in staying up really late and drinking a lot and telling the same joke over and over loudly, ending with the punchline “I don’t think I need my arm” until 3:29 am. (To their credit, they also had an interesting conversation about dogma vs. doctrine in the wee hours which Dan and I recapped on our ride.)
The birds came out shortly after the neighbors went to bed and there was an owl and some woodpeckers and a family of geese near our tent, and we got up somewhat sleep deprived along with our bike traveler neighbor on the other side and packed up after some coffee and conversation about plans for the day. He opted to head west to the Indiana Dunes and we headed east and wished him well.
Our route took us through Monterey: where a young fellow on a green three-wheeled Schwinn met up with us and rode along with us for a few blocks, asking where we were going, and exclaimed “you are going all the way across the country!!!” and also “you need to eat lots of food!!!”
We biked through farm fields, and over rivers, and past small country churches and cemeteries with people carefully placing flowers and flags on the graves of their relatives as well as those of soldiers serving in wars since the Civil War.
In Rochester we stopped for lunch at a bagel place that had a sign saying they were out of bagels until the next morning at 6 am, but the cheerful owner stuck her head out and told us she could make omelets or wrap sandwiches and we had a lovely lunch on the patio there.
So the ride was pleasantly uneventful and accompanied by songbirds and wildflowers and it was a relatively relaxing day. Our destination was Cole Porter’s childhood home in Peru, which was built in the late 1800s and which is now an inn. The owners were working in the yard when we pulled up and were lovely, telling us about the house and our suite (the original floor to ceiling mirrors were installed by Cole’s mother for her dance parties), and we chatted about the upcoming Cole Porter days in honor of his 130th birthday in June 9.
It was good to have time to clean up our bikes and wash clothes and ride over to the grocery store for some food for dinner, as most of the restaurants in town were closed for Memorial Day, and we listened to Cole Porter’s music and drank a toast in his honor. Delightful, de-lovely day.