Why does the wind blow from the south?
I’m about to reveal my complete and utter cluelessness about meteorology and fluid dynamics, but I spent a significant amount of time contemplating the atmospheric forces that set breezes blowing during 61 miles of riding directly into a ferocious headwind.
At first I hypothesized that winds originate from the rotation of the earth, but quickly realized that mechanism makes absolutely zero sense. Then I started wondering if some thermodynamic temperature gradient thing is responsible for causing atmospheric currents, possibly due to the same gas laws that make my isopropanol fuel tank frost over when I boil my morning oatmeal?
Although I never reached closure on what CAUSES southerly winds, the EFFECTS of a full day pedaling straight into Michigan’s mistral were painfully clear: one worn-out two-wheeled wanderer!
If anyone CAN explain what causes wind, please let me know! Somehow my PhD in microbiology didn’t include ANY coursework in atmospheric sciences. Fortunately, it’s never too late to stop learning.
For example, today I learned to spot a turkey vulture from 20 meters down the road.
I learned that Michiganiacs are incredibly talented tree-trimmers.
I learned that not ALL forms of alternative transportation are welcome on the pleasant peninsula.
And, most importantly, I learned that a tired old joke instantly becomes ten times funnier when a tank is involved.
I learned that my campground for this evening features a pool.
With that, I’ve reached the final evening of the Michigan portion of my tour. Tomorrow I set sail aboard the SS Badger ferry across the largest freshwater lake in the United States, bound for the friendly shores of America’s Dairyland. I must say, I’m looking forward to being back in Wisconsin. Michigan is perfectly lovely, and parts of the Upper Peninsula are simply spectacular, but I would be lying if I said that perpetual tree-lined pastoral countryside REALLY turns my crank. To juxtapose and mangle the words of Julius Caeser and the Michigan state motto: I came seeking a pleasant peninsula, I looked around me, I conquered, and then I cycled back to Wisconsin.
Keep living, laughing, and learning!