Breathing Through Challenges & Dancing Between Raindrops at Indiana Dunes National Park, INDIANA

Cayuhoga Valley, Ohio >> South Bend, Indiana

261.1 miles, 4 hours 17 minutes

Our caravan is not currently designed to weather really wet conditions. There isn't a lot of space for drying wet clothes or other items. As well, one of my concerns is about the fabric and carpeting getting wet and then developing mold. In the near future, I would like to pull out the carpeting and put in linoleum flooring, but that is a bigger project for a different time and one in which we intend on staying put in one place for a while. In the meantime, flash flooding, lightning and thunderstorms have been with us since New York.

(Meanwhile, the [North] American west is "baking, burning and drying in intertwined extreme weather," writes the AP. So, we will enjoy the rain and our time here, especially for everyone there and as we continue to make our way west.)

I feel less uptight about driving in these conditions and more insecure about living in them. Our journey from Ohio to Indiana took us through Amish country as we watched covered buggies being pulled by horses riding in the rain off the side of the road to our right. “The Amish are known for simple living, plain dress, Christian pacifism, and slowness to adopt many conveniences of modern technology, with a view to not interrupt family time, not replace face to face conversations whenever possible and to maintain self-sufficiency. The Amish value rural life, manual labor, and humility, all under the auspices of living what they interpret to be God’s word.” (From Wikipedia)

The sky was clear when we rolled into South Bend, Indiana, allowing Cee to run off and meet a few kids whom he joined in a quick game of tag at Howard Park. A sloping hill on the banks of the St. Joseph River, this park includes a large playground consisting of new climbing structures as well as an ambling river walk. We slept in a neighboring suburb before driving to the Indiana Dunes National Park the following day, where the sun came out and we enjoyed "a day at the beach" Lake Michigan style.

It is a foreign sensation to be in a very large body of water as I willingly gulp fresh water into my mouth. I didn't make a habit of it though, as both ends of this national park are dotted with the industrial pollution that makes Lake Michigan the most polluted of all of the Great Lakes. “The Great Lakes are a series of five freshwater, interconnected lakes located primarily in upper North America. Together, they makeup the largest body of freshwater on Earth, accounting for one-fifth of the freshwater surface of the planet. These Great Lakes hold over 20% of the world’s freshwater supply and provide drinking water to over 40 million people.” (from Esri)

When the ominous clouds returned, we rolled into the expansive Potato Creek State Park, located just twenty miles outside of South Bend, where we could bathe in the 327-acre Lake Worster as well as ride our bicycles around old fields, mature woodlands, restored prairies and diverse woodlands. Upon arrival however, we were bombarded by what to us felt like a cloud of mosquitoes. All I could do was to shrug my shoulders because I had already paid to stay for the week. Timing our jaunts out of the van in between the rainstorms, I strengthened my ability to dance between the raindrops so that I could prepare our meals and so that Cee and I, covered in rain ponchos, could ride around the sprawling campground found at Potato Creek.

However, I still had not given myself the good, ugly cry that my Bodymind was long overdue. As a result, I was beginning to behave chronically harshly with my child. Lacking patience and presence, I was quick to frustration and just overall bitchy. We both already felt miserable as we were seemingly covered in mosquito bites and limited by the flash flooding conditions. My lack of self-care was not helping our situation at all. Then, this computer that I use, which used to be Burt’s and I have been using, under his profile, since his death, began crashing. We needed to go to Chicago so I could take this device in for some restorative care. Hopefully, I would tend to my own there, as well.

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