Camping. I was never into much. Until it became sleeping at the end of a long day of bicycle touring. In the western USA this is understood, as town parks not only allow, but encourage to camp in them. But out east, camping is big business. It costs $20 or $30 to set up a tent amongst RVs with satellite TV and sleep for 6 hours. Unless you’re clever.
I’ve heard it called guerilla camping, phantoming, and stealth tenting. Recently, I learned the phrase “remote sleeping”. I love that one the most. I’ve done this all tour: behind a gas station two nights ago, the aforementioned park in Fargo, in the middle of some Wisconsin woods. Wait for the sun to set, pop up the tent, be out before dawn. It’s the only way I know.
So today I arrive in St Ignace Michigan. I need a place to sleep. I look up the state park online, it’s $3 for group camping. I call to verify, sure nuff. Wow! Finally some sanity. But when I get there, they inform me that I need to be in a group of ten to qualify, $30 minimum. I can’t go make friends and be part of a current group. I check my budget, $30 is out of the question.
I cruise the rest of the city. No open fields behind churches. No schools that i can find. Finally I spot some hidden space behind two abandoned buildings. I decide to wait for sunset but the local police are on to me. Snooping me hard. They know what I’m up to. I decide to find another location and head back toward the wooded area on the water. All private property; no trespassing signs everywhere.
Finally I come up on a cemetery, creepy yes. But it’s my last option and it’s getting dark. I ride thru and see a fence with a two foot opening for walkers. I slide thru there, notice some people hanging out and think I’m on more private land. But after a moment I realize I actually came in the back door of the same state park I where had started!! Amazing. Open campsite, tent goes up, I go in. Remote sleeping at it’s finest. Good night.