Day 010 Sturgis, Michigan Sidewalks and Bike Paths --- But I Need a Car

Video showing how the sidewalk ends, and there is no way to walk to a business.

For the last 14 years of my life, I wake, write my travel Blog post, then go for a walk around in search of a piece of bread and some orange juice.

I have live outside the USA for 14 years, now I am on a Road Trip around the USA.

I am in Sturgis, Michigan, my father worked in a factory here for at least 20 years of his life. He would drive 31 miles to work, and 31 mile back home to Orland, Indiana. Finally the factory closed down when he was maybe 55, and so did my mothers around the same age.

Whatever... but, I am on my way toward Shipshewana to see what the Amish are doing there, so I thought I would stop in Sturgis, Michigan and look

I have stopped in about 10 cities now in the USA, generally the cities have all built large 6-8 lane wide roads that have all your fast food, Walmart, Kmarts, and assorted strip mall type businesses. Each of the villages, towns, cities etc. seem to have this, then there is the courthouse or downtown section of the city.

Normally, the downtown sections are about dead, unless there is no "Walmart - McDonald's Strip." Then the downtown can still be thriving.

My Morning Walk in Sturgis, Michigan

I parked my van close to McDonalds, drank a coffee, work on the Internet, then went for a walk down the street. Car are flying by me at 30-60 miles per hour, they are in a hurry, and they can move fast. It is scary, cold, miserable, I am not excited to walk along highways this large, but what I thought, I need to, I need to understand the USA. I have learned, if you truly want to understand a cu lure, you need to walk around, a car is too fast, you do not understand anything, you are too far away in a car.

I saw a Rite Aid, it is good Pharmacy in the distance, and I decided to walk there, maybe try to buy some of that teeth bleaching stuff, I know I drink too much coffee. I crossed the street, and there is no sidewalk steps going up the hill to the business.

 Video of the sidewalk that ends

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My father drove 60 miles per day to work in a factory. If the price of gas was 8 USD, he would now pay 32 USD per day to go to work.


The USA Requires me Drive a Car

I want to walk around, I do not want to drive a car, I would ride a bike, I have enjoyed my life living in what we Americans would call poor countries, but they are not. I am fighting, I am thinking, in the box, on the box, I have never lived in a box. The bottom line is I am searching for a way to enjoy the USA.

I believe three things are unhealthy for the mind.

1. Driving a car --- it puts too much distance between myself, and people, it makes my mind work at 60 miles per hour, and requires me to think, my mind cannot drift, or wonder.

2. Computers --- it too, suck your brain into it, and refuses to allow your brain to just drift around.

3. Living inside a house during winter --- This isolation causes people to become hermits, they have trouble being sociable.

The USA is the Ultimate Money Making Machine

The USA somehow has evolved where people work 8 hours per day, then shop two hours per day, then are entertained by TV and the Internet. The free entertainment of talking with friends, sitting around, joking, laughing and talking that is free is no longer is almost impossible to do. Yes, you can go buy, buy, buy beer, buy, buy, buy expensive Starbucks Coffee, but you cannot just talk for free.

I have spent 14 years, sitting around talking with friend, there was no work involved, I just walked outside my hotel and ran into interesting people where were not busy.

When the price of gas goes to 8-10 dollar per gallon, the same as Europe, the sidewalk, the bike path will be of use... The Europeans do not ride bikes because the want to, it is a need.


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Ironically, even some of the big cities are the best for getting out of your car and walking. I live near San Francisco and most people there dont even own a car. The small cities around there are also nice because of the public transportation systems.and#65279 You can even eat a meal of healthy great food for under $5, and the selection is from every corner of the globe.

This is more fascinating to me than any of your other trips. I know the US. I have travelled here a lot, but always on a time budget. It will be very interesting to see if you can decipher the US mind. I sometimes think I get it, but since I have a US mind, I probably cannot really see it.

My input is: We are a car culture. If you want to meet people in many other countries, it is easy because you are different and are not driving through. They want to meet you and they have the time. Here, you don't at first seem different, so you are just another person to be kind to and most people don't think they have a lot of time..

You can meet people in tourist areas, and at community suppers, and at culteral events. You can also meet people when you are in trouble and need help. From my experiences, if you are in need of help, people will sell their first born to help you, but if you are just a regular Joe, you may get little more than a Polite Hello. But, the funny thing is, if you have the time, you can get into a lot of conversations with a lot of great people. The problem is that those people have to have the time to talk to you. That limits things.

If you get to the North East of the US, you are welcome to crash at our place for as long as we can tolerate each other's personalities. It would be an interesting and enjoyable time.

Andy it was nice to meet you at McDonalds today - i wish i had time to visit longer - had to go to work - im excited to be going soon too - leaving for the Philippines in June :-)

I am game to meet people, please call me at 260-241-4657, I am in Auburn, Indiana today friday the 18, 2012. On the road again.. I had a great time working in the Middlebury Libary yesterday, I think I will spend a lot of time in Libaries. I am not "Wowed" by things easily in the USA, and need to search for things to do. Thank you, Andy Lee Graham 260-241-4657

The big cities are good for walking, and the very small, and the middle is middle, not as fun as they should be.

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