by A.J. Tiedeman
Play time, crazy time, and chill time are essential to life, and especially to a physically and mentally intensive course like this May Term. That’s why we have layover days and make time during the evening to let loose a little.
On our layover day we got to rest and wander wherever our minds, bodies, and bikes would take us. We decided to ride into the downtown area of Chesterton, the town closest to the dunes (about 5 miles). I had a bike with a persistent front flat (3 so far), so I intertwined the wheel to my drawstring and borrowed my friend’s wheel since he had a cold and didn’t feel well enough to ride.
We stopped at a visitors’ center to get some opinions on what to see and, most importantly, where to eat. They looked at us funny when we were avoiding the options of hiking or biking the trails around us, but we explained that today’s our rest day and our bodies and minds wanted to take that seriously. They suggested a few food options, and the restaurant Octave sounded the most appealing. The cows were grass fed, the chickens were free range, and many of us were craving burgers.
After we got into town and dropped off my bike at the mechanic shop we looked for Octave. Unfortunately, it didn’t open until 3, which meant killing about 3 hours… So that’s what we did. In that time we explored a lot of Chesterton, like hanging out in a gazebo, wandering through an antique store, and looking in a thrift shop.
Time went fast and it was almost 3, so we excitedly found out ways back to Octave. Their burgers were insanely tasty and piled high with goodness. The black bean burger was amazingly simple and cooked just right – a little crunch on the outside and soft but not mushed beans on the inside. I’m a vegetarian so I don’t know how the beef tasted, but it got many approving facial expressions and sounds from those who tried it.
After exploring downtown Chesterton, we ended our adventures with some chill time on the beach and a climb to the top of a dune. The best part was coming down the dune. It was like running/jumping down from cloud to cloud. The sand caught our feet softly, yet firmly.
The next day we biked about 40 miles to Prairie Creek Ministries, where we continued having fun fooling around. David taught us the Monster; a configuration of people that was choreographed for Earlham’s Spring 2015 Dance Alloy performance. Being the base was a weird, but cool experience. My head felt like someone was trying to juice it and after everyone got down my balance was totally thrown off because of the sudden change in weight. Daniel then taught us some acro-yoga. Like it sounds, it’s a combination of acrobatics and yoga. It’s usually done with two people, who build there strength and balance by using each other’s bodies.