Monday, August 28, 2006

Interlochen, MI

Onward I grind. It has been a bit of a grind in a sense. The ride across the UP was not too eventful until the last day there when I rode along the shore of Lake Michigan for much of the day and had head winds the whole way. The lake was beautiful to see and the dunes and rocky, wooded shoreline were kind on the eyes. Saw some more cranes in two different locations but no other wildlife to speak of. Today I stopped in a bike shop in Traverse City and one of the guys there was chatting about the trip and asked if I was riding on Hwy 2 on Friday. I couldn't figure out which day it was so I said yes and he described seeing me or someone just like me fighting the wind. He also said he saw a wolf in the highway.

So after fighting the wind I pulled into St. Ignace the city of the UP across from Mackinac Island. It was a nice day, despite the wind and I got a great campsite in the state park. I walked about 5 feet down a path from my tent and I had a spectacular panoramic view of the Mackinac Bridge. It is an amazing structure and at night it is lit up and quite beautiful.

Rain moved in over night and it was not letting up. During a brief lull I packed up and headed to the ferry dock to get across to the island. If it had been the least bit hospitable I would have stayed on the island and looked around the place where Kelli and I had our so-called honeymoon. But hospitable is not a term one could use that day. Very windy and constant rain. So I went from one side of the pier to the other and got on the ferry to Mackinaw City. Got there got a room and waited for the rain to end. Took two days. Saturday there was a big Corvette show in the park across from my hotel so I got to see about 500 'vettes and a bunch of really obsesive people dressed in 'vette garb. Amazing. The amount of money invested sitting in that park was staggering. Later I saw a show- The British Invasion. Three guys doing pretty good imitations of Elton John, David Bowie and Rod Stewart. It helped to pass the time. Then I watched the Twins blow a 4 or 5 run lead, got to tired to watch the end but they won in 11 innings I heard.

The day on Sunday was predicted sunny but it was still cloudy. Took off any way and it turned out fine. Had three choices for places to end the day. The first one was East Jordan. I rolled into town, there was music in the park, a pub across the street, and a very nice city campground. I stayed. Got invited to have dinner with a couple who had been camping for a month while they did some siding jobs in town. They were from Detroit and real salt of the earth types and very generous. Menu was ribs, corn and squash. After an 80 mile day it was grand.

Woke the next morning in pea soup. No rain, just a thick cloud on the ground. Had to wait to start. Went Mac and Don's for breakfast. Never did that on last years trip and this will be the last time on this year's trip. When I did head out it looked like the sun was burning off the fog but as I got up the road it got worse and worse. The road was narrow and there was a fair amount of traffic. My glasses would fog up and if I took them off I could not read the map. I stopped ofter because of oncoming or following traffic coming on hills. Visibility was down to about 200 hundred feet in places. Finally, after a very slow go it lightened and I could make some progress. Got down the road, through Traverse City on a well marked bike path and ended here in Interlochen. I guess there is a famous art school here.

The riding has been a little rough in spots with some very good roads and some very rough ones and traffic levels that seem surprisingly heavy. The terrain has been mostly rolling hills with a few long ones but nothing like mountains. I am now turned definitely east and will be in Ontario in a couple days if all goes well. Then it will be through Niagra Falls, across N.Y. and into New England.



At 2:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gary, good to hear news of your progress. My wife and I spent an anniversary in Traverse City a dozen or more years ago. Fine putt-putt golf in that town. We had good times at the velo-drome last evening. More than a dozen bike-clubbers rode, as did my wife and son. No crashes, swell weather, super fine. Brandon's at the shop today putting together his new 29er. The man is excited. Mostly life as usual, so no valid complaints to be made ithout sounding unpatriotic. Cubs.


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