Jul 30

3,000 miles (almost)

by in Week 7

  • Ludington to Farwell, MI
  • 93.4 miles/2,994.4 total
  • 70-80°, low humidity
  • Gentle rolling terrain
  • 35 miles of pristine rail-to-trail

What a gorgeous day off we had. What a gorgeous day to ride today was. Pretty near all the stars have been aligned for us since we got to Michigan. We’ll see how long that takes to change. But we are enjoying it now.

We had a lot of extra time last weekend because our trip to the ferry was so short. We got all our chores done before noon on Sunday. We actually chose to ride our bike back into town to shop and play. Found a great health food store that even had Coconut Bliss and a microwave to warm our Amy’s burritos for lunch! We walked the beautiful sandy shores of Lake Michigan and waded knee deep in its warm water. I can still hear my mom yelling at us when we were at the Pacific, “Knee deep! Only knee deep!” This time I obeyed. We also walked out to the lighthouse at the end of a breakwater. It was a very relaxing day.

Today we were supposed to ride 94 miles. We thought we’d try to stretch it out to get to 100 so we’d be able to announce our 3,000 mile point. Again, the day was lovely. The sun gradually warmed everything from 66° to 75°. The sky was dappled with clouds, none threatening despite predictions of thundershowers. The route wound through a heavily forested area. Pines and oaks abounded providing shade as we climbed most of the morning.

We lunched at the lake in the center of the town of Idlewild. It was THE happening place around here in the 50s and 60s. Founded in 1912 as an African-American enclave during the Jim Crow era, it became the resort of choice for many. Black musicians such as Louis Armstrong and the 4 Tops performed in its many dance halls. After the Civil Rights Act opened the doors to other resorts in the 60s, the town dwindled and the businesses closed. But the locals are still proud of their history and are celebrating the centennial of its founding this year.

Not long after picnic we got on a rail trail that was the most wonderful I’ve ever ridden on. Smooth asphalt 8′ wide, no cracks or blemishes, led us through more forests at no more than a 1% grade when it climbed. We sailed along even though there were no winds to speak of. Suddenly it was a rarity to spy a field of corn and when we did, it was only a few acres. Such a change from the last 3 states. We made it to Farwell before 2.

Now we REALLY intended to double back on the trail to add in those last 6 miles. But when we stopped, we learned about another change with the arrival into Michigan. There are biting bugs here. They swarmed us at a couple of the water stops and Sheila was suffering from her extreme allergic reactions when we got to town. Getting away from the bugs seemed to make more sense than reaching a rather arbitrary number. So we chose health over hubris. We’ll hit 3,000 tomorrow, and 4,000 sometime after that. All is unfolding as it should.

Tags:

3 Responses to “3,000 miles (almost)”

  1. From Sooz Appel:

    Just talked with my brother about pinochle withdrawal and told him about your trip. He offered if you’re in southern Ontario, he’d come and play a few hands of Euchre to ease the pain. New housemate moved in and we like him! I’m off to the Teen Retreat on Friday. They have a full retreat–21 kids and 14 staff. I’ll have stories to share. On Tuesday, Bill hits his 100th pint at the blood bank. Henry is having a surprise party for him with treats. Love the pix and stories you’re including. You both look fabulous.
    xoxo

    Posted on Jul 30, 2012 at 1:45 pm #
  2. From Tom Crawford:

    Hope those are not black flys.Mosquitos are nasty at sunset.Tell Ted to do his thing for me in MEECHIGAN.Have fun in Frankenmuth.Visit the Chrismas store if U have time.Stay safe and verticle.

    Posted on Jul 30, 2012 at 2:00 pm #
  3. From Spencer:

    July 2013 – This was the week during which we welcomed a LARGE group of riders from a Pennsylvania bike club, maybe a dozen or more. We connected with them several times at rest stops. They were fun to chase around. And about that trail….we later discovered the reason it was so nice was because it also served snowmobilers. THEY have the money to make sure their trails are smooth. If only there was more snow in Seattle, the Burke-Gilman would be like glass.

    Posted on Jul 30, 2013 at 10:01 am #