We were hoping for 30-40 miles today before it rained. Forget that, we got 50! And we still finished in time to go out to eat, have a wine tasting and still set up camp before much rain. Life is good in Midland, Michigan!
We are still at it
This hasn’t been updated too recently, but we are still at it. Yesterday we changed our route, because the Adventure Cycling route takes us to Canada and we can’t go there. Then, today we changed our minds and decided to go as far as we could with the original route, then go home until Canada opens. Yes, we like to keep things fluid.
Speaking of fluid, the forecast is rain for tomorrow, so our plan is to get riding early, before it starts. If it’s raining early we will change plans again, I guess.
Now that we have an end game in mind, I think both of us are ready to finish up and have some home time. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t having a great time, because we sure are.
There haven’t been as many crazy adventures this leg of the tour, but we are still taking the time to stop and smell the roses every now and then. Today we visited an Amish family who makes hand woven baskets and rockers. Neither of us walked away empty handed and there is a chance we may go back for more.
Tomorrow, weather permitting, I will try to take more pictures. There isn’t one from today, but here’s Michelle while we were still on Lake Michigan.
Planning ahead for a change
Yesterday we went off script a little bit. A cafe for breakfast, for one thing. And that food was fantastic, by the way. Way off script for us was, we booked our RV parks for three nights, all in advance. Being only 20 miles out from Manitowoc and needing two nights there we wanted to be sure to have full hook ups and laundry. We got it. In fact, we are just across the street from Lake Michigan. Then, getting to Ludington, MI on the ferry at 7 p.m. Thursday we needed a destination to head for right off the boat. Now we have one.
But don’t worry, we are still flying by the seat of our bike shorts. I haven’t even looked at our next map, nor given a thought to where we go next. And at some point we will have to think about going home, too. Details for another day.
There is one thing that remains constant. Life is always an adventure.
Rainy day sends us packing
Here we are in Shawana, WI. We are thinking of staying two nights here because according to our maps we only have 102 miles left to Manitowoc. Today is Saturday and the ferry doesn’t leave until Thursday. So not only is it two days of biking, it’s two short days! Then we will see what Michigan brings.
It’s been a few days since posting anything, but cell service is spotty, at best, and I’ve already used all of my allotted personal hot spot time for the month on my phone. Roads continue to be hilly, traffic is still mostly polite. The people we have met have been great. Lots of offers for help while sitting in the RV at the side of the road while waiting for a biker. And the lakes in this area are truly beautiful.
Today was a short day too. We rode a few extra miles to a campground yesterday so had a short day planned anyway, but cut it short due to rain and a busy highway. Rain is alright, we don’t love it. And busy highways are alright, we don’t love them either. But when you put the two together, you load the bikes and drive to the next town.
We will be spending the rest of the day napping, recovering and watching our chosen series for the trip, Unauthorized Living. It’s too rainy outside to do much else.
Happy Mother’s Day
Sometimes we do ride when the temps are below 50, as it turns out. It did get to the 50s, but was upper 40s when we started.
It was a hilly, chilly day with a bit of a headwind. Honestly, we will be much better riders within a week or two. So today we didn’t go much further than yesterday but that’s what the terrain said we should do. At one point in the mid afternoon we even parked in a church lot and took naps. We were that worn out.
Now we are camped at a very nice campground, Stone Haven Resort, and supper is cooking. We will both sleep soundly tonight and see what tomorrow brings.
I took no pictures today, so it’s a little text heavy. Maybe tomorrow all you get will be a picture.
I jinxed it
We didn’t get too early a start this morning. I slept in, then sat around like I’d forgotten we were going to ride. Neither of us was beating any world records. After all, we needed to let the weather warm up first.
So, we left the campground on the way to the start of the ride. Our maps are good, but not that specific for a vehicle. We may have driven past it the first time. But we went back and Michelle was on her way. I offered her a set of RV keys just so we wouldn’t lock them both in, but we never have before so it didn’t seem worth it. While she rode I went to WalMart for a few essentials.
I had a sick feeling as I left the store with my trusty bag of rubber gloves and toilet paper. Peering through the window when I got to the RV confirmed it. There were two sets of keys inside there and it was locked up tight. In the meantime Michelle had texted to let me know the bike path she was on was gravel so she was turning around. Instead of me meeting her back at the start, she met me at WalMart. While we waited for the locksmith she looked at google maps and found an alternate route.
It was quite a delay and the actual riding started about 1 p.m. which makes it hard to get as many miles in as we had hoped. Add to that, neither of us has been riding enough to be in great shape and there were a lot of hills. Count on me to come up with excuses!
And now we are in Cumberland Wisconsin enjoying a nice campground on the lake. Tomorrow, weather permitting, Lord willing, we can go further than 40 miles.
Day One, Phase Four
We have reached the overnight destination of our epic bike trip, Taylors Falls, MN. Tomorrow morning, or afternoon if it’s too cold in the morning, we take off from the Wisconsin border and it begins.
Wrapping it up
So Tuesday night a friend texted that a photo was not a blog. I promised that tomorrow was coming. Well, it did. So did a few others. Sorry Jeff!
Now it’s Sunday and time to wrap up leg 2 of our epic bike trip across the country.
The last day, like the day before, had a headwind. This time it was a little stronger. Montana’s way of trying to keep us? Probably not. More of a punishment for daring to cross. That might explain how it was mostly uphill again too.
And there was a little miscalculation on the map on my part. You have to understand, we were using biking specific maps, which are broken down into approximately 30 mile segments. Typically you go from one section to the next right down the line. The route is clearly (well, somewhat clearly) marked and mostly uses bike friendly roads and trails. So I wasn’t looking at the big state map. Anyhow, for whatever reason, at the edge of the state where I thought we had 12 miles left, we needed to go from segment 1 to segment 3! So that added some miles in. Whoops.
It was probably our hardest day, in my opinion, but not nearly the longest, so I guess it worked out. I know we were both pretty happy to see the North Dakota border.
And now we have a month or so to fix up what we may have dinged up and keep working on those glitches that haven’t quite been worked out. Next trip we might need both heat and air conditioning and we want to be darn sure they’re both going to work.
My bike couldn’t seem to lean against the RV and stand up at the end. Pretty much mirrors how I felt.
We did it
Look behind us. That’s Montana!
2 days later…
We did indeed take all of yesterday off. It was great! The balloon festival was good and we were up until after 10. That’s our latest night yet. I slept in, we did a whole lot of nothing and then slept like babies last night. Well, I did. Can’t really speak for Michelle, but that’s never stopped me before.
So since we stayed two nights at the same place in Billings, when we went back to Miles City we stayed in the same place we’d been on the way out. Plus there was an added bonus of getting my toiletry bag back. Today I got to wear contacts on my ride!
But back to last night in Miles City. We decided to take a leisurely stroll around the park in the evening with a pocket full of dog treats. We didn’t come across many dogs and the cat on a leash didn’t care for it.
But you know what we did find? A family playing bocce ball. The dad was wearing an SDSU shirt. Of course we had to stop and ask about it. He didn’t go there, she did. They were a really nice couple originally from Fedora, now in Sioux Falls. Shot the breeze there for a while.
And today’s ride. For the first time this leg of the journey we had a headwind. That was hard to take after all of those tailwind days. And it sure seemed like there were more uphills than down today. But we managed to get our miles in. There may have been a couple of mishaps here or there, but nobody is injured.
We are just short of getting to the North Dakota border, so are staying one more night in Montana. It’s a different sort of campground and that’s all I’m going to say about that. I’ll try to write one more time after we cross that elusive border.