Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Ludington,MI - Day 36 + Mount Pleasant, MI- Day 37

Today was half rest day and half ride the SS Badger across Lake Michigan to Ludington day.This was the ride that the fearless Sarah Daignault came to participate in. I started the day with yoga and the perfect cup of tea. Nirvana! We had a relaxing breakfast at the Fork and Knife where they also served beer. (We refrained.) Then it was off in Sarah's rented analogue Nissan with roll-up windows to shop at Kohl's, buy post cards for the ferry ride, and have our nails done. That was the end of the rest day.

We're debating whether the ferry ride was more taxing than actually riding our bikes. It was taxing enough knowing the boat was a coal burning ferry polluting and upsetting environmentalists and belching out black smoke. (The ship was built in 1953 to transport 43 railroad cars.) After arriving at the terminal at 12:00, we waited an hour in the shade of a big tree to board. As fortune would have it, a rider from last year's trip showed up with cheese (remember this is still Wisconsin we're in) and crackers and some water. Once on the boat, the temperature and humidity sky rocketed.  We started to wither and melt and continued down that path as it took an extra hour to load a truck carrying parts of a wind turbine that was manufactured in Manitowoc. It didn't get much better once we finally embarked, but we managed to find shady places with a breeze. We avoided going down below because it was hot as Hades down there and they were playing BINGO-- not our thing.

Bottom line is it was great to spend time with Sarah, who completed her "ride" in style and we were glad to set foot in Michigan. We disembarked, dripping wet, at 8:30. It felt so good to have the wind blow on us as we rode to the hotel. Because of the late hour, caused by delays and a new time zone, Sarah was dispatched directly from the SS Badger to hunt down the best pizza and salad in town which she promptly  did. We wolfed it down before hitting the hay because we had a 113 mile ride to look forward to. However, we did find the time to take a tour of Sarah's room. It housed a king size bed beside a huge Jacuzzi settled like a throne right there in the room. It was a little different.

Day 36 -Rest day (kind of)
Miles: 7
Total Miles: 2637
Next Stop: Ludington, MI

The ride from Ludington to Mount Pleasant was a breeze. There were enough hills and turns to keep it interesting. We had tailwinds to push us and crosswinds/headwinds that weren't  too strong. It wasn't boiling hot either! It was fun to be in land that reminded us of Maine --deciduous trees, pine forests, farms and fields. Today we noticed fields of green beans, asparagus, and cucumbers-- a welcome change from the steady diet of soybeans and corn. We also passed orchards with cherry and apple trees. Not too many pictures today because it was a 113 mile day and we figured we needed to  keep moving.

Day 37
Miles: 113
Total Miles: 2750
Elevation Gain/Loss: Mimi's Garmin doesn't want to play
Next Stop: Birch Run, MI

A stop at Cedar Crest for a little ice cream before the boat

Sarah can find anything with her Droid - even the Antiques in Manitowoc

Only this cow could use more Bag Balm than us

The ferry built by the railroad to hold 43 railway cars

Sarah joining us on the ride - the ferry ride that is

Leaving Manitowoc 
The SS Badger - Sarah's Ride, and our Cruise Ship

Bye bye Manitowoc

Hello Ludington - Five hours (plus time zone change) later

Entering Ludington

The white cliffs of Michigan

Another state! Number 7

Pine trees in Michigan

Old barn in a field

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