Tuesday August 7th
All too soon it’s time to head towards home. So hard to say good bye, even when you know it’s only temporary… We wanted to leave pretty early, in order to get close to Detroit today. Funny enough it was comfortable getting back on the bike – just felt ‘right’ in so many ways. Standing there letting it warm up as we finished getting gear on, then building speed; down the drive way, access road, then highway. First half the the longer test ride down, falling into the rhythm of the road as we start off on the next leg, it’s a thumbs up.
Having been introduced to the Tunnel of Trees we decided to backtrack and experience it on two wheels. While we had planned the route up, mostly because of the time line and having to be ‘some place’ at a particular time, the ride home is wide open, no real plan, only a final destination. Oh, fun story here to show how that worked…
When I scheduled my vacation for this trip there really was no way of knowing exactly how it was going to turn out, so I planned long, just in case. Having said that the idea in the back of my head was a quick ride back just in case it wasn’t ‘that great’ and also to conserve vacation time. In that plan we would have been on the road yesterday ;-). So, as we were talking Sunday night looking at Joe and Janice’s schedules for work on Monday (because of our desire to stay and visit longer) we decided to stay one more day. Then Monday we were thinking that as long as we were not in such a rush to get back quite so quickly perhaps we should stop at my sisters in Detroit. I hadn’t shared anything about the trip with them i.e. that we would be in Michigan… So, I cold called (actually texted) my brother in-law with a question: “Hey, if we showed up on your doorstep tomorrow night would you let us in?” Guess what his response was? Their new address. What a hoot, sure to love those guys! So that was planning sequence for today.
Crossing the bridge early in the morning had quite a different feel than in the middle of the day on the way up Saturday. Quiet, not so many vehicles, cool with low lying clouds. Looking out from the mid-span I imagined Mackinac Island was off in the distance… Not so, it’s Round Island the smallest of three. Until I looked at a map while writing this I had no idea there was more than one out there. Funny how something popular or trendy (Mackinac island in this particular case) just drowns out everything around it. Hummm, how much do we miss? Well, that’s kinda what this trip is about isn’t it, roads less traveled – connected threads. Like sunrises and sunsets. Water and the air we breath…
Back in ‘the mitten’ we move over to the east coast of Lake Michigan and settle into the rhythm of the road. A narrow ribbon of asphalt twisting and turning through the forest. An occasional glimpse of blue waters through the trees. Not another car on the road – perfect.
For some reason this caught my eye – swan meets flamingo! What people buy and why is quite a mystery isn’t it?
Post Script: You know what’s even odder? I saw a gal carrying ‘this’ flamingo at a resort in Tunisia a few months later. There’s no way to make this stuff up, truth is stranger than fiction. I suppose it proves the Chinese are everywhere?
On we go… By Elk Rapids we are ready to stop for some food. Ok, if I had this backdrop would I run every day?
After looping around we stop, could you get a more traditional diner? :-).
I noticed Cadillac and it’s mostly on the way, stop? Of course! Have to say I was a little disappointed though… I mistakenly imagined that the car company had some association with the town, not so. Rather both were named after the French explorer Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac. Oh well. Good news it’s a nice little town, lake is beautiful, nice parks. Stopped and stretched our legs a bit, enjoy a look at the lake, then on we go…
At this point in the day we started to feel a little time pressure. We started out early but had been taking a some time, no rush. So, to pick it up a bit we decided to get on the highway. Oh my, such a good reminder of what we really don’t like to do :-/. Made good time, but, so boring. As we approached the Tittabawasee river just couldn’t help but take the exit to break up the monotony.
As we pulled into Sanford we were also looking for a convenient place to pull out the jacket liners too – what was comfortable on the lake shore at 6 AM wasn’t really working so well now :-). Rolling in and hey, a museum on the left, wonder if it’s any good? After the garment change in a local park go back to see – shoot not open, but outdoor exhibits are pretty cool. They have moved historic buildings onto the site: train station complete with some track and cars, general store, church, and one room school.
There was a fella cleaning the caboose so I poked my head in and looked around a bit. We talked a some, I commented about how nice the displays were, thanked him for his hard work keeping everything looking good and he says “oh you should see how much stuff is in the main museum”. Oh, I’m sure it’s pretty amazing… “I have to do some work in there, would you like to see?” Are you kidding??? Of course I would!
The collection was fascinating to be sure. Such a broad set of themes. From Native American ‘prophesy’ to state and regional history, to an exhibit honoring a civil war heroine and a fella given the Bronze Star in WWII. Wouldn’t you like to meet them?
I’ve never been much for dioramas, but for some reason these really caught my attention. Perhaps seeing the logger against the backdrop of forest helps set the scale. The idea of hunting for naturally occurring salt formations as a ‘job’ has never really crossed my mind. So many things we take for granted in this day of inexpensive transportation.
Wouldn’t you love to have a candid conversation with Pearl? What did she know? Who were her confidants? How did she ever come into this position? What were her regrets? Her most satisfying moments?
Well, now we really do need to get going if we want to make dinner tonight… So back on the highway and pretty uneventful the rest of the ride. As always, more photos and additional details on this interactive map…