Today we had ambitious plans of riding over 100 miles to Lake Huron, but we ran out of steam and time. The weather was quite cold and rainy, which is preferable to last week’s heat wave, but still difficult at times. So 86 miles seems good enough to us! After the first 20 miles, we were starving, and happy to come upon a diner where we ordered Breakfast II for under $4 each, plus a nice dose of caffeine in the never-ending coffee cups. We continued riding rolling hills on empty roads, surrounded by old farms and forests, until we eventually reached the Pere Marquette bike path, which was very flat, very straight, and in excellent shape.
It’s a “rail trail,” or a bike path made from an old rail line, and though these can get boring, it was a nice break after all the hills — especially with the tail wind. We stopped in Farwell, where we were excited to find a farmers’ market, and then disappointed to learn that it was all crafts and no produce. We then stopped in Clare, where an excellent bike shop supplied us with new tires for Rachel’s bike (it turned out that the tread was nearly down to the thread, making the blow-out in Manitowoc much more likely). Then we stopped in Sanford, where the owners of the Tin Roof gave us free ice cream while we surfed the internet and charged our phones, trying to figure out where we would spend the night. We decided on Midland, the first town we’ve seen in this state so far that looks like it has some real wealth — and then we realized that Dow Chemical’s name is all over the town. It is a striking contrast to the last couple of days, but a nice place to spend the night.
today’s distance: 85.6 miles
time in saddle: 7 hrs, 17 min
total distance: 2,948 miles