This is the task at hand now, crossing the state of Michigan. The plan was to cut the stretch of 415 km into four segments of about 100 km each. On paper it doesn’t seem like much, but Michigan is flat and open wide with strong winds. The first day had quite a bit of rain in store for us, so we took shelter at a foodmarket. We needed to do some food shopping anyhow as we had to dump our leftover food before reentering the US. You are not allowed to bring any food into this country and we were not going to risk any issues at the borders. I have had enough grumpy officers the border crossing into the US before. The officers in the Sombra-Marine City crossing though completely revised my somewhat negative views of US Immigration. The people in charge at Newark airport should send their people to Marine City so that they can learn how to treat people properly and with smiles. Kudos to the good people in uniform in Marine City, Michigan. Too bad I don’t have any photos to prove my point! They had hotdogs as today’s special at Neyman foodmarket. 1 dollar a shot! Not bad for hungry bikers. Not the healthiest choice, but that is of less concern when you are needing in excess of 5000 calories a day. Stomachs may ache and scream, but so does Roars legs and hips. He has been talking about needing a massage for days now, so when this chance came up, we hit the brakes and rolled in. Unfortunately the massage therapist was off this day, so Roar had to settle for a good half hour in the massage chair, free of charge. Though the search for a real massage session continues. Michigan has given us several railtrails to ride on. They convert old railway into bike and hiketrails. Perfect use of what otherwise would just regrow with trees and bush. Our first night in Michigan was spent in a rather boring, but comfortable motelroom at Best Western in Port Huron. The first day was cold and wet, and we ended our day on the early side. The next day was a completely different sheet of paper. Clear skies and temperatures round 20-25 degrees Celcius. Weather makes such a difference, especially when you are biking. After a good while of riding we stumbled upon Norway Bar. A place of splendour. Unfortunately the place was closed, even though the sign claimed the opposite. After all, we were all ready for a good karaoke to carry us through the day… Michigan hosts parts of the US Bikeroute 20, that apart from the trails continues to allow bikers safe travels along broad roadshoulders. Our second night was finally going to happen in our tents again. We were warmly greeted by Kim, the Boss on Krystal Lake Campground, a few miles away from the town of Mayville. Kim runs the show with his wife. They work hard through the season to make sure their visitors have a good time with friends and family. In the winter they migrate to Florida to get away from the gruelling Michigan winters. Last winter was especially hard. Michigan is country, and flat country at it. Huge farmlands with very mechanized and industrial farming. Monocultures for sure, with mostlycorn, soya, beets and some more corn. Much less livestock here than in the other areas we have been biking through sofar. The soil seem more sandy and less vital. If that is so due to the soil itself or the effect of years of intensive industrial farming I am not sure. I found this Wunderbaum on the roadside. Clever thing to make use of as you tend to start smelling after days in the saddle. Yup, country is it. Just when we were thinking Michigan was all about corn, soy and wind, we are met with awesome friendliness. Cailey, the beauty in white had just hosted her High School graduation party. They had plenty of food to share. A dream come through or a prayer answered for any long distance biker. Any mom can be proud to have raised a child into such a beautiful person. Here she is with her friend Amanda and her mom’s longtime friend Pat. Shiny happy Women! Needless to say, we were full of good, homemade food when we said goodbye and took off. (They even packed up food to take with us) We asked them for the closest campsite and were given direction to these happy people at the Lake of Dreams Campground. Bob is boss here with his wife Elaine and they made sure we were given access to a cabin for the night. Free of charge mind you! This happens just as we were recovering from the overwhelming frindliness at Cailey’s party. Bob even invited us all over for a campfire and some beer later.
Meanwhile, in Michigan:
To be continued….