Nancy Cycles!

Nancy Cycles!
"You got to be careful if you don't know where you are going, because you might not get there." ... Yogi Berra

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Dunes Climb

No bicycling today. We checked out of The Bay Inn relatively early, loaded up the bikes and gear, and drove to Charlevoix for lattes at the best latte place Vickie has found. It is the same spot we stopped when we rode our bikes here and Vickie has not found a latte that compares to the one she had here. Is it the Wooly Bugger brand of coffee, the kind of milk they use, or the skill of the barista? Surprisingly we found that they served breakfast as well, so ate here before driving to Sleeping Bear Dunes.

Entering via the 7 mile drive
Scenes on then drive in
Hold up your left hand with the back of it facing you and pretend it is a mitten. The thumb should be a little away from the rest of your hand. This is basically the state of Michigan (with the Upper Peninsula hanging above out of sight). Bay City is in the crook formed by your thumb and forefinger. Go about half an inch in toward the middle of the back of your hand -- that is where Midland is. Now go up to your baby finger which floats ever so slightly away from your ring finger. Inside that space, go up your ring finger to the first knuckle (near your fingernail) -- you are now in Charlevoix. You drive down the ring finger to the bottom and turn west to cross onto the baby finger. When you get to the outside of the baby finger, there is Lake Michigan, and is where Sleeping Bear Dunes are. So you see -- we are experiencing a lot of northern Michigan.

We climbed a little and played in the dunes for a while, feeling the sand between our toes, the wind in our hair and the sun on our face. After all that healthy stuff we were ready for lunch in the nearby village of Glen Arbor. Then we set off for a few hours drive home, with -- you guessed it -- a latte/tea and crumpet stop along the way.

The dune climb
Gerry is kicking' up her heels
The just right sun angle brought the vibrant fall colors to their peak for us to enjoy on the drive home. This beauty lined the roads most of the way and each corner seemed to bring more color. Beautiful.

 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Wheelway Trail continued (9/28/2012)

It was quite cold this morning as we rolled out of the Bay Inn driveway, and we each were bundled against the chill. As the day would warm up we would each be peeling off layers.

Today we cycled the other direction of the trail and had more views of Lake Michigan and more diverse and interesting things to see and places to explore.

There was this "little" grave site
There are three arches along the trail that are replicas of those that were there during the time that trail users were prohibited from bringing horses or horse drawn carriages onto the trail. In the 1880s this was a bikeway - before it was a rail. Bicycles were the recreational rage, and cheap transportation, for a couple of decades prior to 1900.
Vickie and Gerry at the first arch
The high wheeler sculpture is of the "boneshaker" (also known as a high wheeler, and a penny farthing) and is in the middle of a park near Petoskey.

My boneshaker by the high wheel boneshaker
As we continued on we passed Lime Kiln Pond which once cooked the limestone as the first step in processing. It was one of Petoskey's most important industries and lime was sent throughout the Great Lakes area for use in fertilizer, cement, and whatever else lime is used in. There is another pond which is now stocked with "pan fish" and is a place where parents teach their children to fish. And there was the marina with barely a boat.

Interesting to see a marina with almost no boats
We left the local parks and wound our way, still on the trail, through the town of Bay View with many Victorian homes.

And then took a little side trip into Petoskey State Park for a look at the dunes and swimming beach.

 

 

We were sure not to bring our glass animals
Further on we (well I tried and failed) took photos of a mural on the back side of the grocery store. It depicts the historical time line of transportation along this corridor, form canoe to train, to boneshaker, to modern day cyclists (that's us).

At the end of the trail we entered the quaint and upscale resort settlement of Harbor Springs on delightful Beach Drive and Bay Drive. It appears that many, and maybe all of these estate-like homes are summer residences for the wealthy set.

 

If the Chamber of Commerce guy had not told us, we would never have guessed that the liquor store has a deli that makes great sandwiches! We bought our lunch there and found a perfect picnic table overlooking the bay. After lunch we explored the outskirts of town before heading back home.

Now this is an ivy covered cottage
 

I have never seen a zipper door.
We have evidence of Fall color.

I have had quite a few (positive) comments about my knee socks -- including a driveby teen hanging out the car window

We had such a full and long day that we decided to spend another night at the Bay Inn. The next day (today actually) will be mostly a driving day, so we have a semi-rest day.

 

Now a moment for my usual rant! Of all the cyclists we have seen, on and off the trail, there were very few (maybe 15%?) who were wearing helmets. I know too much about head injuries to think that not wearing a helmet is ok. I know there is some controversy about that fact, but until proven differently -- please all my loved ones -- wear a helmet when cycling.

 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Lake Michigan (9/27/2012)

An early morning rising meant I would be the alarm clock to get everyone up at 6:30. Fortunately these two are easy to awaken and we were in the car and on the road for the planned 7:00 departure. We got our best leaf peeping on our three hour drive which was full of fall color. We couldn't get photos from the car, so the beauty of it all is embedded in our memories.

We checked into our hotel and had our first real view of the Lake across the road from us.

We unloaded bikes and gear and got riding, heading for another of Michigan's rail trails, the Little Traverse Wheelway.

 
Our motel, the Bay Inn, is in the town of Petosky which is just about the midway point of the entire trail. Today's ride would take us directly west along much of the Lake to the town of Charlelevoix (don't get fancy, it is pronounced SHARlavoy), the trail's end. On the way we made a stop to eat our subway lunch. Vickie chose this spot.

Shortly after we came to more choice places for a lunch stop -- but who knew?

 
The wooden bridge over the bogs, at .6 miles in length, is the longest bridge I think I have ridden on.

Just outside of town we followed a sign that directed us to the "path to Charlevoix". We found no path and wandered around a neighborhood for a bit before finding a neighbor to ask things of. She directed us down the road and around a couple of corners to the main street where we would turn to go over the bridge into town (are you still with me here?), and -- surprisingly -- we got there!

 
We made our traditional latte/tea stop and walked by the variety of shops in this upscale resort town, and asked a passerby to take our photo at the harbor.

 
Gerry found the deal of a lifetime! This (wonderful color for biking) rain and wind resistant jacket was a mere $18.50!!! Skip a few latte stops and there you have it.

We made it back to the motel with me having developed one of my infamous butt sores! Hopefully I have doctored it soon enough to ease it for another ride in the other direction to make it a complete tour of the trail today (Friday).

I have been unable to get Internet connection so am sitting in Burger King using their free WiFi to catch up on the last two days. It is getting to be time to return to the motel and wake them up for breakfast even though I have eaten here so to not feel guilty about using their connection. Will update as I have capability.

A New Friend (9/26/12)

I met Jan on a bike blogging site. I enjoyed her journal of the tours she has done and when I found that she lived in Michigan I asked if she would join us for a day of riding when I came to visit Vickie. She said yes, and today was the day.

Once I woke everyone in time, we were ready to greet Jan as she arrived right on time. We layered up against the morning chill and were soon ready to start our ride right from Vickie's dad's house.

Down the quarter mile driveway to the road that would take us to the trail for a visit to the Chippewa Nature Center. We looked around inside at the displays and the views before getting back on our bikes.

Our route would take us back into Midland, across the Tridge (from a different dirtection this time), to a walk through the Farmers Market, to a picnic table to enjoy our packed lunch (campsite with inferior pecan sandies-like cookies), to "our" coffee shop for a cuppa, and onto then Pere-Marquette trail The Pere Marquette Rail-Trail is one of the best known parks In Michigan's extensive rail-trail system. It follows the route of the old Flint and Pere Marquette Railroad that once moved timber to the area's sawmills. We weren't delivering timber, we were simply enjoying the views, the quiet surroundings and chatting with each other.

The final third of our loop back to Len's house was on some very quiet and sweet back roads. Definite signs of Autumn showed thier color.

Our day held gorgeous weather and we so enjoyed meeting and sharing time and riding with Jan. We said our goodbyes with good wishes and soon Vickie and Gerry were in the apr├Ęs ride position with their "restorative" beverages.