Friday, July 15, 2016

83: Country Roads

Lake Michigan shoreline - much of which is privately owned
Our trip up from Ludington included some great views of Lake Michigan, but also some long stretches along a road called "Lakeshore" that ran behind the homes that actually have the lake views. We could have been anywhere - just riding along in the woods! It was interesting to me that so much of the lake shore is privately owned. It's a very big lake, of course, and not the ocean, but when you see it it seems like the sea coast. Since California does not allow private ownership of the sea shore, I guess I had this naive notion that you wouldn't be able to "own" Lake Michigan. But I was wrong!

Sunset, Crystal Lake
There are some quaint little inns and resorts along the shore line that have been operating for years. I imagine that many families go year after year, creating a tradition of summering on the lake. One such resort was along our route, and thinking it might possibly be a place to stay for the night, I checked it out. Well - no. Most emphatically no. In the season, you can only do a week's stay. You get breakfast and dinner included with your stay in one of the cabins, which is probably a great idea since there is really nothing nearby to offer you another meal option. And, they do not accept credit cards! In 2016, when you can buy just about anything on the planet on-line, there still exist little resorts on the shores of Lake Michigan that do it like they did it in 1950 - cash or check only, please. I was dumbfounded, but I guess if you can do business that way, why not?
Wait - this road is not paved?

We had a nice tailwind most of the day, and made good time on our route to Traverse City. At one point, we turned left, as our route sheet instructed, and saw - dirt! What? How did this happen?  We decided it did not look too bad, and after consulting the phone/map, continued on. These country roads are hard to anticipate. After half a mile, our route "angled off" towards another road, also dirt. But better than the one we had been on, which had by this point disintegrated to a sandy mess.  Happily, we only had a couple hundred yards on the dirt before arriving at pavement again. Yay!
The road NOT taken!
Roger and Carol

We made a stop on the way into town to visit with one of Roger's cousins, Carol. It was great to visit and have a chance to catch up. Roger spent many summers in Traverse City with his Aunt Marion and Uncle Jack, and their girls Jacque, Bev and Carol were a big part of his life. His mom and dad moved to Traverse City after they retired, and though they and his aunt and uncle have now passed on, the city holds a special place in our hearts.

The day's report:  Beulah to Traverse City, 43.2 miles/4122 to date

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