Monday, July 18, 2016

87: Just another day in the office . . . uh - saddle!

There has become a certain sameness to our days. We were crossing lovely farmland in Michigan again today - but I have taken so many photos of that scene I didn't think you'd want to see another.
And yet, I couldn't resist this barn . . .

Pretty in pink - don't know it


And then we had several nice miles on a Rail Trail - which, like the last three, was fantastic. But you've seen that also. Meal stops were in breweries, small cafes, little country stores or gas stations. Been there, done that!

There really doesn't seem to be anything new to report on this 87th day of our journey! Even the fact that we are camping beside a lake is not new.  It was warm enough to get in for a bit, and so we did that, but even that we have done before.

So at one point today, I caught myself wondering: "are we done? Have we seen everything we are going to see, experienced everything that we are going to experience? Should we pack it up and go home?" But I don't want to do that! I know that we'll have new sights and smells and people to see and meet as we go on. We just have to concede that a good large portion of this lovely land is pretty much the same as other good large portions, and so when we roll through those, we will feel, "I've seen this before."

Here is what was new. Cattails have appeared in the ditches. I was able to get a few better photos of some of the flowers I wrote about yesterday, so here they are. I started to see the flaming red of the sumac flowers. I was startled by that, thinking that they were autumn colors - but I guess, on the cusp of August - we are getting pretty close to autumn up here. Likewise there are tons of red and yellow berries on the bushes that line the bike trails. I don't know what they are, but they are lovely.

Yesterday, we had a couple of locals come up behind us on one of the bike trails. Roger kicked it into high gear and we caught them and rode along for about half a mile. Woohoo!  Tandem in the house, guys! But this time, we were the ones sucking wheel. It was exhilarating to go 20 mph for a time, and then it was over. You could kill yourself trying to do that all day!

Frankenmuth skyline


Frankenmuth street scene

We rode through Frankenmuth, which is basically like Solvang, except it's German and it's in Michigan. If you've been to Solvang, you know what I mean. Very cute, lots of expressive buildings in the national style, big themed restaurants. We chose the Frankenmuth Brewery for our lunch, 'cause you can't go wrong with that. Some of the local cyclists were having their lunch break mid-ride, and they told us we had to be sure to stop for ice cream when we hit the C and K Corner Store down the road a few miles. So we did!
Local cyclists make the brewery their lunch stop.

BIG fish!

One of the bike trails wound through a lake, and right after we got off the boardwalk I noticed a guy pulling in a fish. A BIG fish! This guy was probably about 25 to 30 pounds. After posing for his photos, he was put back in the water for someone else to catch.

We met another tourist who was doing a loop from his home in Montreal. His bike and gear were decidedly old school. Classic stuff, and very minimal. Next to his bike, ours looked like a Greyhound bus!

And we had one of these magnificent combines pass us on that little country road.  So I guess it wasn't such an ordinary day after all!

The day's report:  Auburn to Otter Lake, 60.7 miles/4336 to date

Sunset on another perfectly ordinary, amazing day - Otter Lake


  1. Ride backwards for a while. That would be different!

  2. The pink flowers are monardia commonly known as Bee balm. We like to call them fireworks flowers!
    Keep on pedaling!

  3. Lightening bugs will make a great post. As you know, they cannot fly over the Contenital divide and therefore are only found in the eastern half of the United States. Therefore most Californians do not even know of their existence ...poor ignorant people!

    1. We saw the first of them a couple days ago at Otter Lake. I failed to mention them, though I was delighted. I didn't see them often when I was growing up (I think Houston was already too developed) but always love them.

  4. It's all about the people you meet and what you learn from them. Keep on trucking!


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