Tuesday, September 11, 2012

2012 Trip has Ended....................Ferry Trip and Back Home!

Continued--Sunday, September 9 (61 biking miles, 328 total miles)

The bikers saved their longest ride for the last day.  The route today was all on roads, and it varied from nice shoulders to ones with fairly narrow shoulders.  They stayed mainly along highway 22 and made it to the campground around 3:00 pm.

The ride was beautiful…along Lake Michigan’s shore, often in view… along some inland lakes which were also beautiful.  There were quaint towns and much of it felt like Door County in Wisconsin.  The dunes along the Sleeping Bear Dunes Lakeshore were also visible from the route.  We had a couple crucial decisions to make… whether to take inland roads or keep to a busier highway along the shore (M22).  We decided it would be less hilly taking the shoreline route, and we were right.  We had several really long pulls up hills, but not one of us walked!!  Slow and steady!!
View of Sleeping Bear Dunes along highway 22

All the riders were in pretty good shape for these longer rides… nothing sore, except Bec made a bee-line for the chamois cream once she rolled into camp!

I drove to Platte Lake Campground at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park first, and was able to get two sites together—though my experience with the forest staff was not that good.  They were not too helpful and seemed abrupt with me.  When the bikers got in, they had a good rapport with the same headquarters staff, so it must have been just me……………………………..  We set up camp and then all headed to shower—the first pay ones of the trip… 50 cents for 3 minutes.
Campsites at Platte River
We headed into Frankfort about 5:00 to find the Packer game.  We found that and good food at a cute hotel called Sleeping Bear Inn.  They had a big screen TV in the bar area.  There were only a few others in the place, so while we watched the Packers lose, we were not hassled by Lions fans!  Pat was happy to find Kendall Jackson Chardonnay, her favorite wine of the trip!

We talked about not biking on Monday and spending the morning exploring the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.  We needed to head for the ferry at 1:00 on Monday.  When we got back to the campsite around 8:30, it was good night John Boy, good night Mary Ellen and off to bed we went.

Monday, September 10th—no biking so the total miles biked was 328

We were up a bit after 7:00 and decided that we would pack up the bikes and the car, then drive to the area we wanted to check out.  Pat made her usual great coffee and breakfast was hot cereal with fruit—we are trying to clean out the cooler and food bin.
Rebecca was sad on Day 8 to see the bikes were going to be loaded to the car.
As we got into the car, we commented that it was starting to smell like a boy’s locker room with some of our gear needing a good hose-down!  Nevertheless, we kept the windows open and drove on.  We drove along the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive.  Pierce built the road, starting in 1961, and it opened in 1967.  It was a 7.4 miles with 11 stops along the way.  We checked out a few of the overlooks and saw the sand dunes as well as awesome lake views.  The drive went from dunes to cottonwood trees, to a beech-maple forest—all within the 7 mile trip. 
Views from the overlooks along Pierce Stocking Drive

We ended back in Glen Arbor and spent some time checking out the shops—everyone made a purchase or two.  We were on the road by 1:00 and headed south to Muskegon for the Lake Express Ferry back to Milwaukee.  It was a bit windy, so Rebecca is by the window with a pillow trying to forget she is on a ferry!  Alas, that strategy didn’t work… that ferry ride was horribly choppy, with 5-6’ waves.  You couldn’t walk easily on the boat.  Despite taking two Dramamine tablets and wearing seasick bands, the choppiness got the best of Bec, and she spent the last hour of the 2.5 hour trip in the bathroom.  You can guess the rest..........

Rebecca driving the car onto the ferry in Muskegon
Rebecca looks OK now by the window, but wait a bit.........
This is where she "was" sitting, but now can be found in the bathroom

We arrived safely at 6:30 pm, and spent a few minutes sitting at a picnic table outside the ship’s exit, waiting to get our land legs back.  After getting back to our house, everyone settled in to watching some TV, eating pizza for supper, and discussing the great adventure.  Bec was taking a hot bath and trying to recuperate from the ferry ride!  I have been trying to talk her into going on a cruise for years… I think this pretty well “sunk” any possibility of having those ideas come to fruition!

Tuesday morning, we got up and had a smoothie and espresso for breakfast.  Everyone got their gear loaded back in their vehicles.  Bec and I dried out tents and hung things up on the line to dry.  A couple of loads of laundry and things back in their place… now we can start thinking about the next trip!! 

Deb, Pat, Rebecca and Barb on Tuesday morning before saying good-bye

It’s a little sad to have this come to an end.  The people that shared this adventure have been woven into the fabric of our lives (Bec and Barb’s) together for many years… Pat and Deb had not met before this trip, but each of them have such a kind and gentle spirit that we knew they would get along famously… and they did!  We talked about the one that was missing on this journey… Schar.  Though she wasn’t there physically, her spirit kept reminding us that she was but a thought away, and we felt that she was keeping a watchful eye on us from above.  This whole adventure has just brought us closer as friends.  Thanks for being part of our journey!!  We hope you enjoyed some of the highlights we shared.


  1. Ladies, we followed you each day and awaited the days posting to see what happened and what made the blog. Thank you for taking the time to write and share your daily adventures. As a fellow adventure blogger, I love the thought of sharing this great world of wonder with those who care to wonder... I wonder if I would like to do that trip, I wonder if I would like to take a long distance bike trip, I wonder if I would like to see the other side of this great lake we live by. Thanks again for sharing it with all of us! Welcome home ;)

  2. It's great to hear all of you are back safe and sound. What a wonderful trip. It was enjoyable following along with you. Barb, you did a great job
    sharing the your adventures. See you soon.
    C & K

  3. I am so glad that you gals had a great and safe trip! It has been fun to watch your adventures. Thanks, for sharing.

  4. Thanks for blogging your trip, Barb! It's so fun to "see" the sights along with you guys! What an impressive accomplishment, riding so far. It sounds like you all had a memorable time together, and have cemented a great relationship. How wonderful for all of you. Hugs!

  5. You sound as if you had a wonderful time and the scenery is amazing,
    Suzy B :)