Friday, July 26, 2013

Sturm und drang

The 'sturm'

My friend buying a crepe, a welcome stop in Good Hart. By then the storms had passed

Cutest tea shop ever with my bike

My favorite table for the tea room
My friend being lifted at the finish line. Hmm..wonder why Pitbull didn't pick me up?

Legs Inn We went back there after the ride for a wonderful lunch of smoked whitefish, bigos, golumpkis and pierogies

We drove past things we missed in Harbor Springs and Charlevoix

Smoked whitefish: quintessential Northern Michigan treat

The lone bike versus the storm. This photo is from my friend. I love it.

Inside Good Hart store
Sunset over Bellaire ski resort we stayed at later

My friend's friend's art exhibit in Traverse City we visited the next day

Pink tips to a northern evergreen. I haven't seen these down here

Boardman River in TC
Things did not look good Friday morning. Storms all night with more to come in the morning. We sat out several waves of torrential rain before deciding to take off in a small break in the action against 30 mph headwinds. It was so dark, I could not read my odometer (a solar one that has been faithfully ticking off the miles for 16 years with a 4 year break somewhere).  My rain jacket is not good for bicycling as it blends in perfectly with the dark sky and greenery (yellow-green or orange, the best). But the car drivers were sleeping or waiting out the rain. I worried about my friend, still ill and vulnerable to cold. We did have a few periods of no rain but as we were going up and down short, steep, curvy hills, the wet roads meant little braking power.

When we were about 22 miles in, the sun came out for good. And as our path was an enormous 'C', the head winds turned to tail winds. M-119 is The Tunnel of Trees. Very, very pretty. We had an extended stay in Good Hart for their excellent crepes and coffee. There also is the cutest tea room/antique store there.

226 miles of riding and 21 hours on the clock (which included the slow drags through sandy shoulders up the hellacious hills) and we were done. Most of the time I felt good and had fun. After cleaning up, we took the shortcut to Cross Village for our Polish lunch and some beer. Very pretty gardens. Then we retraced 1.5 days of our ride remarking on how steep some of the hills were even by car. We took a few side trips in Harbor Springs to look at the Beach Road houses and then the mushroom houses in Charlevoix.

My friend had booked a room in a pretty ski resort. Our balcony was on top of a ski lift. A light dinner overlooking the sunset over Bellaire Lake, some hot tubbing and off to dreamland in especially soft sheets.

I got up early to try to run. Either I run down a steep hill or up one, no flat parts. My legs were still swollen from biking so running was not pleasant. The same story the next day. By Monday, I was fine.
While my friend worked on her computer, I sat outside on the balcony with my coffee and puzzles. Nice and cool. We made a stop in Alden on Torch Lake (which I think is Michigan's prettiest lake) for the best caramel nut roll. Lots of hills around Alden. I had been through there on the Dalmac ride years ago. I think next year's Michigander may include it.

My friend was going to visit family on the west side. We went to Cherry City airport where she rented a car. Like the old Seinfeld episode, the rental company was not clear that a reservation meant you got a car at the time promised. Fortunately another company had a car. We went to an art exhibit where her friend's art work was featured. Then I met up with Josh for lunch. He had been there for 4 days in a cabin south of TC as Julie's close friend had a wedding. They had taken all 95 guests for a wine tasting trip in buses on the Leelanau Peninsula the day before. I did a bit of shopping and then the long, lonely ride home.


Teri Bernstein said...

Sue--What a great, great trip. Thank you! I can't believe we didn't get someone to take a picture of us together!

Sue in Italia/In the Land Of Cancer said...

It was a great trip. Looking forward to doing it with you again. Maybe we could have gotten Pitbull to lift us both up at the finish.


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