Sunday, July 22, 2018

On our way to Onaway

After the long ride to Cheybogan, I treated myself to a seafood salad and a Cheybogan Blood Orange Ale facing the river which empties about a half mile to the left into Lake Huron As I was by myself, the waiter kept 'forgetting' about me. Let the pity party begin!
this sign was in the bathroom

home for 2 nights

Early the next day (I missed the rain by 40 minutes by leaving early) we went by Aloha St. Park on Mullet Lake, one of the biggest lakes in Michigan

One of the giant heads of Onaway. I had to ask locals where it was as the ride organizers hadn't a clue

I like George's hair. His head is about 20 feet tall. I have seen his successor Gerald Ford's head in at least 3 places. Alas not here again

They did have a sculpture garden downtown

The world's largest steering wheel. The Moran metal works used to make bicycle rims and car steering wheels but no more. Not sure what they make now

Back in Cheybogan, I went to their art park which has some permanent sculptures such as this and temporary art such as the works of 2nd graders

My ride the next day: Cheybogan to Mackinaw City down to Petoskey, almost all of it gravel trails so yeah, it was hard as was the 54 mile loop to Onaway and back

I almost didn't get to do the ride. I was driving our 11 year old car up there that works fine in general but some computer that controls the air conditioner is out. $1500 is a lot to put into an old car so I drove with the windows open because it was 96 degrees when I left. I had it on cruise control going 80 (speed limit is 75 up there) at mile 120 or so. Suddenly I lost power and had to limp over 3 lanes to the shoulder where I was able to go 20 mph for 3 miles until I could exit and go to a gas station which  had no mechanic given that it was a Sunday. I turned everything off. The engine would not rev even if I pushed the accelerator. WTF? I assumed bad fluid? I turned the car off and called Steve though what could he do (he knows absolutely nothing about cars) but to at least have him on standby if I needed a ride. But then I decided to urn the car back on and the orange wrench went away and alarms were no longer clanging. I got back to the freeway and the car seemed just fine though I was nervous this would repeat itself any minute. As near as we could figure out, the electronic module that controls the air conditioner must have something to do with the cruise control. More research needs to be done.

For you non-Michigan readers, our map is  our right hand palm up I live in the thumb pad in the palm, this near disaster happened right in the crease where the thumb meets the palm. I was heading towards the top of the first finger. On the ride we made it to the top of the fourth finger. 

I got there earlier than we were supposed to check in so off to dinner on the water before setting up camp. I did find the man I rode with last year a bit and we hung out quite a bit together. I like him a lot. He had his own mechanical failure story on the way there that nearly prevented him coming on the ride too. He had already set his tent up way away from my site.

I should have practiced setting up my tent. True I had it last year for the first time but I had help setting it up. A nice man whose name I forgot but I know his life story saw me struggling and decided to help though the tent still  wasn't right. I don't think I did it right until the last time. No instructions were provided. You were to go online but mainly they were just bragging how easy the set up was and not big on details plus it was hard to watch a video in the field.

I was hesitant to do this ride because I would be myself though that had some advantages in that I could leave and stop when I wanted. Plenty of people offered friendships so I was not alone much.

Although it was much cooler up there, it was still hot and in the beginning of the week, my poison ivy made sleep very hard despite all the steroids I had. Rain was predicted for the morning but it was still dry when I left camp. No rain on me that day. I was on the NEST trail which heads sout east to Alpena. Onaway would be half way. It is chockful of pea gravel that in some places was annoyingly and dangerously thick. I kept heading for the bald areas. My speed is only 2/3s what it would be on pavement and a lot more effort. Lots of falls by others. A man broke his hip and a woman, her wrist. I did get off to the main  highway to look for presidential giant heads. Wish I had stayed on the road longer. In the past, they would have a road option to encourage more riders but without warning, it was switched back to a trail only leaving a posse of disgruntled road bikers. A new ride director had been hired at the last minute who was not good at organizing. Lots of annoying hiccups all week. Bad food, bad maps, no info about the towns...on and on.

The sculptures were interesting. Back to Cheybogan. I always worry about forgetting things. Last year, some of my medications, which was much more serious than my eye make up I forgot this time. Fortunately it can be obtained. I went downtown in my car to find a store, which I never did, had to go to a Walmart on the edge of town for the missing make-up. But I did visit the downtown coffee shop I had been to numerous times before for an iced latte and met my new friend who has the same name as the friend who I am usually with, so good. I had a good friend for the rest of the week. Yay.


Elephant's Child said...

I am really glad you went.
The Angel Shot is a great idea - except that it has been so widely reported that I worry that asking for it will alert the person who is creating the fear. Which defeats the purpose. Just come out and say it. Loudly if necessary. 'I don't feel safe. I need help.'

Haddock said...

Like the way George's head is made, and yes the hair is perfect.

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

Predators probably know about the Angel shot but at least when it is summoned, the woman is in a safe place.

Gerald Ford's hair is cool too.


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