Harbor Springs - Mackinaw Island, MI - The Only Thing Fast On This Tour Is The Ferry - CycleBlaze

July 9, 2021

Harbor Springs - Mackinaw Island, MI

Heart 1 Comment 0

Today was a 50 mile day with a ferry ride at the end to Mackinaw Island. I had arrived too tired for the effort yesterday, I needed an easier pace today. A better breakfast, a slower pace. Jacinto was surprised that I asked for a slower pace. I reminded him that I'm a 10 mph girl and that we've been averaging more than that (with panniers). I'm pretty proud of how I've been doing. I ventured into the suggestion of riding separately. I did not ask details as to why Jacinto wanted to keep riding together, I was just happy that he didn't take my sincere offer. I asked if we could leave an hour earlier, so we wouldn't feel a need to rush on the road.

Jacinto set the alarm for 7 AM. We walked down to the breakfast. We had to take it back to our room, but they had hot eggs and sausage, along with the usual other items. I had three servings of eggs and two of sausage. They were not bicycle tourist sized servings. I supplemented with a milk and a yogurt. I told Jacinto I hoped I wasn't belching going down the road.

Bertha was interestingly on the job today. I ended up leading and Jacinto was the caboose. That worked since navigation wasn't a question. Jacinto did take one side trip down Lower Lake Shore Drive for a photo and ended up riding the entire four miles. He said it was much nicer than the busy tunnel of trees road.

Speaking of which - we were told by several people not to miss the tunnel of trees. I'm afraid I fail as a Michigan tourist today. I did not appreciate the trees. Michigan has A LOT of trees. I'm not sure why these trees were special. I think it was good marketing to give people something else to see on the way to Mackinaw. 

It would have been a nice ride without the frequent traffic. The road is narrow enough to not be striped in the middle. The only other road I can remember that wasn't center striped was going over Independence Pass in Colorado at 11,xxx Feet. There was traffic on that road, but everyone was going slow, afraid to go over the edge! 

At mile 25 we hit Cross Village and got off the tunnel of trees and back onto Bicycle Route 35. I was very puzzled why BR 35 didn't take tunnel of trees, we had really liked their routing so far. Now I know . . .  We followed BR 35's route on into Mackinaw City. We especially enjoyed the section of fresh pavement, complete with a complimentary tailwind!

Today we had sunshine (hurray!), and temperatures in the low 70's. The wind was from all directions, but wasn't as much of a factor as yesterday. 

Insiders tip - if you are staying in Mackinaw City as opposed to the island, a lady we chatted with a few days back said she stays at the Riveria Motel, right down by the ferry on the beach. 

Bertha took us right to the ferry dock. It was easy routing, thank goodness. There were parking lots everywhere, full of cars. Tourism is making a roaring comeback here! We rolled right up to the ferry dock. They have the process down to a fine art with two women of a certain age (authority figures, like Grandma?) directing people firmly one way or another. I was happy for their help. There were PLENTY of people. Jacinto went in and bought tickets. I changed into my street shoes, then went to supervise his purchase. He already had tickets, round trip. Which I was afraid was a problem, because we didn't want to go round trip, but on to St Ignace. That was my concern. The ticket lady's concern was our vehicle. We had several exchanges back and forth about us being on bicycles. Really, really on bicycles. Not just for today, but traveling that way. I was happy we didn't have to know about parking a car. There were plenty of car lots. 

Ferries left every 15 minutes. We got right on one. The attendant parking Jacinto's bike could hardly move it. "That one is heavy!". I asked if I should bungie cord my bike to the side, but he assured me they do this 12 times a day, the bike is fine.

I sat downstairs, Jacinto went upstairs, the better to see the action. We were to the island in no time. Plenty of people there also. I changed my shoes back again and we rode off. I told Jacinto we needed to go right on the first street and then down to Church Street. Surely we could do that without getting lost. 

Holy moly! This is a lot of people. A lot of bicycles. A lot of horses. We made it to the motel and don't want to brave the crowds again. I asked Jacinto where he liked better - Boulder, Utah or here. He was very puzzled and said they aren't at all similar. Exactly! That's why the question - do you like deserted or busy. We agreed we like deserted better and we are both dreading braving the crowds tomorrow to ride around the island.  We are here for two nights as I could only get a two night reservation. I wonder how far we have to go around the island to get away from the crowds?

Jacinto has chosen several dinner spots. I think we are going to walk downtown and see what looks good. I have two suggestions for fudge. I like fudge!

BTW, I had a good ride today. I fueled well before we left and I rode my pace. I snacked along the way. 

I enjoy folk art. There is plenty in Michigan.
Heart 3 Comment 0
Another old school house.
Heart 1 Comment 0
A lake view.
Heart 2 Comment 0
It’s heavenly! (Credit to Spoon).
Heart 1 Comment 0
Fresh pavement!
Heart 1 Comment 0
Here’s a sign for bicycle route 35 on the bike path into Mackinaw.
Heart 2 Comment 0
This was the best photo of the day!
Heart 2 Comment 0
There are working horses everywhere.
Heart 3 Comment 0

Today's ride: 51 miles (82 km)
Total: 386 miles (621 km)

Rate this entry's writing Heart 5
Comment on this entry Comment 0