Manitowoc, Wi. To Ludington, Mi.: 2 1/2 hours in the car, 4 hours on the ferry, 7 minutes on the bike - Headlong Into The Petri Dish - CycleBlaze

September 9, 2020

Manitowoc, Wi. To Ludington, Mi.: 2 1/2 hours in the car, 4 hours on the ferry, 7 minutes on the bike

Heart 0 Comment 0

Ahoy scurvy dogs.

Nautical themes are all the rage right now because the centerpiece of today’s bike tour is a boat ride. As I write this we are 1/2 hour into a trip across Lake Michigan on the SS Badger, a car ferry that has been in service since 1953. It has a wonderful old school, film noir feel to it. You almost expect to bump into Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart coming out of their stateroom. And this thing actually does have (rather spartan) staterooms! The trip is a leisurely four hours across Lake Michigan. I am alternating between writing the blaahg, and people watching. Margaret is working on her art work for the day’s trip with pencil, ink and watercolor. It’s grey and gloomy outside but warm and relaxed on the enclosed deck area.

Aunloading Gear From The Car In Manitowoc
Heart 0 Comment 0
Looking In The “Belly” Of The SS Badger
Heart 0 Comment 0
Margaret’s Art Card Of The Day
Heart 3 Comment 0

I did a fair amount of wandering around the Badger and love its aura. Even though the ferry company has done some modernizing of the interior (a “restaurant” of sorts, a small movie room, a couple TV sets with plush individual chairs, and a small museum about the ferry company) it still is unmistakably a vessel built in the 1950’s. And thank god for that. That’s right in our wheelhouse for the kind of retro-travel experience we are looking for.

Looking Down The “Stateroom” Aisle
Heart 1 Comment 0

Two curious things about the Badger ... it’s an older vessel so has some idiosyncrasies and for a solid 40 minutes I swear I heard some ghostly, ambient sounds ... something like a mixture of ghosts moaning, whale song, and a Phillip Glass piece all dialed down to 33 1/3 when it was recorded at 45 rpm. Very odd but also very soothing. The other eyebrow raising experience was going down to use the head (nautical-speak for bathroom, as I’m sure you know). Either there was an electrical fire in progress or someone’s breakfast burrito was violently disagreeing with them. I wager the later. Either reason was good cause to hustle out of there ASAP. Marg and I found some super comfy chairs in the museum room and sawed logs for about 45 minutes which was divine.

Disembarking In Ludington at 7:10 PM and 54 DEgrees!
Heart 1 Comment 0

When we first started concocting this trip, Margaret had just returned from three days of hiking a few segments of the Ice Age Trail in Northern Wisconsin with some women acquaintances. They had camped in a county park and when she came home was “on fire” with the idea of camping. “We have to camp if we take that bike tour!” She exclaimed. “It was awesome!” After that, the days creeped along, and as the weather forecast decayed into perpetual gloom, overcast, and precipitation the zeal toward camping started to wane. Eventually, one, or likely both, of us offered up the idea that maybe this tour would be just fine with a mattress, a warm shower, and high speed internet on tap every night. A quick roll call vote regarding that motion was unanimously passed, 2-0. So motels it is ...

Our Little Slice Of Lodging Nostalgia
Heart 1 Comment 0

Thus, tonight we are staying at the Blue Spruce Motel in Ludington. It is yet another sweet little throwback to the 1950’s and a pleasant escape from this age of corporate motel behemoths. In fact, the owner told us it was originally built in 1949 and still has all the original knotty pine paneling. She and her partner are only the third owners since it opened! They have owned it for 11 years.

Window Peeping At Margaret
Heart 1 Comment 0
Eisenhower Era Glory - We Love It
Heart 1 Comment 0

So here we are! Even though we spent a total of 6 1/2 hours in either cars or car ferries, we did ride our bikes 1.05 miles from the dock to the motel, so we declare this the first day of the tour. The first official mile is the first official mile, no matter how mundane.

Heads up ... tomorrow we are very likely going to off the Grid, internet-wise, so expect a blank day for the blaahg until Saturday. Until then, thanks for reading!

Today's ride: 1 mile (2 km)
Total: 1 mile (2 km)

Rate this entry's writing Heart 3
Comment on this entry Comment 0