Monday, July 26, 2010

Day 36 - Manitowoc, WI to Ludington, MI - Ferry Day

Today: 8 miles, 188 feet of climb
Cumulative: 2638 miles, 91810 feet of climb
Remaining: Approximately 1057 miles, 28395 feet of climb

We're now in Michigan. Another state closer to the Atlantic Ocean.

After 36 straight days of putting bicycle clothes on, today was a nice change of pace. It was certainly a different day because we were taking a ferry across Lake Michigan.

Everyone looked different with street clothes on

No alarm clock. A leisurely breakfast at 7:30AM at Perkins. Ordering anything I wanted off the menu and paying for it myself. Late luggage load at 9:00AM. No need to check the pressure in my bicycle tires. No mixing of Gatorade or filling of water bottles. No contact lenses. Wearing regular shorts, a tee shirt, and a baseball cap. With a paperback book, camera, and wallet in my pockets, there was three hours to pedal my way four miles from the hotel to the ferry. It was a great day to be alive and not have to do anything in particular. Our only instructions were “Must be at the boat dock @ 12 noon… No exceptions you cannot miss the boat!” (No one missed the boat.)

Beerntsen's of Manitowoc. Emily and Danielle helped us with our ice cream and candy orders

With all time in the world, I really savored the morning. It was also another sunny day with bright blue skies and a cool breeze off the lake.

The S.S. Badger coming into port

After loading our luggage, I took a very slow pedal towards the ferry location with Jeff and John. We had to be careful because we were wearing our running shoes instead of our clip on riding shoes. We first stopped at Beerntsen’s Candy and Ice Cream store in downtown Manitowoc. This is an old time candy store where they have been making their own delicious candies and ice cream since 1932. Then, it was a trip to Subway to pick up a sandwich for lunch. Finally, we made our way down to the boat dock to board the S.S. Badger at about 12:30PM. The Badger holds about 180 cars and 800 people. We were about half full today. The ship left around 2PM for a four hour crossing of Lake Michigan. You cannot see either shore from the middle of the lake. It was a very calm day on the water. I got a quick snooze on a deck chair, read a few chapters in my book, and before I knew it, we were landing at Ludington around 7PM. After another 4 miles of pedaling, I arrived at the Ramada Hotel before 7:30PM.

The S.S. Badger docks. We walk our bikes on board. A nice lounge chair on the front deck.

It was a relaxing rest day today. Now, it's time to quickly get ready for tomorrow and get a good night’s sleep. We have our last century ride, 113 miles, to Mount Pleasant on Day 37, so it will be a busy and long day.

On the left, some of our other riders. On the right, we're approaching Ludington.

Today’s route:

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