"We are all of us living in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." ~Oscar Wilde
"Adventure is worthwhile in itself." ~Amelia Earhart

November 2, 2008

Summer 2008 Bicycle Tour - July 1, 2008

July 1, 2008 - 58 miles

Woke up and left Mackinaw City. There's no doubt that it's a tourist town. The street I rode down is flanked by multi-story hotels, restaurants, souvenir shops, and a park with statues of historical figures important to the area. I wasn't going to eat breakfast but I changed my mind and stopped in a 1950's themed diner on the south side of the town.

People seem to have one of two reactions after hearing about my trip. Either they say "Pssh, that's not so far. Just had a couple of guys stop in going from Washington state to Maine." or they're impressed and tell me 'That's awesome/crazy!'.

Anyway, as I was talking to the cook, I found out he was one of the easily impressed ones because when he heard about it, he kept saying, "Holy shit!" and looking at me in amazement. He asked to see my bicycle and I went out and showed him the loaded bicycle. I moaned about the hills that I'm not used to and found out he used to train for (running) marathons and knew all about the strain hills cause. Nice guy. :) Eventually, I finished my meal and continued south.

As I neared the town of Harbor Springs, I started to feel out of place. The town looks wealthy. Not just slightly wealthy like a well-to-do suburb where most of the houses look to be in the $300,000-$500,000 range but millionaire/billionaire wealthy. I passed a country club and a golf course and huge mansions. The traffic changed from pickup trucks and SUV's and the occasional compact car to restored convertibles and BMWs. The town's main street was lined with gourmet cafes, designer shops, and art galleries. I probably shouldn't have felt uncomfortable there and nobody gave me the feeling that I shouldn't be there. On the contrary, I got a few smiles and nods from the people I passed. But I still zoomed past and onto more middle-of-the-road towns where I wouldn't feel so grungy.

I ended my day at a motel next to the bicycle route in Petoskey, MI. When I was going to the office,, I noticed a guy sitting outside one of the rooms. He stared at me as I walked my bicycle past. After getting my key, I put my bicycle in the room. The only problem with the place was that they only had non-smoking rooms so I went outside to smoke a cigarette. The guy came over and started talking to me. Just the normal stuff about why each other was there and, then, what I knew was going to happen did. He started flirting with me.

"But, I'd love to be your companion for the night."

Ugh. One thing about me is that I'm so uncomfortable with this sort of thing. I chuckled and stammered out an "Oh, ha-ha, thank you but no thank you." Thankfully, he backed off, we finished our conversation, and I went back into my room. An hour or two later, the need for a cigarette pushed me back outside again. Ugh. Apparently, the guy sat outside his room all day chatting with the other people staying at the motel. He came over and started chatting with me again. I didn't want to appear as though I were flirting with him but I really need a cigarette every two hours or so and I wasn't going to risk an $80 fine for smoking inside a non-smoking room. He made one more attempt.

"If I had a bike, I'd go with you."
'That's a little creepy,' I thought but didn't say it. Instead, I just shifted uncomfortably in the plastic seat outside the motel room door and said, "Ah, I really don't do that sort of thing. Flattered, though." and he backed off for the final time.

He was actually a nice guy, soft-spoken and excellent at small talk. He was renting a room by the month there and he told me about the couple staying in the room next to me. They were staying there while their child was at a nearby hospital. And the Native American guy who had stayed in my room the night before and had made a dream catcher for him.





A plaque about the Legs Inn


I should have stopped here since I love odd architecture. One of the mistakes I made during the bicycle tour was being too concerned with how many miles I had under my belt each day.



Ha! I didn't even see the power lines while I was taking this picture near Harbor Springs.



Trees, trees, and more trees.


A boat on Mackinaw City's shoreline.


Some structure in Mackinaw City's Park

2 comments:

Ferd said...

Ah, I don't check every day any more, but thought I'd visit because I saw you lurking on my blog!! : )

That was creepy of that guy. Uninvited propositions like that must be an awful part of being a cool chick!

We used to ski in the Harbor Springs area, and have stayed there many times. It is a wealthy community, originally established by rich boating people from Chicago. The yachts there are crazy amazing. I'm not into all that wealth either. Makes me uncomfortable, too.

Glad you are still posting these!

Berryvox said...

Ferd - Yeah, I need to comment on other people's blogs more. :)

The first comment he made wasn't too bad. Can't fault him for trying! But the second was, "Yeesh, that's creepy!"

Harbor Springs WAS a beautiful place. And, yeah, I bet the yachts are unbelievable.