"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 14, 2008

Summer 2008 Bicycle Tour - July 5

July 5, 2008 - 64 miles

When I woke up, I slowly started to pack up my tent and sleeping bag. About halfway through, a small vehicle similar to a golf cart pulled up and the driver inside started up a conversation.

"Hi! Did you find us on your maps?"
"Kinda. It was on the maps but I just sorta stopped when I saw the sign."

The driver was the owner of the campground and introduced himself as Uncle Dick. He told me about some of the previous bicycle tourists that had stayed there including one couple in their 70's who had been in the middle of a coast-to-coast tour.

"Want a ride around the campground?"
"Hop in."

He drove around the grounds, stopping every now and again to chat with the various guests he encountered: two cheerful twenty-something women, a few members of a large group of twenty- or thirty-somethings, and a young family.

When I cycled in the night before, the site struck me as rather small. But, it was much larger than I had thought. '3 acres,' the owner told me. A few minutes later, the vehicle ended up back at my campsite. We said our goodbyes and I finished packing and set off again.

Around 8pm, I arrived in Ludington and did a little cheer. There were two highlights of this bicycle tour that I had been looking forward to. One was Mackinac Island and the second was the ferry ride across Lake Michigan from Ludington, MI to Manitowoc, WI. I maneuvered my way across town and found myself near the port where the ferries would dock.

When I was planning this bicycle tour, I hadn't really planned to bring along a cell phone. But my very nervous mother had suggested I buy one and, to calm her fears a little bit, I did. I also promised to call her at least once a day. (Which didn't really work in parts of Wisconsin where there was no coverage but oh well.)

And, so, near the ticket office, I called her. We spoke a little bit about what I had done during the day and various other things. Eventually, the conversation turned to safety and security and I nodded my head politely* and occasionally muttered out an "Mmm-hmm, yes, yes....Oh, of course!" Then, I spotted something near a bush.

*Which is kinda pointless when you're on the phone.

"Oh! A kitty!" I squealed into the phone.
"There's a cat out here!"
"Pfft, are you listening to me?" she said while laughing.
"Oh, yes, yes. Of course. Go on." I said as I rummaged through my bags looking for edible things for black-and-white outdoor cats and half-listened to her go on about Very Important Things.

Eventually, I hung up, made a reservation for the next ferry ride across the lake, and set off to look for a hotel room. There's all sorts of hotels and motels and B'n'B's along Ludington Avenue. On most other days, it would've been easy to find one. Unfortunately, I didn't account for the fact that it was the day after a major holiday in a tourist town. I went up and down the street and all but one sign read "No vacancy." Oops. I knew there was a campsite a few miles out of town that might have a vacancy but I had already made the ferry reservation and didn't want to miss it. The only place that did have a vacancy was priced at $290/night. 'Umm, ouch! I'd rather sleep in the city park!' I thought. And, so, I did.

By the time I ended my search, it was 11pm. Ludington has a public beach very close to the main part of town. I propped my bicycle on one of the buildings, sat down and waited until morning.

Ludington at night

The S.S. Spartan

Looking down Ludington Avenue


Ferd said...

You should listen to your mother's Very Important Things. LOL!
Did you sleep at all that night? Sleeping bag on the beach?

Berryvox said...

But-but-b...THE KITTY!

Haha, no. I would've tried to sleep but I was worried that I'd miss the ferry.