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Old 09-05-2012, 08:15 PM   #82
NomadGal OP
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Joined: Mar 2012
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
Oddometer: 1,096
After posting my last report I headed to the Mackinaw bridge. I had mixed feelings on crossing it, part of me was excited because I love going on high bridges over water, but part of me was nervous because of the horror stories about the wind strength.
I was secretly hoping that there would be no wind, and if there was, then I hoped to bump into some other bikers so I could ride behind them and watch how they tackled the wind. Also I figured if some bikers were in the left lane, and some in the right, then I wouldn’t be blown underneath the wheels of some huge truck if I got slammed by a gust of wind. Then I decided not to worry about it anymore and to take things as they came. Either way, I would deal with it.
The grey skies were lifting and the sun started to shine the closer I got to the bridge.

The lake started to look bluer as the sun cleared away the grey clouds

Finally I saw the Mackinaw bridge and pulled over at a view point to take a picture.

Awesome bridge! No doubt about it

I asked someone to take a picture of me in case………….

After paying the $4 toll fee (the guy at the booth had no sense of humor when I suggested I pay only $2 because I had only two wheel instead of four) I stopped to take a picture again before going over it.

Right as I pulled away to go into the lane heading to the bridge I hear two Harleys behind me. I turned my head and there were two lady bikers passing me and waving. I was in seventh heaven!! Not only would I be able to follow a couple of bikers, they were women!! Yay, what could be better than that? I felt confident now that I could ride the bridge, there is strength in numbers ☺

The gal on the grid was a hoot! not only did she slow down traffic by not budging, she was leisurely taking pictures while riding on the grid! She was also keeping an eye on the gal to the right who I'm pretty sure was a new rider.

As we got unto the main part of the bridge, the exciting part, I noticed that there was no wind, none at all! Not even a little smidgen! It was awesome riding so high over the water with the sun shining on it. I took a photo but it came out as a bunch of white glare as the sun was on that side. Oh well.
All in all, it was utterly awesome, and I even rode a few hundred yards of grid, just to find out how it felt, which was probably a stupid thing to do because I was passing a semi-truck .
Once I was passed the bridge I went west in search of the free campsite.
I took a small detour and ended up in the wrong place and when turning around over a gravel hill I dropped Spirit! I hadn’t dropped her since I broke my rib. But I have to say I fought it, so she ended up gently on her side. Two guys in a truck saw it happen and they immediately helped me get her up. We talked for a while about my trip, they were awed, and then told me how to get to the campsite.

I found the road in no time and went unto the dirt and gravel.
There were people camped in the first and second sites, also in the third and fourth. By now I was keeping my fingers crossed hoping that at least one of the 6 sites was available. I didn’t see a site 5, but 6 was taken too.
At the same time I was holding me heart because again I was going over sandy patches. I parked Spirit and looked for site number 5. Couldn’t find it, but noticed another tent on the other side of the trail. That must have been 5 then. I debated on what to do when I saw that there was a small turn around area past number 6. I went on the small sandy loop and saw an area that would easily hold the tent and the bike.
I rode over the hump and decided to just go for it and camp there.

Part of me of course was expecting to be booted out by a ranger for camping in a no camping spot, but then I told myself to shut up and just enjoy camping there. I would deal with whatever happened when it happened, and I would not anticipate and worry about something that might never happen.

The fog started to creep in as it was getting later

I warmed up a can of soup and watched half of a Harry Potter movie and hit the sack. It was a warm night and I slept soundly.
Woke up at 7:30 and saw the sun rise over the lake

Went of a morning stroll and took a picture of this meadow for my daughter.

It looks a little like Bella and Edward’s meadow, but without the flowers.

I hit the road at 10:30, after taking my time making some pancakes and packing my junk.
And no, no park ranger or anyone showed out to tell me to go, Yay!!!

Once I got out of the park area and headed toward the lake I noticed this street sign

Wow! A street named after me! LOL

The shoreline was gorgeous and I might as well have been along the ocean because of the sandy dunes.

Now the road along the shore is Hwy 119 and it has a 20 mile long tree tunnel.
I am very sad to say that somehow non of the pictures were on the camera except for the one below. I must not have pressed the button hard enough.

119 is an awesome road though with many gorgeous views when the tree tunnel clears here and there

All along the road are quaint little towns with neat houses. I wished I had taken some pictures of them.
One was a restaurant called Leggs, which I later heard is quite famous.

View of Harbor Springs, the end of 119

Downtown Harbor Springs where a lot of people like to sail and kayak

I ended up filling my tank nearby when I noticed this at the pump

Now I think I’ve seen it all!!!! Whatch a movie or the news while pumping gas!! Either they must think you shouldn’t be bored while gassing up, or they purposefully want to distract you so you end up putting more gas in your tank than you originally planned on! Clever, very clever!!

I have to say, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan have some killer bicycle paths! If only I loved to bicycle!

Yep, red barns in Michigan too.

Once I got to Travers City I called some friends of Robert who said I was very welcome to stay with them.
I am now longing in a comfy chair after having done my laundry, eaten a great meal, and had an even better conversation with my host. Going to change my oil tomorrow, and mess around downtown.
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