Miles: 38 + 14 on Mackinac Island
Mileage from start: 2,952
We left the campground around 11 a.m. with an exciting hotel reservation in front of us. Just that morning while we were packing up, Richard booked us at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.
It was a cool morning by the shore, but warm out of the wind and behind the trees. By the time we got to St. Ignace, I was sweaty and sticky from the humidity.
Part of our reservation included a five-course dinner at the hotel which required formal wear. In packing for our bike ride, we neglected to prepare for that circumstance. I had a lightweight dress that could pass, but Richard had no collared shirt, dress pants or tie and suit jacket.
To the thrift store! Fortunately the hotel loans out ties and jackets, and we were able to find decent enough pants and shirt at the store. I found a pair of shoes so I wasn’t stuck with my cleats or crocs and we headed for the ferry.
The boat ride was quick and since the island has no cars — horses haul anything heavy — we had a new kind of traffic to be wary of as we rode to the hotel: squirrelly riders.
Most people learn how to ride a bike, I believe. But not that many put the time in to learn how to really handle a bike. Eat while riding. Drink while riding. Maintain a straight line forward while looking behind you. Stop and start quickly. Weave through hazards with control at slow and quick speeds. With thousands of people a day on bikes on this island, it made for an interesting ride.
We made it to the hotel and checked in only to be scolded by a manager for bringing our bikes into the hotel. They don’t like bikes in their rooms, which I understand because bikes ride over horse manure. But you can’t yell at me for getting horse poop on the carpet when I haven’t done it yet.
Next we rode the loop around the island, got ice cream and fudge and then rode to the top of the island, Fort Holmes. There are two forts on Mackinac, both of which were built for the wars between Britain and the new/yet-to-be United States.
After we got back to the hotel, it was showers and dinner and now bed.