Only 1440 Miles!!?? We have to get back on the bikes and round it out to 1500 miles!! I like things rounded out, even, balanced. We must! I just couldn’t talk Honey Badger into it, or Traveler for that matter.
We made it to Menominee! Our Michigan starting point, now our Michigan finishing point. We looped around the entire upper peninsula of Michigan in 85 days. I thought I would cry, but I didn’t. We wanted to lift our bikes above our heads like the riders in Tour Da Yoop, Eh do at the end of their ride, but we couldn’t find a crane large enough to help hoist them up.
We did have one last, small adventure. Wanting to get off the highway, we followed a back road toward Menominee that Carolyn had told us about. I had to stop and take a picture of a vibrant red tree, and thought I should double check the map. We had already ridden about 4 miles before realizing that the route we were choosing would never get us to Menominee in time to pick up the U-Haul truck we had reserved. I must say though, that it would have gotten us over 1500 miles!!! Anyway…we decided to head south, stepping down backroads to reach Menominee. We turned south and happily rode car free, when we came to our first step (right turn) in the road. Ken and I looked at each other…you all know what that means…something we have encountered before, something that requires a decision, something we need to both agree on, in short, trouble…it was all there in the gravel road laying before us. You will be proud of us!! We finally, on this last day of riding, made the right decision and turned in the opposite direction of the gravel road, and chose pavement that led us back to the highway. I certainly didn’t want any kind of that crying going on today!! So, we backtracked, but saved 8 miles off the highway, and gained 6 miles for the days total and final mileage total (which was not 1500 miles!).
In Menominee we met our new mode of transportation! We reserved a 10′ U-Haul truck to drive back to Manitowoc, and the Badger ferry that would sail us across Lake Michigan, to our car in Ludington. Manitowoc would have been another 3 days of riding, so the truck was a good option for a one-way rental.
We stopped for lunch in town before heading out, and celebrated with our last… … …wait for it… … …hehehe…Ice Cream!! Actually, a fellow we asked to take our picture and spoke with in the shop, bought the cones for us. He was just so happy for us finishing the loop, that he wanted to be part of the celebration. So sweet!! Meaning him…and the ice cream, too!
Ken also drove me over to see the Menominee Pierhead Lighthouse. The lighthouse began its’ commission in 1877. When first built, the lighthouse had an oil lamp chimney made of ruby glass and the red light was visible for 12 miles. I can just imagine what that ruby red glass looked like from out at sea…a glimmering red strobe guiding sailors safely into shore.
We also stopped at The Outback on Old Peshtigo Rd. to say goodbye to Melissa. She was one of the first people we met who took good care of us. The oasis was closed that day, but Melissa came out and welcomed us back in, just like she did the first day we came down that road. We had a quick beer, and she gave us Outback t-shirts, then we were on our way home.
Finding Beauty In The Trees
High Fiving Our Finish
Honey Badger And Traveler Checking Out Their Ride
Long Overdue Rest For The Steeds
Menominee Pierhead Lighthouse
Our Final Ice Cream…It Will Be Back To Vegis, No Oil, No Meat…No Dairy!!