Cold in Michigan – but Two Acts of Kindness to Warm Our Hearts
Day 46- July 16, 2014 Reed City, MI – Trufant, MI 83 miles (total miles 2813)
Weather cold low 60’s, cloudy and slight tail wind
Today we got up to a cold day at our campsite (at Rampart Memorial Park a city run park)- luckily our tent was under an open pavilion so we were able to at least not have a totally soaked tent as well. We had our typical camp breakfast(oatmeal,coffee and tea) and then headed off on the bike with tights and a jacket on to keep us warm.
We were actually off route about 4 miles and were looking at the map to figure out the best way to get back on route when a gentleman who maintained the flowers at the park came over to say hello. Of course he lived in the area all his life and was able to give us directions to get back on route, he was even able to give us street names and not just turn by the big Oak tree on Mr. Smith’s farm!!
The route for the day was through some very beautiful areas of Michigan but definitely not direct – it appears Adventure Cycling Association has decided to run us a bit in circles in Michigan – this could be due to the lack of paved roads but it still seems extreme to us. Also we are traveling in areas that have little or no services which makes it hard to find supplies and somewhere to stay. Oh well we will continue to make do.
We stopped for a snack in Hardy Dam and were sitting out on the bench by the convenience store taking a break when two gentlemen came up to ask about our trip and where we were going for the night – They were sales men for Artic Ice. We told them our story and said we were looking for a place to spend the night and were planning on staying at the Lincoln Pine Resort and were trying to figure out exactly where it was located – they were familiar with it said it was very nice and gave us directions. Off they went but remember them!!!
Due to the fact that services are limited we were not able to find a restaurant until about 2:30pm – too late in the day – we were hungry and Tracy was a bit bonked because she had not had a good lunch to keep her going – we have found we can only go so far without a good meal – the snacks, power bars, Gatorade etc. just don’t do it.
So we finally got to the City of Coral which was suppose to have a restaurant. We got into town and the local restaurant was busy with the staff cooking and getting the baking done for tomorrow’s business day but were not open. Tracy stuck her head in anyway to double check and they said indeed they were closed. So we were standing out side to decide if we wanted bar food or convenience store food when the restaurant owner walked over and said she would be happy to feed us even though she is closed. We said great and headed back to her restaurant for a delicious wrap and some fresh baked cookies – YUM!! The Coral Bakery and Bread Company had opened 6 weeks earlier and the owner Jacquie Fase already has quite the business and we are hopeful she will be successful. It is her and her husbands retirement jobs – she is currently the transportation coordinator for the local school district and has handled a very stressful job for 20 some years and plans to retire next year. She is very much looking forward to retiring from the school district for a lot of the same reasons municipal employees are leaving the public sector – the jobs have just gotten tough. Act of Kindness #1.
We then hopped back on the bike for the last twenty miles to the campground. We got to the Lincoln Pines Resort at about 5:00pm and stopped at the office to check in. The young lady in the office greeted us with you must be the bicyclists who are biking across the country – we were like yes and how do you know – she said the two salesmen from Artic Ice stopped in and told me to expect you. She then proceed to give us a campsite at no cost. We are sure the salesmen either paid for it or just suggested it and she decided to do it on her own. Act of Kindness #2. The campground was beautiful and well kept, we enjoyed our visit.
Day 47 – July 17, 2014 Trufant, MI – Hastings, MI 56 miles (total miles 2869)
Weather warmer 65 – 70 degrees, sunny and a slight headwind
We got up at about 7:30am this morning, had breakfast and took off. Stopped at the park office to once again thank the park attendant. We were not sure where we were going to end today because there was not much for services on the route – we planned to get started on route and then later in the morning make our decision on where to end. Our first township was Harvard, then to Grattan – both were pretty small with little or no services. We continued on to Smyrna which also had no services so on to Saranac where they had a nice restaurant – YEA!!
While eating lunch we struck up a conversation with the gentlemen at the adjacent table when they came in and the waitress yelled across the bar do you want the usual – Tracy leaned over and proceed to tease them about being regulars!! They were very helpful to us in deciding where to end our trip for the day. With their help and expertise we decided on Hastings, MI – good idea.
Peter was not feeling so good and did not have a lot of power in his legs so a shorter day and a hotel for the night was definitely the way to go!!
The end of our ride was on the “Nash” Highway which made both of us smile because it reminded us of our former neighbors Mike and Becky Nash – we really miss them!! Although we are sure they are enjoying their new life in Door County.
We had a nice dinner, got our laundry done and are enjoying watching the Tour de France (we have only been able to watch it two times – bummer).