We started the day soaking wet as usual. I tried packing my sleeping bag in a different duffel from the tent, in hopes of keeping it dryer. The tent fly is double-bagged in zippered plastic bags.
We started riding on the same path we ended on yesterday. After a few miles it became fairly impressive. The path claims to be in the Rails-to-Trails Hall of Fame, something which I didn’t know existed. It was about as wide as a town road, leaving plenty of room to ride side-by-side or to pass people with dogs and/or strollers. The pavement was good. Intersections were well-marked. The only problem was the frequency of intersections, all with stop signs and limited visibility. Since the limited visibility was due to the forest we were riding through, I can’t complain.
The stop signs actually provided the only variable in the morning. Otherwise we rode at a constant 19 mph for the first 35 miles. I rode with Ole Steve until lunch.
We left the trail and rode through Midland, home of Dow Chemical and (if memory serves) the childhood hometown of the only DAR I know.
There is a Dow High School and a Dow Museum. Whether they have a display featuring the uses of Napalm, I don’t know. Leaving Midland, things turned ugly.
We rode through miles of industrial wasteland on busy roads, which gave way to miles of not-quite-suburbs and not-quite-farm country. The roads are straight and flat with suburbs that never seemed to coalesce giving way to corn, bean, and beet fields. Even in the rural area there seems to be a grid system of roads every mile.
There is a lively electoral campaign for Road Commissioner. One candidate’s signs say, “Fix our roads now!” I saw and felt his point. The road is beyond repair. Jackhammers, new road bed, and new pavement appear to be the solution.
There are crack-filled ruts corresponding to the four paths worn by vehicle wheels. The shoulders are crumbling.
We arrived in the tourist town of Frankenmuth. I stopped for ice cream and walked through town before heading to our campsite at Jellystone Park. “Toy Story 2” is showing in the camp theatre tonight. I don’t know if I can stay up that late. A moot point, as our dinner and meeting ran well into the movie.
Dinner tonight and breakfast tomorrow are in dueling restaurants across the street from each other. Greg says a local family controls much of the town but an internecine feud resulted in part of the family opening a restaurant across the stree from the already-existing family-owned restaurant. To keep the peace we eat in both.