Date: June 14th, 2019
Miles Traveled: 37 (+ an 83 mile ferry ride)
Weather: Mostly cloudy. Cool
Physical Status: Good.
TL;DR: Ferries are fun… especially when you feel as if you’re going to go overboard if you don’t hold onto something. 😉
Today was a relatively relaxed day. Since my ferry ride across Lake Michigan was scheduled for 4:45pm and the dock was just 37 miles away (yes, just 37 miles away), I slept in and ordered my ferry ticket before dressing for the day’s ride.
After having breakfast with my previous hosts, Jim and Geneva, at 10:30am, I rode 10 miles with Jim along U.S. State Bicycle Route (USSBR) #35 before we parted ways. With a strong southern wind at our backs, we cruised through rolling hills and passed by a number of marinas and forests with houses dotting each side of the highway. It was a great day to go for a bike ride.
For the next 27 miles, I continued along USSBR #35 along rural and suburban roads, over a drawbridge, past a flooded road, and eventually to the Muskegon, Michigan, my destination for the day:
Since I arrived an hour before the suggested ferry arrival time (4:00pm), I explored a small candy shop in town who had a variety of candies, fudge, and ice cream available:
…but since I’m a cheap bastard and everything was $4.99/lb and up, I ended up just getting 3 Cow Tales for a dollar:
Why “Cow Tales” instead of “Cow Tails”? Your guess is as good as mine.
After arriving at the ferry terminal, I retrieved my tickets and pushed my bike up alongside the queue of cars waiting to file into the ferry.
While standing around with normal people for 30min beside my totally inconspicuous loaded bike, I briefly chatted with a nice lady who was just coming back from an annual birding conference held in Michigan. She offered to take a picture of me and, thus, I stood there, not knowing what to do with myself:
Magazine cover worthy? I think so.
10 minutes later, one the crew members checked my tickets and I proceeded to roll my bike up a ramp and into the ferry.
After attempting to figure out how to secure my bike using the provided tightening straps, getting the strap stuck, and trying to unravel the mess I created for 20min, I hit the “fuck it” button, locked my bike to the metal rack, propped up the kickstand, and called it a day.
I mean, does this even look like a user friendly contraption to you?
a) No, no it doesn’t.
c) No, Quinn, you’re just dumb.
If you chose answers a, b, or c, you are correct.
As the ferry began to accelerate out of the terminal, I walked up to the passenger deck and chilled for a bit before going up to the top deck.
Let me start by saying the top deck was intense.
After perilously shifting from side to side on the passenger deck like a person whose blood-alcohol is three times the legal limit, I climbed the stairs leading up to the top deck and proceeded to be blasted by what felt like 30 or 40 mph winds as the boat rocked from side to side.
As I stood there, clutching onto the railing for dear life, only one thought came across my mind: “I should go sailing more often“.
It was pretty awesome:
After about 2.5 hours on the ferry, I arrived in Milwaukee at around 7:15pm (Central Time).
I made it to a different time zone! Yay!
As the ferry slowly proppeled itself towards the Milwaukee terminal, myself and the other passengers enjoyed some nice views of the city and the Lake Michigan coastline:
After riding off of the ferry and pedalling not even a tenth of a mile, I suddenly heard someone call my name from afar.
I looked toward the direction of the sound and saw a bicyclist waving at me as he caught up. It was my host for the night, Robert.
Robert was a retired, older man living in a small flat with his dog, Brownie. How can I describe Robert…
He was just a really cool, chill dude.
After biking back to his place, we went out to dinner at a local Mexican place and talked about his recent bike tour to France and a number of other topics.
Although Robert offered to let me stay and extra night and attend the annual Fat Tire Tour of Milwaukee, a 15-20 mile bar crawl in which 300+ bike enthusiasts and beer aficionados descend upon the town of Milwaukee and ride to different breweries in town, I had to depart the following day to keep with my schedule.
Tomorrow, I’ll be riding 70 miles from southern Milwaukee, to Deerfield, Wisconsin, where I’ll be staying with a couple named Brett and Doug.
Until next time!