August 6 Thursday

Bay City MI to Port Sanilac MI
(The Thumb)

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© 1998 by Glenn Elert
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Distances (miles)
Day 84
Total 2837
Speeds (mph)
Average 10.0
Maximum 22.0
Expenses ($ US)
Lodging -
Ate at the restaurant in front of the motel this morning. Had a giant Mexican omelet. A good meal for long distance cycling. Also ate there for dinner yesterday. One of the better eateries on the trip. A surf and turf kind of place with a Great Lakes motif. Saw an Edmund Fitzgerald print hanging on the wall in the (tiny) non-smoking section.
Edmund Fitzgerald November 10, 1975
Headed east into the wind again starting on Michigan Highway 25. Some massive trucks on this route: 8-axle single bottoms, 11-axle double bottoms, and one exceptional 13-axle double bottomed monster. A light, irritating rain is falling. Moderate traffic and a decent shoulder, but I can't see far for all the spray on the sunglasses. A break in the rain and the sun popped out for ten seconds, but it wasn't bright enough to cast a shadow. The rain stopped early on but the overcast skies persist. It's humid so nothing's evaporating. Cotton T-shirts are comfortable in the sun, but perpetually moist under these circumstances. My high tech Spandex cycling shorts dry up quickly in comparison. The local public radio station is running a great biography of Less McCann. "Try to make it real compared to what."
  This part of Michigan is called "The Thumb" for obvious reasons. Off the highway at Unionville then east on Bay City-Forestville Road for the next 50 miles. The highway goes around the thumb while this road cuts across it. It's very flat, then a moraine, then flat again all the way to Lake Huron. The wind is a killer, but I don't have that oppressive sense of standing still. It's much nicer on the back roads. Michigan has a split personality. Ugly, overdeveloped, and over-trafficked highways. Pastoral, open, and lightly trafficked byways. Friendly waves again from the cars headed in the opposite direction and encouraging horn blasts from the truck drivers. This is the way it's been for most of the trip. Motorcyclists give the most encouragement. Being out in the elements means they can sympathize with their human-powered cousins.  
  The local road ends at Forestville on the western shore of Lake Huron. Head south back on to Michigan Highway 25. The lake shore is completely covered with vacation homes. I heard somewhere that nearly all the lake shore property in Michigan's Lower Peninsula is developed. There's very little public land or farming as in the Upper Peninsula and Wisconsin. The first 10 miles or so are concrete with a gravel shoulder. Good thing traffic is light. I have to ride right where it's the most irritating to cars.  
  Passed by a stereotype. I almost couldn't believe it. There was this decrepit, ramshackle home that the Beverly Hillbillies would have been proud to live in, surrounded by pigs and chickens, and a family of fourteen dirty hayseeds sitting on the porch. Where did that come from?  
  Another late start and low average speed for the day. Decided to quit in Port Sanilac, 30 miles short of my goal Port Huron. Found a motel without air conditioning or phones in the rooms. They only take cash ($35.00) and write no receipt. It's been cool for the last 4 days so I don't need the AC, but I'd like to send out the last two logs. Ate at the restaurant associated with the motel. Had a serving of fried perch. The waitress informs me it's a local specialty. "People come to Sanilac for perch." Now that she said that I remember seeing more than one restaurant advertising perch. Pretty good fish. Small fillets. Lightly flaky.
Port Sanilac, Michigan
Port Sanilac, Michigan
   

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