Day 35 – A Tunnel of Trees

6/30/2019  Mackinaw City, MI to Bay View, MI: 50 miles

A short day awaited us. Still, we got up and got going early. We peddled west and south on county roads toward Wilderness State Park. After 25 miles, we reached the Park at Lake Michigan. As a youth, I enjoyed swimming and beach walking along these next two miles of sandy beach. After the beach, we were back in the dense forest for 5 miles to Cross Village. We stopped for a snack at the iconic Legs Inn. However, it was not open yet.

A peloton of cyclists arrived, rested for a bit, turned around, and then zoomed by us as we resumed our ride. For the next 17 miles, we rode along a narrow, winding paved road dubbed “The Tunnel of Trees”. The overarching sugar maples and other trees created a green tunnel (see photo).

We stopped at a food truck for a veggie crepe and coffee, in Good Hart, then continued through the tunnel past occasional summer homes overlooking Lake Michigan. We found a dead fisher on the road, which was remarkable given the animal’s rarity and that this was the second fisher I’d seen on the trip. As we neared Harbor Springs, the tunnel gave way to pastures, golf courses, and new second homes. In Harbor Springs, we biked along the shore of Little Traverse Bay, past stately mansions. Then we rode on secondary roads to busy highway M-119.

Near Bay View, we stopped for lunch at the office of the Upper Michigan Trails Council, then we picked up groceries. A few miles later, we checked on the renovation of our family cottage in Bay View. It’s been in the family for about 85 years. We dropped our gear at family friend Stewart’s cottage and rode our bikes 3 miles to Petoskey to have them serviced. We walked back to Bay View via the book store and coffee shop and a chat with Riley. Showers and dinner, plus chats with Mom and Helen, perked us up. Our first day off of the trip is tomorrow.

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