Day 40 – Mayflies

After falling asleep at 8:30 pm, the concussion of fireworks in Manistee woke me up at 10:30 pm. I got back to sleep with the cool breezes from Lake Michigan. We got up at 6 am and at 7 am biked two miles to the outskirts of town, then biked another mile to M-55. Thinking we wouldn’t find a second breakfast spot, we got snacks at a C-store. Hundreds of resting mayflies hung on the walls of the store (see photo). Thousands of their dead comrades littered the concrete below. Mayfly larvae live in lakes and rivers. The adults emerge in summer, sometimes often swarms of millions. The adults mate, the females lay their eggs in water, and the males look for another mate. The adults live for only one or two days then die.

In the 1930s, mayfly hatches on bridges over the Wisconsin River with lights at night we’re so prolific that the insects would pile up to several feet thick and stop traffic! Alas, not any more. But at least their successors are still alive in Manistee. Betsy and I rode due east for 43 miles to Cadillac, scoring another breakfast at the Kozy Kitchen in Wellston and a detour around a bridge project. The sun baked us thoroughly. In Cadillac, we ate lunch at a delightful shady spot at Lake Mitchell. We then headed southeast on M-115 for 37 miles to Clare. Traffic roared both south and north, but the shoulder was generally wide and smooth. We stopped to rehydrate at a C-store and repeated this at a second C-store (this time with the magic elixir of chocolate milk) near Clare. Thoroughly tired but not spent, we got a room at the Pine Motel. Today was our longest day of the trip!

7/5/19 Manistee, MI to Clare, MI : 99.8 miles

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