Day 41 – Rail-trail, farm fields

After Yesterday’s near century ride, we slept in to 7am. At 8 am, we biked south, back into town and headed southeast, on the paved Pete Marquette Rail to Trail for 30 miles to Midland. At first we saw nobody. As the morning wore on, more and more north-bound day bikers appeared. The trail ran mostly through forest, with some grassy pastures and a few farm fields. Yesterday’s storm toppled a tree across the trail, requiring us to lift our bikes over the main tree trunk.

In Midland, we rode into downtown past the Midland County Courthouse, which was unlike any other courthouse I’ve ever seen or imagined (see photo). Herbert Dow, founder of Dow Chemical (headquartered in Midland), ponied up the money for the arresting edifice in the 1920s. We got our tires pumped up, then rode north and east toward Bay City. We ate more food at a wrap shop as we left Midland. We also ran into west-bound cyclists Eric and Jess on their way from Kennebunkport, ME to Minneapolis. The 11-mile ride to Bay City -past corn and soybean fields- featured a head wind, bumpy pavement, and no shoulder, but little traffic on Wheeler Road.

In Bay City, we stopped at a Kroger store and ate a lunch of cheese, crackers, and chocolate milk on a comfy, shady bench in front of the store. We crossed the broad Saginaw River and biked 25 miles south on county roads and a 4-mile rail to trail to Frankenmuth. The landscape included fields of corn, soy beans, wheat, and sugar beets. In Frankenmuth, we camped at the St. Lorenz Churchgrove Park. For $25, we got a flat, shady site under flowering linden trees, showers, and electricity to charge our phones. It was a fine place to stay.

7/06/2019 Clare, MI to Frankenmuth, MI : 78.5 miles

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