Day twenty five


We awoke to clear skies and fair weather. This was to be another very significant day for the expedition. We were headed to Ludington, Michigan by way of the Badger ferry that we hoped to catch in Manitowoc. At some point we were able to access the schedule. It was about sixty miles to the ferry terminal. The boat was to leave around 2:00 which gave us just enough time to make it if all went well.

We packed up the camp and headed out. We again chose back roads that paralleled the more major route. Along the way we encountered some construction and some hilly territory that we didn’t foresee. Yet we made decent time, the wind was favorable and the riding was mostly easy. When we reached a point about 17 miles from town, it was obvious that we were going to make it with time to spare.

We inquired about the presence of a brewpub in Manitowoc. We didn’t get a good answer and decided to proceed to the ferry. As we arrived, we were surprised and slightly shocked to see that there was a security guard with a dog. “Uh oh,” I thought, thinking of our herbal presence and knowing that dogs are pretty good at finding such. We were sort of committed to continue or look bad by turning around. We approached the lady and her dog.

“Do you have any weapons or knifes?” she asked.

“No,” I said covering my anxiety.

“OK Rover, CHECK!”

The dog proceeded to circle our bikes sniffing the packs. It was a very mellow Labrador retriever. He seemed not interested in anything we had and the lady indicated for us to proceed to get in line for the Badger.

“Phew,” we both breathed a sigh of relief. We waited for about a half hour before the boarding began. Next to the dock was an enormous mountain of coal that fueled the ferry. It is the last vessel on the Great Lakes to be powered by the foul, polluting and grimy substance.

We parked the bikes on the car deck and walked upstairs. This would be almost cheating. We would make good time sitting on chairs, watching the birds and talking to fellow passengers. The trip took several hours. The boat produced an astounding plume of thick, black smoke that followed us all the way across Lake Michigan.

When we reached the further shore we immediately went to find a motel. We located the Four Seasons motel and checked in. We headed to town after showers and a short rest. It didn’t take long to find the local brewpub; Jamesport Brewing Co. We drank excellent beer and feasted on a great meal. Life was good. All of the effort, the bland miles, the storms and the drama seemed to fade into a sense of impending victory.