7/9     Sunday           111 mi
Pellston, MI to Manistique, MI           

There was no rain overnight.  We were up kind of early and I was in kind of a cranky mood.  We ate breakfast at the motel and packed up and were on the road at 8:40am.  The wind had been calm early in the morning but in the hour before we left, it kept picking up; we hoped it wouldnít be as bad as yesterday.  It was just a short ride on US31 to I75 where we caught our first glimpses of the bridge.  It was enormous and spectacular even in the distance and as we approached, and I wondered if I was up to doing this.  Sure enough the information signs were cautioning motorists of high winds over the bridge and limited vehicles towing campers to 20 mph.  

We approached and rode over the Mackinac Bridge at about 9am and it was windy on the bridge but not so much as to be a troubling problem.  What affected our crossing most was riding on the metal grate portion of the bridge.  There was some kind of construction work being done on the outside (right) lane of the bridge, the paved portion, but we had to merge onto the inner lane to cross.  The metal grate caught the motorcycle tires and channeled the bike along the grate which affects steering and leaves you with a frustrating, vulnerable feeling of insecurity.  We got through the toll stations and pulled off onto US2 and then immediately pulled to a bridge viewing stop where we took pictures of the bridge with all of us in the foreground.  Mike said he wasnít feeling well, complaining of a bad stomach.  

We then headed west on US2 where we rode right along the northern most shore line of Lake Michigan.  It was again windy off of the lake and noticeably cooler near the lake.  There were warning signs posted for sand on the roadways.  Along the way, I saw Mike through my rear view mirror pull off the road.  Tamera and I stopped and waited until he met up with us.  It turned out that he had gotten very sick and had to pull off the road.  We stopped in Manistique for gas but Mike again got sick, too sick to continue.  

While waiting at the gas station on Mike to recover, I ran into a guy from a local HOG chapter (he was from Michigan and I thought he said Marquette) who offered his thoughts on where we should ride in the UP.  He said there wasnít much to see around Escanaba so I wasnít disappointed when we decided to cut out that portion of the trip.  But his other suggestions proved to be problematic so I now question his thoughts on going to Escanaba.  It was still early in the day, about noon, but Mike was in bad shape so we decided to stay in Manistique rather than try to make it to Escanaba.  

An Econo Lodge was in view from the station so we stayed there hoping some rest would get Mike in shape over night.  The owners were very friendly people and he had been a H-D rider (rode a Springer) until recently.  We were allowed to park our bikes in the garage overnight because there was another chance of rain and strong storms but they all passed further south.  They had two young kids, a girl and a boy, that enjoyed Tamera and Dianna and our motorcycles. They would park their bicycles in line next to our motorcycles as if part of the group.  For lunch, Tamera and I rode to the Sunny Shores restaurant where I had my first Pasty; it was kind of a beef turn over pot pie, really pretty good.  

Later in the day, the gals went out for a walk along the lake shore so I decided to do likewise.  I walked quickly and briskly to the lighthouse and back, about a 3 mile walk in about 45 minutes.  I walked up to and touched the lighthouse in front of a guy who was trying to take a picture of his boy.  I donít know how many pictures he was taking or if he didnít know how to use the camera but I excused myself as I walked up to the lighthouse while he was doing something with his camera.  I noticed that he was fumbling around the entire time I was on the long walkway to the lighthouse so I had little patience for him when I approached and he was still fumbling around.  

Back at the motel, I took the owners up on their offer to park our bikes in their garage.  Mike felt better and wanted to try to get out so we walked back to the Sunny Shores and had dinner..  Although better, he was still hurting and after Mike finished his soup, I walked back to the motel with him while the gals finished their dinners.  I first noticed it here but we found throughout our trip in the UP, there were many people, their bikes packed up, riding their bicycles throughout the UP.

Big Mac Looms

right lane closed ahead

approaching the 
Mackinac Bridge

still approaching

closing in

the suspension part 
of the bridge is upon us

riding the steel grate on the suspension part of the bridge

road construction blocks the paved lane

leaving the bridge

view behind 
while riding off the bridge

riding to the viewing area

riding to the viewing area

group with Big Mac

Dianna & Mike
with Big Mac

Paul & Tamera
with Big Mac

bikes at viewing area

Mackinac Bridge

Mackinac Bridge

Paul at Hiawatha
National Forest

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