What’s up, friends? I’ve sat here for 15 minutes figuring out how to intro this. I’m rusty. So, here we go…
We went to Michigan this summer. I am going to tell you about it.
Our summer vacay with Cole and Tyree took us to Michigan with the goal of camping, riding, and no real direction other than to explore the beautiful Upper Peninsula. St. Ignace was our home-base for a few days, but we kept extremely loose destinations for the majority of our trip. It’s really the perfect way to vacay when on bikes. You just never know where adventure awaits, so why stifle it with strict plans, ya know? So, July 2nd, 2021, we kicked off day one towards Bagley, WI where we’d set up tents next to the Mississippi river before nightfall.
Or so we thought.
If you ride, you know to expect the unexpected. Our new reality hit about 2.5 hours into our journey when we found ourselves a parking lot and a broke down bike. Friends, let me introduce you to my friend, Tyree.
Scratch Wisconsin. New destination: Cedar Rapids, IA. And instead of a tent, we rewarded ourselves with a hotel, a much needed shower and a nightcap with our friends John and Jodi at a local watering hole. I tell you what… we know we have the best of the best friends in all our friend groups, but John hit MVP status when he offered up his motorcycle to Tyree. Class act, y’all.
Cue Saturday morning.
Destination: House on the Rock, Spring Green, WI. What a delightful sh!t show of chaos, confusion, and mesmerizing nonsense that totally made sense. You should go.
After The House on the Rock, our Saturday journey took us on backroads with a itty bitty stretch of interstate in Green Bay all the way to Marinette, WI. A real quaint town with a 1 star roadside motel that served as our home for the night. Clint was so impressed with our accommodations that he took everything from his bike and hauled it into the room. Honestly, I am surprised he didn’t also remove his battery.
Adventure, folks. Highly recommend 1 star accommodations.
Also highly recommend 4 stars for peace of mind and body.
Happy Birthday, America and Hello Lake Michigan. You were an absolutely gorgeous sight to see. All hands in the water to leave a little bit of us behind and we moved along on our journey. The landscape, y’all. Simply stunning.
If you are up in this area, please stop by MooFinFries. Excellent burgers, delicious ice cream, and the NICEST owner who loves to engage his customers. Small shop, big hearts.
And ice cream cones.
July 4th is also Tyree and Cole’s wedding anniversary. I may or may not have forgotten until right around this time. My bad. Happy Anny, C&T. 😉
After setting up camp at the St. Ignace KOA we headed out to the pier to hitch a ride on a ferry to Mackinac Island.
Mackinac Island is full of history, tourist attractions and about 3,002 fudge shops. We enjoyed a hike around some of the island to take in a portion of its history and the views. Fun fact: about 500 people live on the island year-round, but over 1 million people visit the island each year. I also read on a local blog that the residents of Mackinac call the tourists “fudgies”. See previous sentence.
As luck would have it, our journey off the island was delayed which ended up being a blessing as it gave us the chance to view the fireworks from the top deck of the ferry. Incredible!
Overalls compliments of Shinesty should you be interested in looking as cool as Tyree and I.
I spy with my little eye someone holding their 1st trimester belly.
Monday, July 5th we ate breakfast at Bentley’s B-M-L diner and then made our way to Driftwood Sports Bar where we drank bloody mary’s and attempted a few card games while we waited out the storm rolling through. Let’s just say card games are NOT a strong suit of Cole and I. Clint and Tyree no doubt wanted to kill us. ‘Least the drinks were good. 😉
Rain aside, we headed south to ride Michigan’s famed Tunnel of Trees on M-119. The stretch to and through was absolutely breathtaking. 25 MPH and nothing but trees and an occasional break in landscape with views of Lake Michigan. It’s in these moments I wish I had a GoPro to bring you on the journey with us. Simply stunning.
I LIVED for the journey across Mackinac Bridge. There is just something magical about riding a motorcycle across a bridge that lights me up. Mackinac Bridge is the longest suspension bridge between anchorages in the Western Hemisphere, connecting Michigan’s Upper and Lower Peninsulas.
Tuesday, July 6th the boys took off around 6am to for a fishing trip on Lake Michigan while Tyree and I journeyed North to the Canadian border to get our hands in Lake Superior.
Tyree and I made it back to St. Ignace before the boys, so we made the executive decision to tear down camp to head out one day early due to incoming severe storms. The one thing that can derail any motorcycle vacay is the weather. For the next three days the radar showed nothing but solid green and red for Northern WI, MN and IA; our original loosely laid out route home. Looking south into Michigan and Indiana also showed us green and red, but with little pockets of hope peeking through. So, we chose the route South which was less suck versus going West which was full suck. Late afternoon we put the kickstands up and headed South through Charlevoix and into Traverse City, MI where we’d find the LAST TWO ROOMS available in the entire city.
Wednesday gifted us with the kind of heavy rain that makes you shiver in disgust. A blessing in the form of an extended checkout time, we hit the wet pavement around noon towards South Bend, Indiana where we rolled in around dinner time for an unexpected journey through Notre Dame campus (hello stadium dreams!) and the best pretzels at an Irish pub.
We woke up Thursday to a little more rain, but overall clearing skies. However, due to an extreme storm cell projected to hit Omaha Friday night combined with the need to return John’s bike to Cedar Rapids and retrieve Tyree’s bike from Des Moines Harley Davidson before they closed, we decided to embark on the 583 mile journey home.
While we technically wrapped up our vacation two days early, we also closed it out filled with love and gratitude to have experienced another spectacular vacation with two of our dearest friends.