I am enjoying the views and campsites along the lake. Yesterday afternoon I camped at Platte River Campground which is part of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. I rode my bike two miles from camp along the river to the lake. What a gorgeous view! In the distance I could see Sleeping Bear Dunes and Empire Bluffs. At the mouth of the Platte River, there were fishermen catching salmon, and lots of people swimming, kayaking and paddle boarding. Great place to visit if you have the time.
Just one mile north of Arcadia, I stopped at a scenic lookout, and boy was I glad I did. There was a stairway with about two hundred stairs leading to a platform. I climbed the stairs (like I need more exercise), and found the best view of Lake Michigan so far. What do you think?
I passed a fruit stand in front of an old farmhouse because I saw a lot of pear trees. Sure enough, they had Bartlett pears, along with three or four different varies of apples, and plums. They were selling everything by the bushel, but I only wanted one pear and one plum. After I picked out the two pieces of fruit, the owners told me to keep my money. What a nice gesture! Turns out the lady grew up in Xenia. We talked about how the Cincinnati/Dayton area has changed so much over the last 30 years. She is very happy to be living in the fruit orchards of west central Michigan.
I have been blessed with many tailwinds along the trip. My luck ran out on Day 26. On the ride from Manistee to Pentwater, the winds from the south started to pick up. By the time I got to Ludington, they were 14mph, with gusts up to 24mph. I knew I was in for a tough ride when I passed a wind farm. All the wind turbines were turned in the direction I was headed, and they were turning around very fast. It was a challenge to ride against the headwind. I would curse and swear for a few minutes, then ride a mile. I would curse and swear again, and ride another mile. Trees were my saviors. Anything to help break the power of the wind.
I reached Pentwater in an exhausted state. I set up camp at Charles Mears State Park. The park has a beautiful sandy beach, so I changed into my swim trunks and took an invigorating swim. This was my first full immersion baptism in Lake Michigan since starting my trip. Definitely what I needed, and I left the water feeling much better.
On Day 27, most of my ride was on the Hart-Montague Trail, a well maintained 27mile rail-to-trail path. There was also a bike path through Muskegon. Lots of pretty fowers in bloom along the path.