One of the best rides that I’ve ever done:
We left Toledo around 1030am for our first day’s destination of Frankfort, Michigan.
It looked like we were in for light rain between Grand Rapids and Muskegon. Unfortunately, the weather built; and we ran into a downpour just outside of Muskegon.
We geared up and continued to Manistee.
The rain that we had outrun was catching back up with us, so we pushed the rest of the way to Frankfort.
We checked into the Harbor Lights Resort and grabbed Perch Sandwiches from the Villa Marine Bar for dinner.
We left Frankfort for Charlevoix in the morning.
Along the way, we rode to the Pt. Betsie Lighthouse and through the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
The Pt. Betsie Lighthouse was hidden about 3/4 of a mile west of the main road just a few miles North of Frankfort.
The Sleeping Bear Dunes took all of us by surprise.
We took the scenic route through the park. It was $10 for Jeff in the car and $5 each for for the motorcycles. The speed limit was 25 miles per hour and there were several scenic stops along the way.
The surprise was how much that area of Lake Michigan looks like the Caribbean. There was a steep 450 foot bluff that descended all of the way down to the lake.
We left the dunes and rode into the town of Glen Arbor to visit Cherry Republic.Cherry Republic is a winery, gift shop, and cafe. As the name implies, everything has cherries in it. The bread, the soda, the wine, the chicken salad, the BBQ sauce, everything.
We had lunch in the cafe (with real cherry cola) and bought some snacks in the gift shop.
We visited the wine tasting room to try cherry wine. Brian and I tried theCherry Starboard Dessert Wine, and Jeff tried the Cherry Red. We all then tried the Hard Cherry Cider and finished with their Sparkling Cherry Juice.
After riding out of Glen Arbor, we rode through the Leelanau Peninsula, through Traverse City, and arrived in Charlevoix. The roads along the way were fun and a little bit challenging from time to time before we got back onto Rt. 31.
We got rooms at the Edgewater Inn, had Whitefish Sandwiches at Villager Pub, and walked out to the breakwater light before heading back to the hotel.
After getting ready this morning, we tried to figure out what our goals were for the day.
We decided to make good time to Mackinaw City for lunch. As we merged onto I-75 from Rt. 31, the Mackinac Bridge came into view. We exited before reaching it and stopped at the Visitor’s Bureau to re-group.
We decided on lunch at O’Reilly’s Irish Pub before riding to the Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse to take pictures of the bridge.
After 3 days of riding, it was finally time to reach our destination. The last obstacle was crossing the 5 mile long Mackinac Bridge.
Crossing the bridge on a motorcycle is something that everyone should do at some point in their life. Being out in the open air over the straits with the towers above you, the cables beside you, and water underneath you is quite an experience. You’re really out in the open, and it’s a great feeling.
We paid our bridge tolls, and arrived at our destination of St. Ignace.
Brian and I walked over to Bessie’s Original Homemade Pasties and bought a couple of pasties for later because we were trying to save room for one of the highlights of our trip.
After getting settled, we went back downtown to American Iron Motorcycle to look around. The owner was happy to show us what he was working on and came outside to talk about our bikes.
We then rode North of town and past the airport to Castle Rock. The stairs to the top reminded all of us exactly how out of shape we all are.
As the sun went down, we rode to St. Ignace’s Bridge View Park to take some more pictures of the Mackinac Bridge.
When doing research for this trip, we were told that we had to get a Big-”C”burger from Clyde’s Drive-in. We were not disappointed. The Big-”C” is a 3/4 pound double cheeseburger. It was the absolute, hands-down, best burger that I’ve ever had in my entire life.
After dark, we went back to Bridge View Park to take night shots of the bridge.
Here are some videos from the trip: