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Bikes, Boats and Beaches trip report

Chicago's North...
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Bikes, Boats and Beaches trip report

Last Wed, left the Chicago area and rode our motorcycles up to Milwaukee to catch the Lake Express ferry.... Once we crossed into Wisc, it got pitch-black and stormed.... Had to pull over and wait it out in Kenosha... From Kenosha almost up to Milwaukee, via route 32 (coastal route), it rained.... Once on the ferry, the rained stopped, but it was cold. Thankfully, the lake was pretty smooth, so overall, it was a nice ride....

After 2.5 hours, we were in Muskegon, MI. It cleared up somewhat and we thought we'd have a great ride up the coastal route to Manistee... But it wasn't to be!! It drizzled and cold almost all the way up to Ludington, when the sun (and warmth) FINALLY came out! In Ludington, we watched the Badger leave for its evening sailing to Manitowoc. From there, we rode up to Manistee and stayed at the Super 8 (see my review).

Next day, we woke up to a glorious morning and headed up to Sleeping bear Dunes where we explored (albeit abbreviated exploring as we were on bikes, and it was more about the ride than hiking etc) the scenic drive, and the Glen Haven maritime museum.... We then had lunch in Glen Arbor then took a jaunt up to Northport and beyond.... We looped back down to TC, then back to Manistee where we stayed at the Little River Resort (see my review).... The weather was picture perfect the entire day!! Our 230 mile ride was via routes 110--->22--->109--->>22--->US 31... Note, State Route 110 is a itty bitty coastal highway just past the Super 8... From here on out, i will recommend people to take this road on their way up to (or from) route 22....it is SO worth it!

Next morning, we woke up to doom and gloom.... It rained pretty hard from just south of Manistee to almost US 10... 20 miles of riding misery:-( But, once on 10, the rain stopped and it was decent till we got to Ludington and got on the Badger.... But once we got underway, the drizzle, cold and fog came back... The voyage was rather uneventful, yet very pleasant----no rocking, plus i got about an hour nap on the VERY comfortable reclining lounge chairs.

In Manitowoc, me and my friend parted ways---he opted to take the interstate back home (about 2.5 hours), and i opted to take the slower coastal route back home (ultimately, it took me almost 8 hours).... I'm glad i did it. The coastal road between Manitowoc and Sheboygan is surprisingly scenic.... The rain held off for the duration.... But after Sheboygan, it was difficult to follow...and wouldntcha know it, that dreaded rain and fog came back again!!

Eventually, i made it to Milwaukee, where the sun FINALLY came out, and was out for the rest of the ride home... Between Sheboygan and MKE, i did end up jumping on the interstate a coupla times as the coastal route was slow going, especially without a map.... When i got to MKE, i took Lake drive, which is MKE's version of our Sheridan Road---high-end Northshore living... Along the way, i got to stop and see a part of the MKE Air and Water show practice, take pix of the Art Museum and see the skyline... Places i almost never get to see...

After MKE, i checked out downtown Racine (very impressed with their historical downtown), then checked out the lighthouse in Kenosha. From there, i took Sheridan Road back down to my neck of the woods....

Overall, it was a good ride----kinda sucky during the rainy parts, but STELLAR on the big Michigan ride. Also, the ferries woulda been much nicer had the weather been nice... My friend never had been to MI or on the ferries, so i was kinda his tour guide.

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Reviews of our trip, in chron order:

tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g60097-d6673…

tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g42429-d2352…

tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g42182-d1432…

tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g42182-d1065…

tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g42241-d6721…

tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g42429-d1103…

tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g42416-d4939…

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Slide show of the trip....unfortunately, no pic of the Lake Express....yet.

…tripadvisor.com/tripwow/ta-0820-4c62-8187…

Edited: 27 June 2014, 01:02
Bay City, Michigan
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1. Re: Bikes, Boats and Beaches trip report

Thanks for the review and trip report, ST. We too, liked Little River and its great rates. Glad you enjoyed your ride, despite lots of rain. Shhh, you should keep "our little highway" in Manistee a secret!! LOL. We've driven it for years.

new jersey
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2. Re: Bikes, Boats and Beaches trip report

Sounds like a great trip, despite the rain! It wouldn't be a summer trip to Michigan without a little bit of rain!

There is a "mystery spot" north of Manistee off Joyfield Road and route 685. This mystery spot looks like it the elevation decreases (lower elevation) when you go down the street. But, when you get to the bottom of the street, you can put your car in neutral and, for reasons unknown to me or any of my friends, the car reverses up the hill. My High School friends and I channeled our inner nerd and got out the levels on our smart phones to see if it was an elevation illusion. Alas, the levels showed the ground to be perfectly flat, no incline at all. I don't know if you could recreate this with a motorcycle (can a motorcycle be placed in neutral?) but it would be interesting!

North Muskegon...
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3. Re: Bikes, Boats and Beaches trip report

"Alas, the levels showed the ground to be perfectly flat"

If memory serves me correct, it looks that way because of the background terrain. : )

Looked it up 3 years ago after doing the Lake Michigan circle tour.

Fremont, California
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4. Re: Bikes, Boats and Beaches trip report

Fun read....

sounds like fun in spite of the weather

Thanks for sharing.

Chicago's North...
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for Illinois, Chicago
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5. Re: Bikes, Boats and Beaches trip report

looking back on it, the rain was all part of the adventure......

6. Re: Bikes, Boats and Beaches trip report

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