7/28: Day 0.5
This evening I got dropped off in Muskegon, at a park right on the shore of Lake Michigan. This is the start of my Shore to Shore bikepacking trip across Michigan. I'll ride from Lake Michigan to Lake Huron, taking an indirect route mostly along rail-trails. In past years I've been a more serious cyclist, but not so much lately. I've planned a relaxed pace of ~50-60 miles a day to not suffer too badly. It should take four days. I haven't done a cycling trip like this before, but summer seems to be going by fast, and why not?
There are much more direct routes you can take from east to west, but after a pretty bad bike vs. car accident two years ago, I don't really enjoy riding on the road much. I'll do it if it's the only route, but its stressful for me. I've brought my camping gear and mapped out potential campgrounds along the way, plus some public land and a few motels just in case. I brought most of the food I'll need but I do plan to get dinner one night, and maybe breakfast.
So I got a nice view of Lake Michigan, and rode the few miles to the night's campsite. The trail along Muskegon Bay was a bit of a mess. The high water levels of the Great Lakes is very evident here, lots of flooding. Being a kayaker, I have all of my gear packed in dry bags inside my panniers, but I thought this would protect it from rain, not water coming from below. The concrete was crumbling into the lake in some places, covered in sand in others, with water as high as my ankles as I was pedaling in one spot. I could have turned around and found a different route, but it's not really my nature. Or maybe it's just the sunk cost fallacy, either way.
The night's campsite was really nice. There was a corner of the grounds set aside for rustic camping; I was the only one using it. I had a great view of the lakeshore from my tent. I did walk in a bit but turned around after almost bumping into a dead fish! The weather is wonderful right now. Cloudy and windy, it's a nice relief from the earlier heat and humidity. Tomorrow will be an early morning.