Day 35 – Muskegon, MI to Waukesha, WI – 25 miles
After a wonderful evening in the Beachwood/Bluffton neighborhood of Muskegon, we were looking forward to being out in the lake. The Lake Express is ferry that crosses Lake Michigan from Muskegon to Milwaukee. It would be today’s big adventure. We were both looking forward to a 2 hour break of doing nothing ( despite just getting off some rest days!). The ferry left at 10:15 so we had time to eat, relax and bundle up for the cold ride across the lake.
It was quite cool, overcast & windy when we left our friend’s cottage. We pedaled the short distance to the ferry, got our tickets and were ready to board. Jim had to stay with the bike, to wheel it on board. He felt pretty special that he was the first “vehicle” signaled to load, but Shawn brought him back to the ground when she reminded him we’d most likely be the last ones off the ferry…and she was right!
It turned out to be a nice smooth ride, we both agreed that the snack shop guy was looking to make a few bucks on Dramamine sales…”it’s a windy day today, it’ll be a rough ride, we sell pills for that.” No thank, we’ll take our chances…When we got out on the water, there was barely a ripple. That was a few bucks saved…and a commission on sales lost!
Before too long, we were in a new time zone and a new state! Wisconsin – our 4th state! When rode off, there was a long line of cars waiting to board the ferry – too many cars to hold up if we were to take a “Welcome to Wisconsin” picture. We were hungry, so we “Urbanspooned” ourselves to a great soup restaurant in the Bayview neighborhood of Milwaukee & had a fantastic lunch (mmmm chocolate chip and toffee cookies, so good!). After that, we made our way thru town on bike lanes to the Hank Aaron Trail. The Wisconsin Bike Fed offices are right next to the trail, so we went in & picked up some maps, bought a trail pass & chatted with the friendly staff there who helped with a few routing tips. After that, we made our way along “The Hank” to the Oak Leaf trail, to the New Berlin Trail, & pretty soon we were riding on the streets of Waukesha & then on the Glacial Drumlin trail.
Our Warmshowers hosts for the night live just off the Glacial Drumlin trail, so it was very easy to get to their place. Chad and Amy have two toddlers, Madalyn & Bryson, and this was a first for our warm showers’ stays. We met Amy and Chad at different times and they both greeted us with “we hope you weren’t looking for a quite place to stay” and we both said we were happy to meet their little ones… And, it was noisy, but it was all happy, playful, loving noise, and the little ones warmed us to us in no time. (But no wonder, Jim is an expert at the fake-sleep-then-wake-up game)
The highlight of the night came after our evening meal in Downtown Waukesha. We went to a great pizza place and afterward wandered the downtown streets. Every summer Friday night in Waukesha, they close off the street to cars, and the stores sponsor individual music acts. For this of you from Grand Rapids, it is like Festival on a smaller scale, minus the food. We heard some great music and there was a great crowd there, lots of families, and lots of dogs with their owners. We walked the streets with our warmshowers family, and after a few steps, the little ones were eager to hold our fingers as we walked! We both felt the thrill of having a little one “in tow” and Jim quickly sent a text message picture to our pregnant daughter in law & son with the little ones holding our hands and labeled it “Grandma and Grandpa practice!” (We can’t wait!). OK, still getting to the highlight…did I mention the dogs?? No, I mean PUPPIES!!! The kids knew about this gathering, and their favorite part was spotting dogs, and running to great them with their arms out stretched yelling PUPPIES!! The dogs were excited, the kids were ecstatic, and we all just had the biggest grins on our faces! We couldn’t believe there was so many well behaved, lovable dogs there! What a treat it was for us to see such joy!!!
Bedtime for the kiddies made for an early evening – which was perfect for these Grandparents-in-training! After goodnight kisses and hugs from the little ones (these kids are so sweet!), it was bedtime for us all. What a perfect day!
– does Wisconsin only have orange-winged blackbirds?
– we need learn to give out one of our cards after we gauge our fellow trail rider’s penchant for criticism.
First to load:
Our ferry route: