Biking with Laura, whom I affectionately call LaLa, was a super-fun two-week mental vacation from solo biking. I got to experience everything with someone. When I usually get super excited about mundane things, I had someone to be excited with me. LaLa brings out the most pure kind of joy in everyone she meets; she interacts with the world with wide-open eyes and converses easily with people who readily engage because she is so obviously genuine. She brings out a pure joy in me, too, which rapidly leads to us behaving like children in most situations.
As we rode from Minneapolis to Traverse City, we bicycled along the northern and eastern shores of Lake Michigan in the Upper Peninsula. Fun Fact about Michigan: There’s the Upper Peninsula, and the Lower Peninsula. That’s right, the “mitten” everyone refers to is surrounded by lakes. (Ok, that wasn’t really a fun fact, but rather an obvious fact that I only figured out recently.) After staying with a great Warmshowers host in Escanaba, one of the biggest cities in the UP with a whopping 12,000 residents, we proceeded to go from one shore of Lake Michigan to another. We watched sunsets on the still, clear water. We bathed in its bays. We soothed our aching muscles in its soothing cool waters, and then lay on the sand beaches to dry off in the sun. We took a ferry to the famous Mackinac Island and then ate fudge and napped on the beach.
My last days with Laura were also my last days riding along Lake Michigan. Here is a summary of our time together: MAT and LaLa Visit the Shores of Lake Michigan.
We deliberately got on the ferry back to the mainland that went UNDER the Mackinac Bridge. This bridge is the fourth largest suspension bridge in the world. Bicycles aren’t allowed on it because winds can reach such high speeds. (They said some absurd number that I don’t want to repeat in case it’s wrong.)