June 16
Gaylord to Harrison, Michigan

I awakened at about 4:00 AM with a migraine. I couldn't go back to sleep,so I programmed. Then I logged onto my server and uploaded two days' worthof images and text. I also checked my email. I had only 47 messages. AtDrummond Island, I had 384 email messages.

I literally zoomed from Gaylord to Grayling--averaging about 16 mph fullyloaded. I can tell that I am getting in shape and getting nearer to home.

I've bicycled in this area often, so did not tend to use the camera--sorry!

At Grayling, I stopped at Cartwright& Danewell, one of my sponsors and arrived there to see ownerMike sanding the logs for their new store.

While at Cartwright & Danewell, I purchased another pair of cushionyUltimax socks to wear with my sore right foot (I actually wore the pair).I tried moving the cleat back a few millimeters and it seemed to help.

I stopped on the west side of Grayling for some lunch and "go juice"(Gatorade) and then headed south on Military Road.

They call it that for a reason--it goes right through Camp Grayling,a major National Guard training center. All sorts of camouflaged militaryvehicles passed me, including a couple of huge army 8x8 flatbed trucks,each with an 8 wheeled flatbed trailer being towed behind. They are sucha low tare weight that they could probabloy ride right over me without killingme, but seeing them bearing down on me in my mirror, scared the heck outof me.

Sorry, I was gripping the handlebar, not my camera.

Military bases scare me. I stopped at one of the Camp Grayling back entrancesto adjust my shoe again and relieve myself on a tree and kept feeling asthough I was under surveillance--I probably was.

I crossed over I-75.

The shoulders down there looked quite inviting. Nineteen states permitbicycles on the Interstates, but Michigan prohibits them. As I understandit, in the latest transportation bill Congress mandates that bicycles beaccommodated on all Interstates. In Duluth, Minnesota, they had great bicycleunderpasses and overpasses to address the exit problem. As the price ofgasoline in the US comes in line with the rest of the world, bicycles willbecome far more prevalent. Studies have shown the bicycle to be faster thanthe automobile for traveling distances of 7 miles or less.. Our day willcome.

There is quite a wetland to the west of Houghton Lake,

but I was so angry about the treatment that I was receiving from thelocal drivers that I could not relax and enjoy it.

I have an new selection for the worst attitude toward bicyclists andI am ashamed to say that it is in my home state--Michigan. I have neverseen so many Neanderthals driving as I did today in Roscommon County, Michigan.My reception along the western edge of Houghton Lake was not unexpectedbut was horrible. I was honked and yelled at repeatedly by the idiots ofRoscommon County. Oh sure the conditions were ripe--no shoulders, but thetraffic was not that intense--just stupid. Ontario drivers faced the samesort of driving conditions with an entirely more understanding attitude.

You would think they would cut me a little slack just because it wasraining, but oh no, they wanted me to go out and get a truck with big tireslike theirs. I had my xenon Vista® flashers turned on (red-rear; yellow-front)but that meant nothing to these people. It was disgusting.

Today, I had a long period--about 3 hours--where I did not take picturesbecause it rained heavily and I had to stow the camera gear. My Sugoi EntrantG3 rain jacket worked flawlessly. Despite being inundated, as the sun cameout the water was still beading-up on the surface of my jacket and yet myarm itself was dry. I couldn't talk more positively about this jacket (andI am not sponsored by Sugoi).

Do you want to see something scary?

The road between Houghton Lake and Harrison is in terrible shape--numerouspotholes, patches, puddles and broken places. That slowed me down a lot.I also miscalculated the distance, expecting to get to Harrison about 4miles sooner. I was exhausted when I got here and stopped at Dairy Queenfor a large chocolate shake to tide me over until I could find a motel anda place for dinner. I had intended (honestly) to camp out tonight, but Iwas soaking wet clear through to the underwear and it is still raining,and, this is the key point--there is lightning. I do not consider ridinga metal bicycle in a lightning storm to be wise. I have sought shelter ona porch at a farm house several times from lightning.

I ended up ordering a delivery of spaghetti. It was good. The Budd LakeMotel gets a C- rating under my rating system. I won't stay there again. [note 6/17: Though there is not a restaurant nearby,the Lakeside motel further south looks much nicer.]

Tomorrow, I just might make it home, but by my estimate, Williamstonis more than 120 miles from here. I may forego photography, web editingand any other distractions and just try to get going early and pedal allday. If I don't stay at a motel along the way, don't expect an update untilthe following day. It is so late now (midnight) that I doubt I'll even uploadthis page until I get home.

74 miles

  
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© Ed Noonan 1998