! It was Tulip Day -- and all the teenagers were dressed up in their Dutch costumes, with huge wooden clogs on, waiting to dance in the street for the festival. I couldn't believe it and waited an hour for them to start (also ate carnival lunch). Chris Gerlach would have been proud of me ! The dances were lovely -- I taped one (see below). I then got on Michigan's Route 31, and rode it to the top of the peninsula -- whew !! its a long ride, but very attractive. Rolling forests and small farms (kind of like Virginia as you approach Skyline Drive). A change from the absolutely flat fields of Indiana. And then came the lakes -- Michigan, and smaller ones along the coast. In the middle of the northern coast, I went through the very small town of Honor, which was duly recorded to show to Honor. And out of nowhere, way up North, some very chi chi resort towns -- Petosky and Charlevoix -- with beaches and views and mansions. People from Michigan are really friendly -- right up there with the Canadian Gold Standard of niceness. Many strangers were just warm and welcoming in numerous small ways -- including not ripping off my camping gear and bags when I left my bike alone in the parking lot for an hour to watch the tulip girls dance. I was glad to find them on my return.
Herewith the map -- did 465 miles today -- my ears are still roaring with the rush of wind and engine:http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF&msa=0&msid=
It was a beautiful day. I travelled the length of southern Michigan. It was fantastic. This game of staying off the interstates leads to random and wonderful events. Like this morning. An hour after starting off I drove past a farm with some 20 black horse drawn buggies in the yard. Thinking it would make a cool picture I stopped -- and talked to some Amish women in the yard. It was a wedding, and they had travelled from Kentucky to be there... Yes, the roads in that part of Indiana have very wide, paved shoulders, for the horse and buggy travelers. Next stop (couldn't resist) was an Amish bakery and coffee shop. The cottage industry in this part of the world (to complement the farming everyone does anyway) is making RVs. There are hundreds of them in lots by the side of the road. Who would have thought these two were complementary industries? Then on up into Michigan, through Three Rivers (where Doug French was born) and on to the town of Holland on the Western Shore. What a treat