Hank – We packed up after a light breakfast and headed out towards Muskegon, MI by way of the Hart-Montague Trail State Park, Michigan’s first rails-to-trail. We stopped at the visitor center in Whitehall and learned the Hart-Montague Trail was just connected to the trail going into Muskegon. Paved trail the entire route! Along the way we crossed paths with Francisco and Evan of Cincinnati, OH. They are on their way to Vancouver, BC. They left home three days ago, which means they are covering 120 miles a day. Yikes!
Coming into Muskegon we got off the trail and cut through the city to Winnie and Eric’s, our WarmShowers host. It was an interesting ride. We didn’t know it until later but we rode through the worst part of town. Aside from that we were reminded of how impersonal social interactions tend to be in larger cities compared to small towns.
Winnie and Eric put us up for the night. We got to meet their three nieces, who are cute as anything. Winnie and Eric have toured and we traded a ton of touring stories during the evening. We were tired and forgot about taking a photo of our hosts.
Kathy – Today’s 51 miler was a good ride on a fantastic trail. The beautiful paved old railroad line trail was just lovely. It was a misty rainy morning that turned out to be a pleasant low 70’s sunny day. We stopped to eat at the Country Dairy Farm Store which has been in the family for over 100 years. It is a big tourist stop with tractor tours around the farm, which we skipped. When you order a meal you get all the free white or chocolate milk you like. I enjoyed some milk only to realize I haven’t drank milk in awhile so once we started riding again I was really nauseated. We had to take it easy for an hour or so then all was well.
The trail took us into Muskegon, Michigan and after we got off we ended up a not so nice area. I must say I was pretty frightful with all the boarded up businesses and houses around. People on porch steps and walking though the neighborhood were watching us but not greeting us. We did have one person yell at us as we kept riding. I really wanted to get through this area but it took us close to an hour. Every time Hank stopped to look at his phone for directions I was nervous. Come to find out from our warm showers host this neighborhood allegedly has the highest murder rate for all of Michigan state. So happy all turned out well for us.
Our warm showers host Winnie and Eric were great hosts. We showered, had dinner and chatted about lots of bicycle touring stuff. It was good that we could all relate to the stories so well. The three nieces, Cody, Carmen and Zoe were all adorable. We really appreciate the kindness of people like Winnie and Eric to open their home up to us. All in all, it was a pretty good day.