As the Cycle of Hope comes to an end, I would like to say that though I have blathered on for almost two weeks, to the annoyance of some, about the ride, it isn’t really about the ride.
So what does the typical Cycle of Hope day look like?
We have been very lucky to experience a ride that has taken advantage of some of the most dramatic waterways in North America. We have ridden on the shores of Lakes Erie, Huron and Michigan. We ferried across Lake Michigan on the S.S. Badger. Today, we followed the Mississippi River on the Great River Road. It is a scenic byway that follows the Mississippi from its headwaters in Minnesota until it reaches the Gulf of Mexico in New Orleans. It is 3000 miles long and touches on 10 states. (Details are available at Great River Road).
We have been at this for over a week now, having left on Monday, July 6, with one day off this past Saturday. I have to admit that the fatigue from riding lots and lots of miles every day is finally setting in.
Here’s all you need to know about today. Hilly. Windy. 148 kilometers. 97 degrees Fahrenheit.
Here’s the story about tonight’s rest stop. Waupun was to be called Waubun, meaning “dawn of day” in Ojibwa, but someone working for the State of Wisconsin made a spelling error and the town never bothered to change it. (I can empathize with this poor guy. As I was writing this post, I had to keep checking the spelling of the city name, only to find that I actually spelled it incorrectly.) Every place has its own little peculiarity and that is it for Waubun/Waupun.
Every year on the Cycle of Hope, we will get one day off in two weeks, a reprieve from riding. Usually, our day-off falls on a Sunday, but this year, on Saturday we reached the shore of Lake Michigan and the organizers have found a creative way for us to cross the lake and enjoy a day-off. Today, we were lucky enough to ride on a floating entry in the National Registry of Historical Places (NRHP), the S.S. Badger. The NRHP is the United States government’s official list of “districts, sites, buildings, structures and objects deemed worthy of preservation.” There are more than 1 million such registrants in the NRHP, but less than 100 of them are ships or boats, and we are lucky to have spent our morning on one of these ships as we cross Lake Michigan.
Leaving Mt. Pleasant this morning, we put in our longest day yet, arriving in Ludington on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, after a 185 kilometer ride.
Day 4 – Sarnia, Ontario to Mt. Pleasant, Michigan
Today, we say goodbye to Canada, as we leave Sarnia and head west into Michigan.