2010 Michigan Suburban trip

June 13

I awoke a little chilly this morning. The ceiling fan was doing its job well. It was earlier than I planned to get up. All was quiet in the living room and it looked like everyone else was still asleep. I decided to go ahead and take a shower. On a bike trip I will usually just wash up in the morning and take a shower after the riding is done. On this Suburban trip I do the opposite. After my shower I laid back down in bed.

So far the shower is the only part of the house that doesn't suit me. The water pressure is marginal and it has soft water. Like John said, it feels like taking an oil bath. The house itself is wonderful. Two bedrooms upstairs with their own baths. Three bedroooms downstairs with a bath. Kitchens upstairs and down. A deck with an enclosed porch below. Several common areas. John & Debby took the east upstairs bedroom, me the west, and Mike was downstairs. High speed internet, good cellular service. There was an attached 2-car garage where we could have parked our motorcycles.

When I reawakened I could hear activity. I got dressed and made my way to the living room. Mike was checking his email. Bacon and eggs had been fixed. Even broken, Debby is still fixing wonderful breakfasts. We went onto the deck. The woods were foggy. We ate breakfast, drank coffee/pop, chatted, and just enjoyed being on vacation. T-shirts and pajama pants were the dress code.

The plan for the day was to head north to Ludington and visit the state park, then to Muskegon to visit a WWII LST and submarine, then to Grand Haven for sightseeing and a lightshow at the pier. We piddled around and eventually we started meandering towards the Suburban. At 10:25 we headed out, and eventually were northbound on I-196.

Holland, MI. 10:54 - Gas stop. After fueling the beast we continued north on I-196. As we neared Lakewood Debby suggested we might abort the Ludington park stop since she couldn't do much walking, and walking was the main focus of the park.

We pulled into a convenience store for some fresh beverages, to burn some tobacco, and use the facilities. The crew were smoking under the awning near the door. The clerk came outside and told them that Michigan law prohibited smoking within 30 feet of a business entrance. It seemed odd since there was an ashtray next to the door. We moved to the truck.

Sidenote: I have never smoked, but for the life of me I don't see why people/municipalities get their panties in a bind over people smoking outside. They're OUTSIDE. Smoke goes up...it's a lighter than air thing.

Muskegon, MI. 12:31 - Backtracking down I-196 to Muskegon our first stop was the LST 393 musuem. The LST (Landing Ship Tank) is docked on Muskegon Lake. This ship is a veteran of D-Day and other campaigns.

I have never been on a large ship before or had a lot of interest. I found the ship VERY interesting. I love the structure, and the mechanical-ness of it. We spent an hour and a half exploring all areas of the ship. The ship had spent the last part of its life hauling cars across the lake.

LST 393 pictures

A short drive down the shoreline and we were at the Great Lakes Naval Museum. We checked out the outside displays for awhile, then went inside and purchased tickets for the walk-through displays. They also had a gift shop where we scored our first pins for the trip. Before we started the tour we had lunch from food there. Mike a had a hotdog and I teased him about really enjoying the weiner.

Our first ship to tour was the USS Silversides. I was fired up to to see it. The LST earlier had gotten me into a boat mood, and this one was a warship! The self guided directional tour was excellent. We spent about half an hour in the sub.

USS Silversides pictures

The next ship on the tour is a Coast Guard cutter commissioned in the 1920's, the USCG McLane. I enjoyed this boat, too. I'd love to fire it up and take a lake cruise. Something about this ship kept reminding me of the old movie 'Lucky Lady' with Burt Reynolds and Gene Hackman. After the tours the others went inside to use the restroom. While I was waiting I saw the Lake Express ferry pass by.

USCG McLane pictures

Our next stop is Grand Haven, but first we stopped at the beach to take in the views and just hang out for a few minutes. There were quite a few sailboats on the lake. After about 10 minutes we loaded up and headed south.

Grand Haven, MI. 16:36 - We found parking a couple blocks from the river. We walked down to South Harbor Drive (Debby scootered). We stood in a little open area pondering our next move, and the others smoked. Some dork walking by felt the need to comment about smoking...we're outside, pinhead. We saw a plaza area to the east with restaurants so we headed that way.

The DeeLite Bar & Grille looked good so we took seats outside. The weather was great...about the right temperature and kind of overcast. I had a chicken chimichanga dinner and I will say it is the best Mexican food I have ever had. The refried beans were more like refried baked beans. The whole dinner was excellent! I would actually ride from Bedford to eat here, then ride back.

Stuffed and happy we walked back towards the river. We checked out some bikes and a street legal golfcart. It was fun watching Debby scooter. Sometimes she'd get some good speed.

Reaching the riverfront we turned west and walked for probably a mile. We passed speed boats, a multifunctional tug, a Coast Guard station, and even saw a cute dog with a neon green life jacket. We walked as far as the beach then turned around.

John dreamed of boats...

...but Debby's wants were more realistic...ice cream.

When we got back to the area where the light show would be we sat on the bleachers and rested and smoked. It was still over an hour and a half until time for the light show (10 pm). Debby was pooped and her ankle hurt. There was also some weather moving in, so it was easily decided to forgo the light show and head back to the house. At 8:16 we were on the move. We stopped at a Walgreens for some supplies. An hour later we were home. Later that night we watched a storm from the comfort of our house...in 'Hefner mode' of course.

An interesting aside to this trip is today my brother and his girlfriend left on a motorcycle trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It is the first bike trip for either of them. The trip lasted several days and they came/went two different routes. It was nice to follow along with their trip while I was on mine. Here is a map of their trip.

154 miles.

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