We have had a lot of drama choosing a route...
Version 1: Riding the Mitten
First it was a loop around the state of Michigan, starting and ending in Chicago (where my mom lives). Why, you may ask… because I spent my childhood summers in Michigan visiting family, collecting beach glass, picking cherries and going to art fairs. Since I’ve started cycling I’ve wanted to experience this beautiful state by bike.
Then we realized there is not much to see or do on the East side of Michigan…
Version 2: Michigan West Coast Tour:
500+ miles of quaint beach towns starting in Chicago and winding up the coast to Mackinac Island, a no-car island between Michigan and Canada.
This plan hinged on my mom meeting us up near Mackinac and driving us back down. We have family up there so it seemed perfect… except our travel dates conflicted with my mom’s work schedule and half my Michigan family was going to be out of town!
Version 3: Lake Michigan Loop
A tour starting and ending in Chicago, traveling up the West coast of MI, across the vast UP, and down central Wisconsin.
Uh, we only have 2 weeks….
Version 4: Ferry/Train Shortcut
Ride from my grandparents’ northern IL home to Milwaukee, ferry across Lake Michigan, pick up the West Coast Tour (Version 2) at Ludington, and continue the full Lake Michigan Loop (Version 3). End at Harvard, and take the Metra commuter train back to Chicago.
This was actually sounding pretty good, until we got deep into the planning on the Wisco side. All the cool waterfalls and parks are too dispersed to make an efficient route and I was starting to get nervous.
And then I got a call from my mom…. She will pick us up wherever we want! Actually, she *wants* too! She wants to drive the coast and “make her own plans,” as she told me.
Version 5: Chicago to Canada.
So this is where we’re at now! With a SAG wagon option on the table for at least part of the return trip, we are heading due north, and hope to meet my mom near Mackinac Island, the one from Version 2 :)
If all this routing and rerouting sounds confusing and stressful, that is because it is.