My co-worker Kelly told me that this area of Michigan was where cherries are grown. Are they ever! I rode by orchard after orchard of cherry trees laden with thousands of bright red cherries.
Hops are another popular crop here and I saw many hoppy farms. Not to be outdone by the beer boom, there are over 20 wineries here.
My hotel was overpriced but it was outdated. I went out for a beer and some food last night. The first cafe sat me at a table, gave me a menu, then ignored me for 15 minutes.
I walked out and found a good place a block away. I had whitefish and a beer made in Royal Oak MI. Both hit the spot. I barely made it back to the hotel. I was exhausted. I fell asleep on top of the covers.
In the morning I made sure that I ingested a full continent for my continental breakfast then hit the road.
I was expecting lake views but instead saw mikes of cherry orchards on gently rolling roads.
In Eastport I raided a market for fruit and liquids. The route turned inward, away from Lake Michigan on a road along Trout Lake. I enjoyed the flat ride so much I missed my turn by a mile.
Back on course I climbed one mean nasty hill past a sand and rock operation. The ensuing downhill was enjoyable but my knees thought it was a bad trade.
In Elk Rapids I had lunch. The Totty Bowl was tater tots, eggs, sausage, cheese, and gravy. It made for a nice calorie bomb.
Shortly after Elk Rapids I picked up the Traverse Area Rail Trail. This took me through Traverse City where I stopped for an early dinner at a brew pub. The fish sandwich was great and so was the cherry beer.
I checked for hotels nearby but they were all back a few miles, out of sight on the main road.
I decided to ride on. The TART continued for another 17 miles so I figured I’d ride it all the way to the end and find a hotel in Suttons Bay.
There were no hotels to be found so I continued on to a campground. My tent is pitched far from the RVers. I’m in the woods. I am hoping to sleep like a log after another 87-mile day.