Day 25 – Fun, Fast and Safe Transit – Grand Haven MI to Racine WI

Miles biked – 15

Ferries taken – 1

9/24/09  We woke up at a very cheerful 6am on day 25, ready to make our way to Muskegon for our much anticipated ferry across Lake Michigan to Milwaukee.  None of us really knew what to expect from this day, because we were about to meet the guy we’d jokingly been calling “Our Biggest Fan”.  A friendly gentleman who’d run across our blog after we’d found some of his bike pictures on Flickr.  We didn’t know this guy from Adam, but he’d seen that we were taking a ferry to Milwaukee and offered to pick us up and let us stay in his home in Racine.  It sounded pretty fabulous, since we didn’t have another plan, but our mental safety detectors were also on alert.  After much discussion the week before, we decided to just take him up on the offer.  We’d checked out his Facebook page, he looked like a nice guy.   His name was also the impeached governor of CT but looking at his pictures, we were pretty sure it wasn’t the same guy, so we were safe.

Leaving Grand Haven, bellies filled with cold pizza and cinnasticks, we loaded up our bikes and road a beautiful 15 miles though western MI to Muskegon.  Possibly some of the most enjoyable riding of the trip, but maybe partially because we knew we only had to go 15 miles.  This ferry, come to find out, is quite the big deal.  We were advised to arrive 45 minutes before the departure so that we could clear security and after spending over $100 dollars a piece on tickets, we didn’t want anything keeping us from getting on that boat.

We made it there will time to spare, got ourselves a cappuccino from the machine at the station and watched the boat pull in.  After strapping our “vehicles” down with the cars, we sat down in the cabin of the boat, which was kind of like a cross between a nice airplane and a nice (but moving) airport.  Sprawled out, we read the paper, ate breakfast at the boat cafe and watched “The Proposal” with no sound.  I’ve always known that these kinds of movies predictable but after watching with no dialog I was truly surprised at how little I feel like we missed.

Periodically, we’d get up to go above deck to check out the lake, which was MAGNIFICENT.  It was pretty cold and windy up there, but also pretty neat.  Like being on a boat in the middle of the ocean, no land in sight.

Getting off the boat, we were immediately greeted by the man himself, John Rowland.  We decided the easiest thing would be to load up our bikes and get to Racine and clean up and then head into Milwaukee and see the sites.  We were quickly put at ease at what a nice guy John was, and had a great time checking out Water Street Brewery, and the actual water front of the city.  We had some great coffee at Alterra, a coffee shop built in an old water pump building on the lake and then went to the Milwaukee Art Museum in time to see the famous Calatrava wings open and close.  Then back to John’s home, where his wife Paula and friend Rod joined us for grilled salmon, quinoa salad and all the fixing.  We were pretty much spoiled all day.

Muskegon to Milwaukee Ferry

Muskegon to Milwaukee Ferry

Bike and Brew does Milwaukee

Bike and Brew does Milwaukee

Water Street Brewery

Water Street Brewery


One Response to “Day 25 – Fun, Fast and Safe Transit – Grand Haven MI to Racine WI”

  1. Cars for Keeps
    2. October 2009 at 13:03

    Just stumbled across your site – what an exciting trip! Glad to see New Holland Brewery in there.

    When you get to Seattle, if you have a chance, try to make a little trip north to Bellingham to visit the famous Boundary Bay Brewery. They’ve won top 25 brewery in the nation for many years running, and their Bellingham Blonde is NOT to be missed. (also, Tuesday nights are live jazz)

    Thanks for sharing your adventures!

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