Casey  Zandi: Day 74-84 Sep12

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Casey Zandi: Day 74-84

Day 74 (8/21): St Ignance to Mackinac City. 8 miles, maybe…We lost our camping ticket fight 🙁 we went to Mackinac City and it was similar to the island just more spread out and with cars. We found a campsite for the night with showers 🙂

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Day 75 (8/22): Mackinac City to Gaylord, MI. 68 miles. We went to Cheboygan and stopped for breakfast and what do we find??? A $5 14″ pizza!!! What a deal 🙂 We then went on our way to the next town and got in around dinner so we stopped and found another Speedy gas station with another $5 pizza 🙂 and then of course across the street they had a late happy hour so I found myself a margarita! Yum 🙂 It was then getting close to 8 and so we decided to ask around where the closest campsite place was. Of course it was about 10 miles down the road as we are halfway into our drinks. Finally we left the restaurant and it was practically dark so we found ourselves behind two big trees behind a church. Perfect right?!?! NO! After we set up camp and are about to fall asleep we heard weird rustling in the bushes, keep in mind we are in a decent sized city and the church is off the main road…Casey went out with a flashlight trying to see what it was and saying hey and it just stopped moving, it didn’t run away but instead sounded like it took two steps back, very weird and it freaked us out so we packed everything up and left. Now it was completely dark :O so we went to a bar to ask around again but nothing so we had a bright idea to go to the fair in town. And yes there was camping! Good call Casey! We felt so much better 🙂

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Day 76 (8/23): Gaylord to Frederic, MI. 22 miles.

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Day 77 (8/24): Frederic to Higgins Lake, MI. 30ish miles. So we usually bike day by day. We never looked at a map and planned the whole trip before leaving. This day Google maps let us down 🙁 there is a bike application that we usually use that has less traffic roads and even bike trails. A couple of times the bike trails were in fact more like motorized dirt bike/quad  trails, this day was one of those days. The only catch, was that there was no way around it (we couldn’t go on 75 and the other highways would have lead us 30 miles out of our way) and we only had high hopes that the trail would get better. In fact it might have gotten worse…it started out as the “rail trail” which we didn’t realize would be literally alongside the railroad in rocks where we would be forced to walk or even better yet on the railroad tracks. Eventually we found a dirt trail along the railroad which worked out for a bit until the trail turned into mini sand dunes!! Wah :O I think we ended up walking our bikes for about 8 miles, hence why we only went about 30 miles that day.

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Day 78 (8/25): Higgins Lake to Houghton Lake, MI. 10 miles. We woke up really late and teetered around town all day. I mean from what everyone said we were next to the “5th most beautiful lake in the world” which we later looked up and realized that many people from Michigan do not leave and it is probably because of statements like those that they live in the most beautiful place in the world, I mean I wouldn’t want to leave either. And I am sorry Michigonians that are reading this, take no offense, you live in a gorgeous state, but you should get out and explore the world a little 🙂 Anyways we ended up leaving at around 7:30pm so we stopped at Houghton Lake and found a little nook of a camp spot near the lake, it was beautiful!! 🙂

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Day 79 (8/26): Houghton Lake to outside of Clare, MI. 45 miles. So we woke up to rain…we hadn’t had that in awhile. Oh well we will just sleep some more. I ended up going to the inn near our campsite and taking a shower and then swam in the pool for a little. Casey later joined once he finally woke up. Finally the rain stopped at about 1-2pm so we packed everything up and started biking before it started to rain again. We eventually got into the town of Clare and there were big gray clouds covering the sky, not so great right before trying to find a place to sleep for the night…we looked at the weather and realized there was going to be a lightning and thunderstorm coming in the middle of the night, no big deal, we have camped in a couple of those before. We camped right off the side of a bike trail and went to bed. We were woken up at who knows when by pouring rain, wind that made us feel like our tent was going to fly away with us, and thunder and lightning. The thunder and lightning sounded like it was right above us, I could see the flashes of light with my eyes tightly shut even! I was trying to be as calm as possibly until our tent started to fill up with water! :O we were two charged bodies in a puddle of water in what we later learned was a severe lightning and thunder storm, so we both decided that we needed to ditch all of our belongings and seek some kind of shelter. As I was getting our clothes and my backpack Casey was calling for a taxi into town (about 4 miles away). We walked to the main road which was highway 10 and a residential street, and about 15 minutes later which seemed like forever, especially with lightning touching down and was lighting up the whole sky! It was then 5:30am and a kind man going to work picked us up and drove us to the gas station in Clare. We felt so much better and safer!!

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Day 80 (8/27): Clare to Midland, MI. 32 miles. We got caught in a lightning and thunderstorm in the middle of the night and had to leave our tent and bikes behind, hitch hike and go to a  gas station into Clare at 6am. Finally at around 8:30-9 am we decided to walk back to everything. Thank goodness it was all there still, but everything was soaked!! :/ We packed it up as best we could and started biking to the next town before the rain picked up again. We made it into Midland and as we were eating lunch the rain picked up again :/ so we decided to go to the movies. We movie hopped and ended up seeing three movies; Kick Ass 2, Meet the Millers, and 2 Guns, all which were great and entertaining while waiting for the storm to pass. We got out of the movie theater and it was pouring down rain!! Oh no!! So we booked it to our bikes and biked across the street to a restaurant that was connected to a Holiday Inn. We ended up not finding a couch surf so we got a cheap hotel across the street.

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Day 81 (8/28): Midland to Byron, MI. 71 miles. I saw fireflies where we camped!!! 😀 Finally!! I was worried I would never see them. Day 82 (8/29): Byron, MI to Toledo, OH. About 110 miles with all our getting lost detours in Ann Arbor. We had a couch surfer host in Toledo for the night 🙂 We are determined to catch up with Jamie, Jeremy and Sara!! They are currently in Erie, PA until 9/2 so we should be able to get there before they leave!! Only 233 more miles before we get there. Should be easy! 🙂

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Day 83 (8/30): Toledo to Huron, OH. 73 miles. We found a couch surfer host for the night 🙂 Thank goodness we did because there was some rain, thunder and lightning.

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Day 84 (8/31): Huron to Mentor, OH. 80 miles. We woke up around 4:45am because our couch surf host had to leave for work. So we biked to a donut shop. It was great, all of these older men were all hanging out around the big u-shaped table and were just hilarious and asking about the trip. Finally we left around 9am. We probably went through one of the worst parts of Cleveland ever! Good thing it was day time. The city seemed to never end, but we finally made it out and camp literally in this bush under a tree in the city of Mentor, pretty much our only option and it worked out well 🙂

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