Michigan

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Thank you Dave and Ann Wilson of Rochester Hills, MI.

Starting on July 27, 2002, 11:16:06 AM

 

Now, first of all I just have to say that Michigan gets my vote for the worst roads and highways yet. I will probably need some work on my bile now and some physical therapy on myself. There were moments that actually hurt me and I was concerned that the bike had been damaged as well. So far, the further north I went in the state the better the roads got. However, there were still some isolated portions that hadn't been reworked and were quite bad. So when I'm done I'm going to have to compile a "Best and Worst" list.

This next picture goes out to all my friends that have or currently live in Scio, Oregon. While driving through southern Michigan on my way to Detroit I found this water tower. Surprised, I looked at my map, which didn't show this town. Another map, however, did verify its existence. This Scio lies just a tad northwest of Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The countryside of Michigan is very nice. Lots of trees, farming and a few rolling hills further north. Though most of what I saw along interstate 75 was quite flat I did see points on my map that showed some ski resorts.

 

Next you can see the Mackinaw bridge that spans the distance across the gap between Lake Huron and Lake Michigan. I'm sure not quite accurate, but the bridge, on my map, appeared to be about 4 miles long. In a small park on the north side of the bridge I saw these geese and thought it was rather humorous. Much like the crowd of people in Washington DC, at the beginning of my journey, these geese were all laying in the shade of a tree. Nowhere else but in the shade. I thought it might be funny that they probably scooted along the ground as the shade moved, just like the people in DC hiding in the shadow of the Washington Monument. Check that out on my DC page here.

 

I stopped at another rest area on down highway 2 and got some of these shots. 

 

I remember playing with the little cockle-burrs as I believe they were called. Much like the famous Velcro these natural fasteners have tiny hooks on the ends of the little spikes that cause them to attach themselves to passing animals. They were always fun to throw at each other and watch them stick.

 

A real close up of some buds of a cedar branch, some flowers, and one of those giant dandelion-looking things.

 

I do enjoy following bees around to try and get a cool shot of them while they work. I find it quite challenging as they bounce from flower to flower and then sometimes seem to be annoyed that they are being followed. Sometimes the butterflies stick around and sometimes they immediately fly off. I think that this one below had recently came out of its cocoon. It seemed to be fanning its wings as they appeared to still be curled a little at the ends.

   

The next place, The Mystery Spot, was one of those little side of the road attractions that are suppose to blow your mind. Knowing it had to be one of those silly little tourist traps, I just had to venture inside and share it with you. People appeared to change heights, balls appeared to roll up hill. Water flowed up hill. It was all a matter of optical illusions. 
The story starts out that there were these two land surveyors back in the 1950's that were having some difficulty in leveling up their equipment and plumb-bobs. They also found themselves to be a little disoriented and off balance in this small area. (I bet it originally had something to do with alcohol) Anyway, they put together this little attraction. I presume that the landscape, being on a small hill, was leaning slightly but presented the illusion that it wasn't. They had constructed these series of buildings that were leaning incredibly so that everything inside looked off. It was kind of a cute little spot, but not all that mysterious. 

 

At another roadside park there was a nice overview of Lake Michigan with a small island with a lighthouse.

A few more miles down the road, being the sap that I am for a good sunset shot, I pulled off on the beach to get these pictures of Lake Michigan during the sunset. Don't think that I have some ego problem or anything. Although I might have some sort of ego issues anyway I would not be posting the pictures of me. They are by the request of people like you that I take and share them. 
I had hoped on getting pictures of the sunrise from the other side of the lake the very next morning but due to rainy weather that didn't happen.

 

These next images are some of those odd ones that I enjoy taking. They actually do make for good backgrounds for your computer's desktop. Sand, Seagull foot prints and just some little plant.

Squeamish people should probably skip the next portion. A few hours later, after it got dark, I ran into the worst swarm of bugs I have ever seen. An assortment of mayflies and other small flying insects it appeared that they were all harmless. However, they still gave me the creeps as they flew and crawled all over everything. In just about 5 miles of driving I had to pull off and clean off my face shield so I could see. Then, with all the other people doing the same, the smell of the window wash tubs at the gas stations was awful. A large accumulation of dead insects create an odor much like dead fish which really presented an awful stench in my helmet after cleaning the bugs off.

   

The next morning presented itself with yet more rain and thunderstorms. I waited in the safety of a rest area for a few hours until it had stopped raining and the roads had cleared a little. I drove down the road about 20 miles and ran into another wall of rain. Being able to see for quite a distance I could tell that the storm was going to last for a while so I turned around. The clouds were following a path in the opposite direction as I was traveling so I had no choice but to wait it out or go through. I kept back-tracking from the storm until I had almost made it all the way back to the rest area where I started and found a small restaurant to hide in for a few hours. I was hungry anyway.

 

Yeah, like I was going to go that way. Looking on my map I couldn't seem to find "Wetless" or I would surely be there by now.

 

It looks like Wisconsin is next on the map. Watch out, I'm going to have me some cheese.

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