Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Michigan Michigan Michigan

I simply cannot convey how excited I am to be in Michigan! And I actually ran here! Who'd've thunk?! I think there's magic in the lake breeze as I seem to be running stronger and faster and my stomach is settled and my feet aren't so achey....or maybe I am finally beginning to believe that I will....never mind...don't want to jinx it!

A bit of catching up:
  • A couple more days on Wisconsin's Mountain-Bay trail. Very nice to watch the wildlife and eat wild raspberries while on the run and not worry about traffic!
  • A farmer chatted with Kendall while the guys were waiting roadside for me in Wisconsin. He offered his field for us to park the motorhome in that night - but said what we really should do is go to Pulaski for their Polish Days festivities. That's just what we did and what great fun! Polka music everywhere including two stages right next to the field where we were able to park and camp for free. I've never seen so many twinkle-toed polka dancers in my life - literally hundreds packing both dance floors. Not much sleep with all the music and revelry, but a very entertaining evening!
  • From polka to the bay. Yes, the next day we got our first glimpse of Lake Michigan (specifically the great Green Bay). And we were able to get right up close to it thanks to Len and Jen who invited us into their front lawn for photos and cooling my heels in the lake. Seeing the lake was a Very Big Deal for this Boulder-to-Petoskey runner!
  • A day after our first glimpse of the lake (and after a lovely run along county roads, glimpses of the lake, an Ostrich Ranch sighting, and finding an excellent alternative to busy Highway 41 via Old Peshtigo Road), we crossed the Marinette-Menominee bridge and found ourselves in MICHIGAN! We even got a fly by of 12 airplanes in formation as we crossed the bridge (Paul ran across with me). I'm still quite mind-boggled by the entire phenomenon of running from Boulder, Colorado to the Michigan state line. When Kendall first pointed to the bridge as I made the last turn in Marinette, Wisconsin, I burst into tears. By the time I reached the Menominee County sign in the middle of the bridge, I was high-fiving my son, and at the Welcome to Michigan sign, I was all smiles - and am still smiling.
  • Bonus feature for our first day in Michigan: we found a campground right on the lake. Yes!We're now on Highway 35 which has been awarded the PJ's Run prize of busiest two-lane highway of the trip. But the lake on my right is doing a fine job of making up for the traffic nuisance. I'll be moving off Highway 35 and onto Highway 2 tomorrow. Highway 2 will pr'y still be busy but is a wider, better-shouldered road. I'll be on 2 all the way to St. Ignace - then it's onto a ferry to Mackinac Island, run around the Island, then hop a ferry to Mackinaw City. From there, I'll be on trails for 24 miles to Petoskey! Just a little over 200 miles to go!

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