Day 78: Pere Marquette Trail

54.55 miles

Kim and Greg and Dinozo and Katie

Kim and Greg and their dogs

We got up early and said our goodbyes to our Warm Showers Hosts Kim and Greg. Unfortunately their boys were already out the door for school, and we were sorry to miss them. It was cool in the morning as we headed west from Bay City, back in Michigan farmland.

Late morning, we arrived in Midland, MI, which is the home of Dow Chemical, and the east end of the Pere Marquette Trail, a former CSX rail line turned fully paved bike path. We stopped in Midland to do a couple of errands. First, I paid a visit to Apple Valley Yarn Company. When I was packing for this trip, I wanted to bring a small knitting project along, but I decided that I just didn’t have the space for it. And in the first month I realized I hardly had the energy for knitting. But after two and half months on the road, I realized I was really missing having a project to work on. So yesterday I did some research and found an easy shawl pattern to work on, and located the yarn shop in Midland. The owner happily helped me out with my supplies and I crammed the yarn balls into my front pannier. After the yarn shop, we found a fly-fishing outfitters that carried fuel cannisters for our MSR Windpro stove. Up until Michigan, we haven’t had too much trouble finding stores that sell them, but research in Bay City turned up nothing. We left Bay City on a wing and prayer that the fuel we had would last. Fortunately, Little Forks Outfitters carries Jetboil brand mini-cannisters, so I bought two and we’re set.

After finishing our errands and chatting with some ladies on the street, we rolled onto the Pere Marquette Trail. But not before stopping to see Midland’s unusual Tridge. A three points footbridge that meets over the water at the confluence of the Chippewa and Tittabawassee Rivers. After a mile or so on the Pere Marquette Trail, we spotted a beautiful Dahlia show garden and stopped for a few pictures. The Pere Marquette Trail travels 30 miles to Clare, MI, where we planned to camp for the night. Easy riding all day long on the quiet trail was really enjoyable.

The Midland "Tridge"

Alan on the Tridge

Dahlia Hill in Midland

Dahlia Garden

2000 Miles!Some where between Midland and Clare, we passed an important milestone in our trip so far:  2000 miles! We stopped for a picture and high-fives and then continued on. In Clare, the trail ended and we made our way to Pettit Park for the night. Pettit Park is a city park with about 20 sites. It’s a tiny little park, with only a pavilion and a playground, but there are hot showers and it’s quiet. Maybe too quiet, as we’re the only people camping. After dinner, it got a little buggy, so we retired to the tent. I tried to start my knitting project, but didn’t get far, as I need to research how to do make-one-left and make-one-right increases. I’m sure I can find a Youtube video tomorrow that will make it clear how to do them.

Here’s a few more photos from the Dahlia Garden:

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One thought on “Day 78: Pere Marquette Trail

  1. 2000 miles so far! That’s awesome. Also, somewhere in my brain your knitting dilemma and the tridge intersected; make-one-left, or make-one-right, still on the tridge.

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