Day 81: Riding the Badger

5.84 miles

Early morning donuts

Early morning donuts

This morning we had to catch the once daily ferry across Lake Michigan.  We didn’t want to risk missing the boat, as it were, so we got up early.  We didn’t get a chance to thank our host, Claudia, in person since she was still asleep when we left.  We probably left earlier than needed, but that just gave us extra time to stop at a donut shop that was conveniently across the street from the turn into the ferry terminal.  We rolled our bikes into the back end of the ship and leaned them against a wall under a stairwell.  We grabbed our valuables off the bikes and walked upstairs to the main deck.  We learned that the boat used to carry railroad freight cars across Lake Michigan.  It’s also the only coal-fired steamship in Operation in the U.S.  Pretty cool.

Boarding the Badger

Boarding the Badger

While sitting on the outer deck waiting for the boat to get going we started talking to a couple women about our trip.  One woman had done some bike touring in the past and had lots of questions about our trip.  It seems that everywhere we go we run into someone who has questions about our trip.  Sometimes those questions get repetitive and annoying if we’re really tired, but most days we don’t mind answering questions and we enjoy the surprised reactions when we mention how far we’ve come and how far we hope to go.

Leaving Ludington

Leaving Ludington

The boat ride across the lake was uneventful, but entertaining.  We sat in the main lounge which is where they have an “entertainer” leading games of bingo.  They call it “Badger Bingo” since the boat is the SS Badger.  We didn’t play bingo, instead Caroline began her new knitting project and I read a book on my phone.  I didn’t understand why the young woman calling bingo referred to herself as the ship’s entertainer until she started singing songs about halfway through the trip.  She sang pretty well, but I had to chuckle at the kitsch of the whole situation.

The SS Badger

The SS Badger

The ride across Lake Michigan only took about four hours and before long we were rolling our bikes off the ship.  We had a room reserved for the night at the Super 8 which was a few miles away.  One of the reasons I chose this Super 8 is because it’s within walking distance to a movie theater showing Guardians of the Galaxy.  I’ve been wanting to see that movie since it came out, but it’s been difficult to find a theater playing it near anyplace we’ve stayed.  I know it wasn’t Caroline’s top choice for a movie to see, but she indulged me and we walked over.  I’m no movie reviewer so I’ll just say it was an entertaining movie, but not quite as good as The Avengers.

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