Thursday, July 6th, 2017
Morning rise, pack up, breakfast at Denny's. Not terribly original but it's good. The waitress calls me honey. Reminds me of New Orleans. Hot again, more highway today so I can just get through this flat section of Michigan and hopefully on to somewhere more interesting.
So I'm at a highway rest stop, just coming out of the bathroom, when I see in the huge, empty parking lot that another BMW, a big R bike, has parked right next to me. I wander back to my motorcycle. Figuring the guy wants to chat given his cosy parking job, I say "how are you doing". He snarls at me: "Good!" Yikes. Curious beings, those humans.
I'm shooting for a campground on the coast in the Manistee National Forest. When I get close Google Maps sends me down a dirt road. Oh shit. Greta (my motorcycle) breaks out in hives when she sees dirt. We hold our own for a mile or so but then the road conditions go downhill: washboard and soft sand. Not happening on this bike. I gingerly make a U-turn -- with my feet down -- and head back to the pavement. I hope there's another way in. As it turns out: yes; and paved to boot. I roll into the campground, get a spot, set up, collect wood, make a fire, make dinner, then collapse. Phew. Lot's of work this camping business.
The camper in the next site over stops by for a visit. His name is Scott, from the Grand Rapids area, here with his girlfriend for the weekend to do some kayaking on the lake. We chat for a while about Michigan. He says he'll swing by tomorrow with a map to point some places out to me. I've resolved to stay here for a few days to check out the dunes and the lake.