June 24

24 06 2009

Day 18:

Another very, very hot day in Michigan today, definitely the hottest we have experienced so far. Leaving the cool motel room for breakfast we felt the heat right away. A few wrong turns at the beginning forced us to backtrack a few miles, but we had a pretty easy ride throughout the rest of the morning. Finally after 13 miles, we arrived at a small gas station for cold drinks (water doesn’t stay cold long in this heat) and a short break. From there we began the 25 miles through more farmland and very little shade until we reached Bay City. We stopped and asked a local biker for a place to eat lunch and he quickly pointed us towards the Stock Pot Diner just a few blocks away. Lunch was great, and the staff was wonderful. Thank you Michelle, Vince, Cindy, and Joy! They were genuinely interested in our trip and we enjoyed our extended lunch break in the cool restaurant to chat with them. While at lunch we made reservations to stay in Midland…first priority being a hotel with a pool. After a good meal, ice filled water bottles, and pictures with the friendly staff (see photos) we set our sites on a hotel in Midland. The afternoon heat was brutal and we stopped often for short breaks in the shade (under bridges, beneath trees, and behind buildings). With about 5 miles to go, we experienced our second flat tire. This time a thumb tack was lodged in Dad’s front wheel. Stuck on the side of the highway, unshielded from the heat, we replaced the tube in less than 10 minutes. Shortly thereafter, we arrived at the Hampton Inn in Midland. The staff was awesome! We quickly guzzled the ice water in the lobby and they offered to put some cold water pitchers in the room, an offer we could not refuse. Storage for the bikes, dinner coupons, and a dryer for our laundry were added bonuses. As soon as we unloaded the bikes, we headed for the pool. After a refreshing swim, and lounge outside, we showered and headed next-door for dinner at Damon’s. We are once again tired and ready for bed early. We will finish up laundry tonight and plan tomorrow’s route – we need to get to a bike store in the morning and stock up on spare tubes. Even after today’s struggle in the heat, we all agree that the heat is much more preferable to the wind and the rain.