We went on this bike ride on our second camping trip of the summer. We spent the first night of our vacation at our friend's house in Buckley and the second night at our friend's uncle's place on Traverse Bay. We left that morning and drove to Peninsula Township Park, which is halfway up the peninsula. Skye wasn't feeling the full 40 miles around the peninsula so we cut it in half. That was definitely a good decision. We got to the park and discovered our watermelon had gone rotten and it left a horrific smell in the car. It took weeks to get out. We hit some dirt roads that turned into sandy roads at times, which caused some troubles. Bike wheels don't spin very well in sand. Old Mission Point was our target and halfway point of the trip. We stopped there for over an hour to take in the scenery and snack on some food. We ran into a couple looking for "hidden treasures," which turned out to be geocaching. I had never heard of it before and really liked it. The website is geocaching.com and my blog about my trips is Geocache Gas Free! The return trip was almost the exact same. We biked a total of 17 miles that day.
The main reason for bringing the bikes with us was to take them on to Mackinac Island. The Tahquamenon Falls Ramble was just a plus to be able to do. It cost $8 to take the bikes on the ferry, but it would have cost approximately $30 to rent a bike for the day. We started off just walking around the island seeing some things right around the ferry docks. We hung out in front of the fort for a while and Skye managed to leave her water bottle there, but we found it 20 minutes later. We biked in to the middle of the island where we saw Arch Rock, Sugarloaf Rock, and Fort Holmes. On our way back, we stopped by the Grand Hotel. We decided to go on the 8 mile bike ride around the entire circumference of the island. We saw Arch Rock again and stopped on the rock beach for a while. There were also a ton of man-made rock formations on the beach. People would stack up random rocks around into neat formations. There was one that was seven or eight feet high. We would have stopped and taken a picture, but EVERYONE was doing that. We hung out around the ferry docks some more and did some touristy shopping and Skye got a sweatshirt. We took the ferry back and biked back to our campsite from Mackinaw City because we missed the shuttle. We had biked about 20 miles when the day was over.
Skye and I were spending time in Mackinaw City and we knew we wanted to see the Tahquamenon Falls and I came across this bike route so we decided to take it. We drove an hour and a half from Mackinaw City to Paradise. We crossed the Mackinac Bridge and left all of the trolls behind. We parked at the Sawmill Creek Township Park in Paradise. The route basically follows M-123 all the way. The start was hard. We were biking straight into the wind and it was cold and muggy out. Skye was hating life. We took a sandwich break at the 5 mile mark. We biked for another 5 miles to the Lower Falls. The Lower Falls were really cool and Skye loved "THE BUBBLES." There was a neat island in the middle of the falls that I wanted to row boat to, but Skye wouldn't have any of it. We ate another sandwich and some gorp here. Skye needed some energy and recovery time. From the Lower Falls, we got back on M-123 and biked 3.5 miles to the Upper Falls. The Upper Falls were awesome. They stretch over 200 feet between riverbanks and cascade over a 50 foot drop. The water falls at over 50,000 gallons per second at peak flow. The amber color of the falls is caused by tannin leached from the trees in the upstream swamps drained by the river. We spent time right at the falls and walked to a couple viewing platforms down the river from the falls. Again, the falls were awesome. We got back on M-123 in the opposite direction to head back to Paradise. It ended up taking us an hour less to get back. We had the wind at our back and it had warmed up so it was a much nicer ride. All in all, the bike ride was approximately a 30 mile out-and-back.