Today's bike-ride was epic. The white pine trail is the best! A path so new you can still smell the asphalt. Flat and fast, cruising through beautiful sections of forest, field and wetland.
Ore 8h30. Lasciato Cadillac, in un paio di miglia siamo già sul bellissimo percorso ciclabile asfaltato che attraversa da nord a sud la parte più meridionale della penisola. Il panorama è meraviglioso.
The path is so gorgeous we have to stop really a lot to take pictures and identify birds. The smooth asphalt helps keeping the moral high and cool off the heat from the sunny day.
La nostra pausa pranzo odierna, Lisa's grill a Tustin, uno dei pochi paesini lungo il white pine trail. Dopo pranzo abbiamo parlato con una fantastica coppia di pensionati ciclisti amanti del "kayak+bici".
We approach Big Rapids at 16h30, with 40 miles behind us and craving ice cream. We get a very fancy one in town before the last long hill up to the university district and, finally, to our hotel.
Mamma cerva e i suoi tre cerbiatti, Big Rapids, MI.
Today we stay at the Quality inn in Big Rapids. The place had good reviews but Anna was scared because of few very very bad ones... In the end, we think the place is a bit unlucky with few people behaving very poorly (maybe due to parties related to the fact that Big Rapids is a university city?) but our experience was wonderful. Best and cheapest hotel so far.
Il Michigan è conosciuto per l'ampia produzione di birra. Durante il viaggio abbiamo testato molte birre locali; oggi invece ne abbiamo scelte tre provenienti da stati diversi: Oregon, Michigan e Ohio.
Oh yeah, the goat cheese pizza doggy bag that rode on the back of Anna's bike in the sunshine all day? That was our delicious dinner, together with good beer and some salty stuff.
We go to bed very very tired. Tomorrow we plan to bike A LOT, another 43 miles, and meet up with Justin.
Cadillac - Big Rapids,
42 miles (67 Km), flat and fast.
Birding: awesome new species today!!
We got to a pretty good 73 species total! A few species are still in the "maybe" so the count might go to 75. We still have to be better to try to reach 100...
Wood Duck - Aix sponsa
Red-bellied Woodpecker - Melanerpes carolinus
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher - Polioptila caerulea
Gray Catbird - Dumetella carolinensis --> very common in the area, it "meaws" like a real cat!
Brown Thrasher - Toxostoma rufum
Northern Waterthrush - Parkesia noveboracensis --> trickiest identification ever!
Pine Warbler - Setophaga pinus
Indigo Bunting - Passerina cyanea --> one of Anna's favourite so far, so energetic!