Monday, September 1, 2008

Bicycling on Bois Blanc

August 27, 2008

When we had arrived on Bois Blanc yesterday, the Harbormaster/Deputy Sheriff had told us of a good bicycle ride that we could take to see the island. Start by taking Bob-Lo drive from the marina, go right to Baseline Road. Central (aka Baseline) Road runs through the island to the opposite shore. From there you take the only road that is there to Bible Road. From Bible Road you can take Lime Kiln Road right (to the tip of Bois Blanc) or left (back to the Marina). It sounded like a good trip so we headed off. He had warned us that there would be some muddy spots due to the recent rains.

His directions were right on and the biking was mostly nice. Bob-Lo and Baseline are well used roads so the riding is good (like a rail-trail). There aren't a lot of cars on Bois Blanc, but every car we passed - no matter if they were passing us from the front or from the rear - waved at us as they went by. It is a very friendly island.

Along the way we noticed some numerical markers that seem to go along with an interpretive historical trail. We didn't have a map so we made up our own interpretive guide. Some were easy. Number 1, for example, is the Bois Blanc Historical Marker Signs right at the Marina.

Number 19 is about a study being done on the effects of deer and rabbit grazing on a forest. In 1956, they fenced off a few areas on Bois Blanc so the deer and rabbit couldn't graze. These would be comparison points for the rest of the forest. Don't know if the picture is clear enough but without the deer and rabbits, Bois Blanc forests would be dense jungles!

Number 14 was an open meadow and it really threw us. What could it signify? Then we saw the large turkey and realized THAT must be what #14 is. Although how they get the turkey to stand in the field all the time is beyond us. It must be really tough to maintain this site around Thanksgiving.

When we got to the opposite end of the island, the road splits to go towards the lighthouse or toward Bible Road.

We attempted to go to the lighthouse but the road doesn't seem to be used much at all and we hit three big mud pools in a short distance. So we turned back to go the opposite direction toward Bible Road.

Along this route there are places to camp and picnic. One clearing provided another loon a chance to taunt Bernie by swimming around just out of good camera range. She takes pictures anyway!

Bible Road is marked with a cross so you can't miss it. We THOUGHT the cross was why it was called Bible Road, but then we passed the site of the Bible Family Farm...

The dwarf lake irises along the shore (an endangered plant species that ONLY grows in the Great Lakes region) are a little more cooperative when she brings out the camera.

A few signs we saw really confused us.

We know Halsted Street is long, but didn't know it ran all the way to an island in northern Michigan!

Just like you can buy pink tools, you can also purchase pink flowered cases to carry your hunting rifles.

We stopped for ice cream at Hawk's general store on the way back and ran into the Harbormaster /Deputy Sheriff. We thanked him for the tip on the bike route and he seemed to be glad that we had enjoyed our stay.

The next day we left for a long and arduous 4 mile trip to Cheboygan, MI. The angle of the wall and a boat to our stern made getting out a little trickier than expected. We had to push off with the boat hook, and help from a boat neighbor, to get enough distance from the pier. Having safely turned around, only using the dinghy as a fender once, we said "So Long, for now" to Bois Blanc Island.

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