I awoke on this day with a purpose. I had to get to Muskegon by 12:30pm. I had purchased a ticket for the 12:30pm Milwaukee-Muskegon ferry ride across Lake Michigan. If I was a minute late then I would be stranded overnight in Muskegon. I knew what I had to do.
I hit the road by 8:15am. My GPS estimated a 3-hour bike ride. This meant I would arrive at the ferry with over an hour to spare. It was smart to allow myself some extra time since I generally make stops for pictures. As I rode my bike from Holland through Grand Haven and to Muskegon there was no shortage of photo ops. I'll let the photos speak for themselves:
I said this before and I'll say it again: Western Michigan is beautiful.
Including the photo stops it took just shy of four hours to arrive at the terminal. I was peddling rapidly as I approached. I understood that the ferry departed, not boarded, at 12:30pm, so I needed to arrive early. At about 12:10pm I arrived, feeling like a champion because I knew I had made it.
I walked proudly in to the terminal with a swagger in my step. I'm not going to lie, I was feeling good. I had effectuated my plan perfectly. I rolled out of the house on-time, got a nice little workout and took some stellar pics all in time to catch the ferry. Now it was only a matter of moments before I headed to Milwaukee. Don't you love it when things work perfectly?
As I paraded into the terminal, I noticed it was a bit, well, empty. I thought to myself, It looks like I'll be taking a private ferry to Wisconsin! I smugly chuckled on the inside. I approached the attendant, looked her square in the eyes and said, "Hi! I'm here to take the 12:30 Milwaukee-Muskegon ferry."
She slowly raised her head. There was a tinge of fear in her eyes. I felt like she was about to tell me that my cat died or something. She spoke, "The 12:30 ferry departs from Milwaukee and arrives in Muskegon."
This kind young woman from Muskegon had so rapidly deflated my ego. I went from feeling like the man to a complete ding-dong. The only good news was that there was a ferry departing FROM MUSKEGON at 4:45pm. This meant I would have the joy of sitting in the ferry terminal for a solid four hours. I was just relieved that I could still get to Milwaukee the same night. I had plans with a friend to check out a Brewers game. I would just be able to make it. So I spent the next four hours blogging, calling people and eating Kit Kats from the vending machine. It was actually a pretty satisfying afternoon.
Recognizing how much of a loser I was, the kind staff at Lake Express upgraded me to business class. That was super cool off them. The ride across The Lake was mellow. I slept for most of this two-and-a-half hour trip. The views on both sides of the Lake were great.
I was thrilled to be in Milwaukee. It was my first time in the state of Wisconsin. I was late to the Brewers-Angels baseball game so I hurried to Miller Park where my friend Cobbie awaited me. I got a good vibe from the city. It gave me some flashbacks of Toronto. It was on one of the Great Lakes, had a decent bit of diversity, had a ballpark with a retractable roof, housed some funky architecture and felt like a nice place to live. I was glad to be there.
I arrived at the top of the third to watch the Brewers take on the Angels. The game was great. It was my first time being inside of an enclosed baseball stadium. The home team played well so everyone was in a good mood. Since I was in Miller Park in Milwaukee, the home of Miller beer, I went ahead and indulged myself with a Miller Lite. And you know what? It tasted like every other Miller I had ever had in my life. Voila.
After the game I retired to my friend Cobbie's place. He was a great host. We spent some time catching up around his outdoor fire pit while enjoying some nice bourbon. Man, this was a heck of a reception in Milwaukee. There were a few little hiccups along the way, but ultimately I made it to where I needed to be.