I’m up in St. Ignace for the 8th Annual Boudro Wrestling Camp and haven’t had much time to sit down and write. I did however want to give you a quick update and let you know that it was indeed an epic adventure. Camp runs until the 22nd of June and I plan to do a detailed breakdown of everything once I return home.
It took 4 days and 3 nights. Roughly 180 miles of peddling through back roads, interstate shoulders, and scenic trails. We met some interesting people, helped fellow cyclists on their journey, hitchhiked a few miles, and did some stealth camping in the forest along the way; all the while managing to avoid any major issues throughout the trip.
The first day we netted roughly 70 miles in the saddle and were rewarded with an amazing sunset on Torch Lake. Going into this trip we had no idea where we were going to stay; just a general idea of locations we would like to get to each day. We spent the first night in a campground because we arrived in Torch late and were eager to rest after a long day of riding. The next two nights were spent in our hammocks on the coast of Lake Michigan and Burt Lake. It was the first time I’d ever slept in a hammock and boy was it amazing. I slept like a king. The air was brisk, the nights were calm, and the water hitting the shore was like a soft lullaby humming a baby to sleep.
The fourth and final day of riding consisted of a 30 mile ride from Burt Lake up interstate 31 all the way to Mackinaw City. We started the day with breakfast from a small dinner in Pellston, MI and from there made record time to our destination in St Ignace. The reason we made record time was because we had to be at wrestling camp by 1:30 PM for the start of camp. That and it was supposed to rain so after breakfast we tarped our belongings and rode like the wind. Upon arriving in Mackinaw we stopped at a local coffee shop and called the bridge patrol for a ride over the Big Mack. It cost $5 to throw our bikes on the back of a trailer and ride across to the Upper Peninsula. From there we finished riding into town where we met our friends and fellow wrestlers for a week of training, coaching, and reconnecting.
I had no idea what to expect going into this trip but looking back am so thankful I had the opportunity. Not only am I thankful for the opportunity, but also glad I had a friend to do it with. I could have made things a lot easier on myself with a little more planning, but that’s okay because next time I will be better prepared. For starters I think I’m going to start looking into getting a touring bike. Something that is specifically designed for long distance ultra light trips. My mountain bike did the job, but it surely wasn’t optimal. I also think I’m going to scrap the bike rack and get frame bags for future trips. In addition to frame bags I’d like to find a way to make my bike electronically friendly; meaning I have a charge station set up on my bike. It wasn’t necessarily hard to find places to charge my phone, GoPro, and Camera, but it also wasn’t the most efficient way to do it either. In the future when I’m on the road and doing this stuff full time I need the ability to charge my laptop and other electronic devices wherever I’m at so I can continue to write and work from anywhere. I’ve seen a few solar power kits that I would like to add to my bike. Goal Zero makes some good solar power units that I’m considering, but haven’t had a chance to really check them out yet.
All-in-all it was a huge success and something I plan to continue doing. My buddy Nick and I are already talking about our next trip. He is going to New Zealand at the end of the summer for a bike tour of his own. I can’t wait to hear about the adventure. It's going to be so rad and he is going to have the time of his life. We are talking about the potential of a bike tour through Mexico next year. Rio to Patagonia or something like that. Right now it’s just an idea, but hey, all great adventures start as an idea before turning into reality right? It will take a lot of planning and we will have to be on our A game, but I don’t see why we cant make it happen. Life is too short to sit around and wish for things to happen. Even if it doesn’t turn out to be Mexico I know Nick and I are planning to do some more tours in the future. Ideally we would be sponsored and have the right equipment for the job, but even if that doesn’t happen I know we can overcome any obstacle that is thrown our way.
Thanks for taking a moment to catch up with me. Stay tuned for a more in-depth analysis of the trip in the coming days. After I return home I will have time to upload photos, and eventually the videos of our journey. But for now it’s back to coaching. We just finished up the first session of team camp yesterday and are getting a new group of kids coming in today. It has been a great time so far and I look forward to the next few days of training. These kids love wrestling and it truly is rewarding being able to give back to this great sport. It has helped shape me into the man I am today and for that I am eternally grateful.
Happy Father’s Day!