Wednesday, May 26, 2010

ZDM & Road Trips

Zoo-de-Mackinaw!!!  This past weekend was our annual trip to Northern Michigan to ride in the Zoo-de-Mack.  We love this weekend and always have a blast.  This year was extra special because it was Bug's first ride with the family.  Scott and I have done the ZDM together for the past five years (although I participated only in spirit last year since I was pregnant), and for the last couple of years his parents and brother have joined us.  In case you didn't check out the link above to find out what ZDM is all about, I think I should clarify that this is a 51 mile bike ride and has some pretty good climbs, especially in the first half, so yeah Carys has some pretty cool (and tough) grandparents!

2008, Leg's Inn

We arrived at Boyne Highlands early on Friday to get settled in and organized for the ride on Saturday.  The weather was absolutely beautiful - we couldn't have asked for better!  We had lunch on the patio at the Main Lodge, and Carys had fun playing in the grass for the first time while we were waiting for our food. Sorry, this is small - I took it with my phone.

Then we hit the giant hot tub!  It was actually a little too hot, so we just put our legs in.

Knowing that 51 miles might be a bit much for Bug's first ride, we decided she would hang out with Mom for the first half and then we'd meet Grandpa, Grandma and Dad (Unfortunately, Uncle Jr. was sick and couldn't make it this year) at the Leg's Inn for the lunch stop and all ride the second half together.

Sidenote - If you ever find yourself in Northern Michigan, you must drive M-119 (start in Harbor Springs) through the "Tunnel of Trees" and up through Wilderness State Park to Mackinaw City.  Along the way, make sure you stop at the Good Hart General Store.  This charming little store has everything a road tripper could ask for, it's even a post office, and is always a welcome rest stop for us after battling the tough climbs in the first part of the ZDM.  Then for lunch, you have to go to the Leg's Inn.  This Polish restaurant has great food, rustic charm and amazing views of Lake Michigan.  It's one of my favorite spots!


Okay - back to our ride, we met for lunch at the Leg's and enjoyed a beautiful picnic on the lawn overlooking the lake.  Carys probably wins the prize as youngest participant, even though we saw a few other young riders.

After lunch, Carys and I geared up and joined the family for the second half.

I wasn't sure how I was going to do since I've only been on my bike twice since Carys was born, but it was such a beautiful day and the scenery was so amazing, that I enjoyed every minute of the ride.  Scott got quite a few remarks as he passed other riders, some wanted to know what was in the trailer (a keg?), but most just offered an encouraging, "Go Dad!"

Carys loves the Burley (thanks G&G!)  Most of the time she falls asleep and this time was no exception.  After looking out the window for a bit - she was out!  About halfway through the second leg, we always make a pit stop at a golf course along the way.  We had a quick snack here and then headed for Mackinaw City!

I think this year's ride was the best so far.  The weather was perfect and even though I didn't get to do the whole ride, it was just so fun to have Carys with us and see her enjoy riding as much as we do!  The only thing missing, was this guy...
ZDM, 2007

We missed you Uncle Jr.  It wasn't the same without you!

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