Lake Michigan Lighthouse Loop: Day 5 — August 20, 2014

Newberry, Mich. to Green Bay, Wis.

Well, it’s about time I finish this story, isn’t it?!

The morning of Day 5 was cold. Bone-chilling cold that felt more like mid-October than mid-August. Fortunately, the weather report promised no rain. At least there was that.

Heading south on 115, the cold started to take hold. I shivered a bit, thankful I put my leather on that morning. I was trying to keep my mind on other things, especially after he mentioned the temperature had dropped into the 50s. No wonder!

By the time our route brought us back to the lake, the rain had started. Darn weather report! Of course, we were caught without our Toggs, so we got a little wet, mostly on our legs from the splash off the road. So now, I was cold and wet … again. BUT, I was still persevering AND having fun along the way.

When I saw a convenience store in Manistique, I decided it was time to stop and warm up. The short break was perfect. A little hot chocolate brought my core temperature back up, and a tasty pastry boosted my energy level. After snacking and stretching, my jeans were dry, the sun was breaking through the clouds, and we were ready to roll.

Menominee Harbor

I love how the lake disappears into the horizon in this picture of Menominee Harbor.

Our path took us mainly west, skipping a longer route down a peninsula and instead opting to cut across into the forest. The scenery still was so different than home, so refreshing for the soul. The miles just floated by as I lost myself in each moment, enveloped by the crisp air around me.

Menominee Lighthouse

Giving the camera a little sass at Menominee Lighthouse.

A southern heading once again brought us back to the lake, and we hugged the coast all the way to Menominee. Located on the Michigan-Wisconsin state line, this waypoint was home to the last lighthouse on our tour.

Menominee Lighthouse Sky

We had the place all to ourselves. We took our time looking around and snapping photos before going on our way. Well, after I stalked some ducks chillaxin by the water — yet again. (I’m not sure what my temporary fascination with ducks was all about.)

45th Parallel Marker

Picking our favorite direction at the 45th Parallel Marker outside Peshtigo, Wisc.

Before I knew it, we were at the 45th Parallel Marker, “almost halfway between the Equator and North Pole.” With all the cold and rain we’d had on the trip, I was ready to be on the south side of that line again. I also was ready for food, and we quickly found some at Wayne’s Family Restaurant.

45th Parallel Marker Plaque

A close up of the marker at the 45th Parallel reveals it is located just slightly closer to the Equator than the North Pole.

Famous for pies, the restaurant and its buffet beckoned us in. The food was homey, warm and comforting, exactly what I needed right then. As yummy as my classic Hot Beef Sandwich was, I was really looking forward to dessert, which was included with the buffet. Only one problem: the desserts didn’t include pie. That’s right, slices of their renowned famousness were separate. A bummer for sure, but we still enjoyed our meals and a couple pieces of generously frosted cake.

Wayne's Family Restaurant Menu

Don’t those pies look amazing? (Yeah, sports were on in the background.)

Less than an hour later, we were in Green Bay pumping gas across the street from Lambeau Field. I never imagined I’d ever visit the Frozen Tundra, especially not on a motorcycle … from the north!

Lambeau Field

Waiting in line for gas across the street from the Frozen Tundra of Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisc.

Our hotel was only a couple blocks away, and after check-in and a quick shower, we were off to explore the National Railroad Museum. The trek turned out to be longer than we thought it would be, but it was so worth it. To me, the best part was walking through all the restored train engines and cars. It was like traveling back in time. If you ever find yourself in Green Bay with time to spare, do yourself a favor and tour this museum.

National Railroad Museum

If you have even the slightest interest in trains, be sure to check out the National Railroad Museum in Green Bay, Wisc.

On the walk back to the hotel, we stopped by the outdoor bar at the Stadium View Bar & Grille for a couple drinks and something to eat. Located just across the street from our Best Western, it was a convenient place to sit back and unwind in the sunshine. Warmed through, we wandered back to our room before hitting the pool. We again had the place to ourselves and relished the opportunity to float in solitude.

Rested and hungry, we grabbed dinner in the hotel restaurant. Take note that the two businesses are separate, so you can’t charge your dinner tab to your room. Not a big deal but helpful to know going in.

Sleep soon came a calling, and we collapsed into our bed ready to crash. Tomorrow, we’d be saying goodbye to Lake Michigan.

About cmiles

Motorcycle passenger who loves the wind and wants to share great ride experiences with others. View all posts by cmiles

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