Riding Route 66: From Michigan back to Indiana and now headed south

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 23, 2016

Editor’s note: Rowan County resident David Freeze is off on his latest summertime cycling adventure. This time, he’s riding the famed Route 66 from California to Chicago.

Once in a while, I stumble on to something great. Such was the case in New Buffalo, Michigan late yesterday afternoon.

I saw the Buffalo Motel and thought about stopping to check it out, but I didn’t think it had a town close by. About a mile on down the road, I found a fantastic town and turned to go back and inquire about the room. I got it and made plans to check out the town after my report was submitted.

Sunset was scheduled at 9:15 there last night and I hoped to get a few pictures. New Buffalo is about as cute and quaint as one of the New England towns that I cycled through a couple of years ago.

There was a farmers market, entertainment, lots of shops and restaurants and possibly the best grocery store that I have visited. They were making plenty of fresh things in the store and the temptation was for me to buy too much. If you haven’t tried custard, I endorse a trial when you get the chance.

I took my food and headed down to the harbor and park where people were gathering in hopes of viewing a spectacular sunset. Many were walking in from around the town, even though clouds were obscuring the sun.

I had some folks help me with my front tire wheel dipping that had to occur before leaving Lake Michigan.

Finally, about 9 p.m., everybody gave up and started to leave. I went back to the motel which had seashell chocolates for me. If you ever get over this way, I suggest visiting New Buffalo and the Buffalo Motel. You wouldn’t be disappointed.

The sunrise this morning made up for the lack of sunset. It was definitely the most spectacular that I have seen on this trip even though I have been facing east for most of the time.

Following Route 12, I stopped at Three Oaks, the only decent town of the early morning. The farms were wonderful to see.

I rolled on into South Bend and went for a bike tour of Notre Dame. I talked with a professor who helped me find things. The famous gold dome was easy to spot and then on to see “Football Jesus,” a large mural that faces the football stadium. And of course, I saw the Knute Rockne statue and a view of the field through the players’ tunnel.

Getting out of South Bend took forever. After a brief stint riding the freeway — which I shouldn’t have been doing but didn’t get caught — it was back out into the farm country to Bremen, Indiana. The familiar sight of manure left by the Amish horses is all around, and I hope to see some of their farms tomorrow.

This is spectacular farming country with lots of thriving corn and well-kept farms. Bremen is where I am spending the night.

Please remember all of the sponsors for my Route 66 and bonus riding adventure.They include the Salisbury Post, Fowler Physical Therapy, Vac and Dash, Gear for Races. Dr. Tanya Williams DDS, Father and Son Produce, First Baptist Church of China Grove Men on Mission, Skinny Wheels Bicycle Shop and Leonard Wood.

Tomorrow, I will head to Kokomo. Right now, the future is up in the air on how this cycling adventure will end. I will have better information tomorrow about that. I still hope to be home Sunday. Today’s total distance was just 64 miles but with some nice sightseeing. As always, thanks for riding along.