Latitude 45’s fifth annual staff bikepacking expedition took place Sunday, Sept. 13, and Monday, Sept. 14 and featured a 150-mile route that included circumnavigation of Bois Blanc Island (Boblo). Inclement weather altered the trip itinerary, pushing departure back a day to Sunday.
This year, only four staffers opted for the adventure, with each departing from different points in and around Petoskey and converging on the Plaunt Transpotation Ferry at Cheboygan on Sunday afternoon. Trip coordinator and Latitude 45 sales associate Marc Collier, Sales Manager Greg Fuller, Service Writer Jake Keyser and mechanic Brandon Inglehart all joined in the fun.
Collier rode his beloved Salsa Fargo, while Fuller chose his Salsa Timberjack SLX. Inglehart opted for his own, custom-built Serendipity drop-bar bike with two-inch tires. (Ask Brandon about the custom wheel sets he has for this bike!) Keyser’s steed was a titanium frame Salsa Timberjack.
Collier said he and Keyser utilized the North Western State Trail, the North Central State Trail, secondary roads, and some seasonal roads in reaching Cheboygan. Inglehart and Fuller arrived at the ferry via automobile. All purchased $24 round-trip Plaunt Transportation Ferry tickets and made the 40-minute hop over to the island.
Once there, the group proceeded to the island’s northern shore, where they set up camp. Once unburdened, they set out to explore Boblo’s denseley forested interior, starting out Lime Kiln Point, where they could see the bridge, the Straits and neighboring round island. Following some two-track and trails, the bikepackers wound up at dead-ends.
Returning to camp, they were met with a mild, lightly breezy evening under a crystal-clear sky in which they identified a number of constellations using an application on Inglehart’s phone. The crew made dinner, did some swimming and retired after logging many miles.
A quick breakfast Monday morning sent them on another ride inside and around the island, again under favorable weather conditions. The cyclists visited the island lighthouse, Lake Mary and other places.
Photos by Jake Keyser and Eric Cox
Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved