Evening in Manitowoc

Thursday, 23rd July 2015; 10:30 pm

There is not a lot to do in downtown Manitowoc on a Thursday night. I knew that. The shops are all closed, and the place I had dinner last time has a closing time of 9:00, which must be earlier than before. Which is OK because it was a bit “up scale” for a scruffy nerfherder like me. The pizza place I hung out at on my first visit is gone. But there are few bars-and-grill to choose from; I went with Capone’s on 10th Street over the “legendary” place that serves chicken wings, chicken wings, and chicken wings.

But how did I get here? It was a Long and Winding Road (just one of the many songs to play in my head (and mouth) along the way.

But to be honest, there isn’t much to tell about the ride south. Some of it was retracing the route north, but I did my best not to. I’m a big fan of The Road Less Traveled, and it really does make all the difference. Especially going by scooter, which puts you in the environment like a car does not, and slows you down like a motorcycle doesn’t, enabling you to see and stop for things like this little tableau: 

It also makes it easy to detour and stop at low-key attractions, such as a county park with a little cliff-jumping spot that apparently attracts lots of screaming kids and tweens on a Thursday afternoon.  
I found a number of roads with names like “Lakeshore” and “Lakeview”, which were more enjoyable to ride than the ones named “WI-57”. One of them… not so much, though. After passing a bunch of farmhouse and cottage places, I noticed an unassuming sign that advised that beyond that point the road was off limits to the public, with hefty fines, and the potential wrath of the U.S. Army upon violators. I stopped and turned around, recalling that there had been a road on the map called “Nuclear Rd”.

I wish I had more to say about the towns I passed through, but frankly there wasn’t much to most of them. Sturgeon Bay has a critically acclaimed theatre company playing on the half-desolate Main Street. As a weak echo of Manitowoc’s WW2 sub in the harbor, Kewaunee has $1 tours of an old Army tugboat.  
The Wisconsin coast of Lake Michigan is definitely different from Michigan’s. i saw signs along the side of the road offering waterfront lots (you could see the Lake from there), just waiting for someone to clear some brush and start building. It’s not unusual to see rows of corn or wheat separated from the Lake by just a line of trees and a rocky beach.

After the north wind of a couple days ago, of course now I got a south wind. Being so close to the Lake, and with the settin sun, it got a little chilly, especially as I “opened it up” and went 50mph on the last bits of state highway into Two Rivers and then Manitowoc. But not too bad. All in all: a good – long – day of riding.

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