Onto day two of our trip to Beaver Island! The second day, we knew we'd be making a huge trip to the Beaver Island Head Lighthouse on the south end of the island. Since we didn't bring our car on the ferry, we'd be making the trek by bicycle! It was a 30-mile round trip ride. Oof! But we made it, and honestly, it was one of my favorite experiences of the entire trip. Challenging, but so fun. One of my very favorite things about seeing all of the lighthouses in Michigan is the adventure to get to them. We've walked miles, have traveled by boat, biked several miles, and will someday have to travel by airplane. It's such a fun and exciting adventure every single time.
Before heading out on our trip, we stopped to the market for bungee cords, beverages, bottled water, and a picnic lunch. We strapped everything to our bikes, including the wireless speaker Eric brought (total life-saver!) and headed out on the first 15-mile trip. We decided to take the "scenic" route, which appeared to be closest to Lake Michigan, but to be honest, we didn't think it was very scenic. The road was too far away from the lake, and it was a less-traveled road of gravel, so just imagine riding 15 miles on very bumpy gravel road. I was exhausted! We stopped by the lake for a while, rested, snapped some photos, drank a lot of water, and headed to finish the ride. I was so excited when we finally saw the lighthouse around the corner. We made it!
The Beaver Island Head Lighthouse was built in 1858, after the original tower collapsed in 1857. It was decommissioned in 1962. This isn't one of my favorite lighthouses (picturesque-wise), but the experience alone made it so memorable. I loved how we had to get here, I loved that it was completely empty and you could just walk inside and climb the tower yourself, and the cliff the lighthouse is sitting on was so pretty. We ate our packed lunch at the picnic table outside, climbed the tower, and then I sat on a blanket and relaxed while Eric flew the drone (into a tree, of course). After feeling rested enough (and giving our butts a break), we headed back on the 15-mile trip home. Each way took us about... 1 hour 45 minutes or so. My Fitbit stats at the end of the day were nuts!
The trip home was SO much better for some reason. I think it was because the sun had come out, but most of the ride was shaded, and it just felt so nice! Plus we rode home on the more-traveled road, so still gravel, but much smoother. It was a great ride home. If you ever decide to take this trip, I'd honestly recommend just taking that road both ways. Easier ride, and I honestly thought it was just as pretty, and you saw just as much of the lake as you did on the first ride. Once we got back into town, we got dinner, stopped for ice-cream, and crawled into bed at our inn to watch a movie. I'll be back with a full travel guide of where we stayed/ate/did on the island soon!