Thumb Run – Sept. 2020

On September 25th, 4 of us went on our yearly Thumb Run up to Port Austin in the thumb of Michigan.

Green is the ride there and Red is back.

I left early on Friday morning, I like riding in that morning light when everything is so crisp looking. Left my house about 7:15 and got to Sleeper State Park about 12:30 after a few rest stops along the way. Got camp set-up and waited for the other guys to show.

Dave and Pat rode in about an hour later and Harry showed up a bit after that. Whenever we go to Sleeper we reserve the same two campsites, they’ve got to be a couple of the biggest in the park. After all four of us were set up, we had room for at least another two or three tents.

Dave & Pat setting up camp.

This trip we decided to cook in camp instead of trying to find a place to eat every meal, especially with Covid restrictions on a lot of the restaurants. We brought food with us that would hold for a couple of days and not spoil. For anything perishable we needed , we’d make a grocery store run just down the street before dinner time. It worked out real well, but we still have a few kinks to work out. I’m thinking about putting a small cooler on my trailer, just enough to keep stuff cold for a day. After doing the dishes (throwing the paper plates in the fire) we sat around the fire till it was time to retire for the night.

The next morning, after a good breakfast in camp, we walked across the highway to the beach on Lake Huron.

After getting back to camp, we got ready for the days ride.

We found a nice place to eat lunch, then rode out to the Pointe aux Barques Lighthouse, first stopping at the Grindstone Ice Cream Parlor where they’ve got to have some of the biggest servings of ice cream in Michigan.


After stuffing ourselves with ice cream and stopping at the lighthouse, we headed over to the Harbor Beach Lighthouse. They have guided tours of the lighthouse, but it was closed because of the restrictions, so you couldn’t get as close to it as some of the others. It’s way out on the end of a break wall so this picture is kind of small…

…and taken from the end of this pier.

After walking out to the end of the pier, we geared up and headed back to camp, pulled in about 5:00. A couple of the guys went on a grocery run while we got the fire ready for another evening meal cooked over an open fire. Another campfire and off to bed for the night.

A light breakfast in the morning and then it was time to break camp. We pulled out about 10:00 on Sunday morning, and after about a half hour of riding together, we all split up and went our own ways as we had different routes to get home. I pulled into my driveway about 3:00. This was a shorter ride than most, about 500 miles for the weekend total. We spent a bit more time hanging around camp than usual, just taking it easy, and I really like the idea of cooking most of our meals in camp. I’m hoping that next year we can make up for all of the canceled rides/camping trips from this year, and maybe do some new ones that we haven’t tried yet.

Here’s a short video of the trip.