For all the right reasons, the summer’s hottest poker run happens in Northern Michigan. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
Consisting of three or four small square blocks on the shores of Lake Charlevoix, downtown Boyne City, Mich., is less than a mile south of the tiny A-frame home my girlfriend and I rented for a six days in early July. That made renting bicycles once we’d gathered essential provisions—self-lighting Kingsford mesquite charcoal, beer-drenched Johnsonville bratwurst, Tito’s “Handmade” vodka and a few other staples of life—a must for our stay.
We hit the Family Fare market Sunday evening, about an hour after we pulled into town, but the local bike store was closed. Road weary after the seven-hour drive from Chicago, we headed to Café Sante for dinner. It was a perfect, if slightly breezy, Northern Michigan evening.
The next morning, we walked to North Country Cycle Sport to rent bikes. Too polite to laugh in my face—you probably want to book your bike rentals before you arrive in a seasonal tourist town during the busy July 4 holiday week—the young store owner said he’d take a look downstairs to see what he had left. Before he vanished, I mentioned that I was in town to cover the upcoming Boyne Thunder Poker Run.