If I'm really pressed to select the most enjoyable part of my last trip through Michigan and Canada, I would probably chose the ride along the west coast of the lower peninsula from Mackinaw City to Manistee. I've been thinking about repeating this part of the trip, but because of either work, family affairs, or another trip scheduled by North Suburban Scooter Club for September 20th that I would like to join, there is only one weekend, September 6th, when I can go.
The second week of September is probably not a bad time. It will still be warm, campgrounds already half-empty, and the trees still have summer colors that don't attract the usual Indian Summer crowds. On the other hand, it will be cooler than it was in July, so I won't need my Motoport Mesh Kevlar jacket that scares little children and prompts some adults to try to remember if they have ever learned any Martian words.
Here's the most probable route:
Day 1 - Ride to Milwaukee, take a ferry to Muskegon, ride to Manistee and camp at one of the campgrounds in the Manistee National Forest.
Day 2 - Ride from Manistee to Cross Village and camp at one of the campgrounds in the area. This route is about 200 miles and should leave plenty of time to explore either Traverse City or one of the towns along the route.
Day 3 - Ride back to Manistee. There are many campgrounds in Manistee National Forest and I might try another one. As the day before, enjoying the towns along the route is part of the program.
Day 4 - Ride to Muskegon, take a ferry, and then ride back home.
Wheeling (IL) - Milwaukee (WI)
Muskigon (MI) - Cross Villige (MI)