Anyone who’s anybody will know that we’ve been riding through Ingall’s country: where ma and pa grew up. If you didn’t know, go read the books, and think about Libertarianism.
July 21: 89 miles, Birchwood, WI to Glidden, WI
We’ve been putting in big miles! We suffered a bit of a post-Birchwood slump as we road away from such a nice day off. Luckily cool temperatures and a friendly breeze gave us a good feeling about the day. Before long, however, our butt-pain returned with a vengeance, and we did our best to enjoy the scenery as we limped along. Our day ended in awesome Marion Park, which must be beautiful during the day with an amazing roller rink, but for us was so buggy we cooked dinner in the men’s room. Two lessons: 1) don’t eat dinner in a bathroom, it will make you nauseas 2) if you have a choice of bathrooms don’t choose the men’s room- it smells a lot worse, always.
July 22: 83 miles, Glidden, WI to Star Lake, WI
A day of ups and downs, literally and figuratively. It was beautiful, but the hills were West-Coast style steep, and we were accompanied by a retinue of horse, deer, elephant, and lion flies the whole day who were UP IN OUR SHIT.
The day ended with awesome, though, thanks to Hannah P! An old Midd friend, Hannah drove to meet us in Bolder Junction, where we watched an unreal thunderstorm steamroll the town from a cozy, sheltered porch. Hannah is a rockstar, and brought:
- Sugarsnap Peas
- Blueberry-Peach Cobbler
- A WHOLE PESTO PASTA DINNER, which we made in the rain
As if that weren’t enough, Hannah took us out to ice cream! Hannah gets a gold star in our book. Thank you Hannah, congrats on graduating!
Also, our campsite was great- we took a bath in Star Lake, freaked out when we realized there were dozens of crawfish everywhere, and enjoyed a beautiful sunset.
July 23: 72 miles, Star Lake, WI to Crystal Falls, MI
We awoke to 50 degree temperatures, and happily put on our tights and coats, sweat free. The day was automatically a good one, because apparently all the bugs died. Little bastards.
July 24: 87 miles, Crystal Falls, MI to Gladstone, MI
We’re in the UP baby! Good winds and easier terrain made the miles fly by. As we approached the Upper Peninsula (UP), we noticed a LOT of closed stores. Michigan is hurting. We stopped at one of the few open gas stations, and trapped the unsuspecting counter-lady with conversation and questions, flitting about like socially-deprived bikers, which we are. She made us pizzas.
Soon after we hit 3,000 miles! WAIT- where was 2,000? We’ve neglected these milestones, so enjoy both at once:
2,000 miles was a big deal!
3,000 miles slipped by, ignored and alone.
After these milestones, we also entered the Eastern Standard Time Zone!
In Escanaba, we hit Lake Michigan, kind of. We didn’t actually see any water yet, and had to attend to important errands like fixing our front bottom bracket and eating our first pasties. TEGAN, yours are way better than anything we’ve had here, just for the record. Ian still had several.
The day ended with actual lake views, and a wonderful campsite in the town of Gladstone, where we enjoyed the cleanest bathrooms and (free) showers we’ve encountered yet. We also became part of a bad ass gang of 8 year old riders, who can pop a mean wheelie.
July 25: 104 miles, Gladstone, MI to Little Hog Island, MI
Turns out biking in the UP isn’t great. It probably is great to explore individual places, but riding on a highway for 150 miles isn’t so hot. With sore butts, an extremely favorable wind, and a whole bunch of gumption, we decided to push through as many miles as we could before dark. We dealt with many, many semis, strangely gesticulating construction workers, and ate lunch at the Foxy Den, where we met the most bigoted and racist scary dude to date on this trip. Somber times.
Two stops for ice cream (Dairy Kream and The Anchor), a BRAND NEW FLAG, and our fastest average speed saved the day. Little Hog Island had great campsites with beautiful views and that perfect privacy where you can pee anywhere in the middle of the night. Really made us smile.
We’ve got two (TWO) rest days ahead on beautiful Mackinac Island, where we’ll spend our 1-year anniversary, ride horses, eat fudge, and stay in a B&B! See you on the other side.