Day 6

Tuesday, 2 Jun 2009
  Baraga, MI to Ishpeming, MI
59.0 miles, 4h54m, 12.0 mph
Elapsed Time: 6h09m, Max speed: 29.7mph
Total Climbing: 2643ft, Max elevation: 1687ft
Total mileage: 319.3

Copyright 2002
        DeLorme. Topo USA. Data copyright of content owner.

So, I changed my plans--reducing the distance today and extending the distance tomorrow--because the weather was supposed to be lousy today and good tomorrow. It was good today. Not great--it was still cold--but it didn't rain and the sun was out most of the time. I could have easily ridden an extra 15 miles into Marquette, but here I am in Ishpeming. Anyway, by the look of that profile, I've got about 800 feet of elevation in the bank, and it's gotta be downhill all the way to Marquette.

I rolled out of Baraga at about 8am after a fine breakfast at the Best Western. The first few miles were flat. I could see already that it probably wasn't going to rain.

A fine morning on Lake Superior.

About two miles in I came to the first attraction of the day: The Shrine of the Snowshoe Priest. The Shrine is a 35 foot statue of Bishop Frederic Baraga. According to the brochure it is the "Most Historic Non-Denominational Shrine in the Midwest." I took a picture from the highway but didn't go in because the road wasn't paved.  I guess I just wasn't that interested. For more on the Shrine go here.

The Snowshoe Priest looks out over Lake Superior.

As I passed the priest, the road curved inland, away from the lake. For the next 15+ miles the road gradually climbed about 1000 feet. It was tedious, and there was a headwind, so it was painful and slow.

This is what my bike looks like in bad weather trim.
Yes, I am carrying a tent. Someday I may use it.

The road was of very fine quality today.

Eventually I reached the top of the climb, then the road turned east and just stayed up there all day. Now the wind helped more than it hurt. Since the sun was out I stopped and smelled some figurative roses and photographed a few things here and there.

Like this stream.

And this lake. The water here has a strange red tint. I assume it's iron.

I stopped for a snack in Michigamme, where I saw my first oversized animal of the day.

Well, what do you expect?

There were a few attractions in the Ishpeming area that I wanted to visit. By far the most fascinating was Da Yoopers Tourist Trap, which is a yard full of bizarre inventions thought up by people with too much time on the hands and plenty of junk laying around. It's really an excuse to have a gift shop.

Big Gus, the world's largest chainsaw.

Big Ernie, the world's largest rifle.

Yooper's lawn mower.

Needless to say, there is much, much more. And all of it works. Well, I'd believe that all of it worked at one time. Now most of the stuff looks in need of maintenance. Gus's blade is rusty. That lawn mower needs a new chain.

Due to an unfavorable traffic light (the first I'd seen in days) I turned right and accidentally stumbled into downtown Ishpeming. The only thing of note was a mining museum (which was closed) and this cool mine shaft thingy building (I think that's what they call 'em).

It kind of dominates the Ishpeming skyline.

From there is was about 200 yards to the Best Western. Tomorrow I plan to coast down into Marquette and then work my way along the coast to Munising. If I can get there by 1pm I should be able to get a boat tour of Picture Rocks National Lakeshore. It shouldn't be a problem. I just hope the weather stays good.


"Great Lakes Tour 2009" Copyright © 2009 By Bob Clemons. All rights reserved.