Day 7

Wednesday, 3 Jun 2009
  Ishpeming, MI to Munising, MI
60.2 miles, 4h32m, 13.3 mph
Elapsed Time: 5h34m, Max speed: 33.1mph
Total Climbing: 2486ft, Max elevation: 1503ft
Total mileage: 379.5

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        DeLorme. Topo USA. Data copyright of content owner.

Wow. What a day. Rode lots of miles. Saw lots of stuff. Now I'm fighting off a food coma to get this done and posted.

The main goal of the day was to get to Munising in time for a 2pm cruise along the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. I made it, but it was touch and go for a while.

It was about 34 degrees when I rolled out of Ishpeming. It was sunny, and it stayed sunny all day, but it also stayed cold.

I was bouncing down the crappy "bike path/sidewalk" in Ishpeming, about a mile into the ride, when I heard a strange sound. It was not a spoke-breaking sound--more of a twang. I looked down at the bike and it looked okay, wheels were still turning. But I thought I'd stop and take a look. Turns out one of the bungie cords that was holding my tent to the rear rack bounced loose and got hooked on a spoke. I could see the hook hanging there. The rest of the cord was wound around the rear axle. The bungie cord snapped before it could rip out a spoke. So, that's good to know. The bike was fine but I needed a new bungie. Fortunately I was right in front of a convenience store. In the UP, all convenience stores carry anything that could possibly be fishing-related. Apparently bungie cords are needed in fishing--I guess to hold closed the beer cooler with the broken latch. So, that cost me a few minutes.

The run in to Marquette was mostly downhill. There is a US41 bypass around town that I wanted to take, but there was a sign that said no bikes. Of course, the sign was about 200 yards after I could have easily and safely exited the highway, so I had to perform some creative maneuvers involving riding the wrong way on a ramp, and other contortions. Then I had to pick my way through town (and stop at the Burger King for a cup of coffee). There was a nice bike path along the lake in Marquette and along the shoulderless US 41 east of town. The path just got crappier and crappier until it mercifully expired right where I made the turn onto MI 28 toward Munising.

There were other distractions to slow me down, like a nice stretch of beach...

That's a pretty big lake.

...and Lakenland, a sculpture garden filled with art constructed from junk (what else? This is the UP). You can drive through the place on a road made of dirt and wood chips. I risked flat tires and splinters to ride through most of it.

A dinosaur with a fishing pole.

Little John Deere sunflowers.

Not sure what to make of this.

So that delayed me a bit. Then there were some hills and some more beaches that looked kind of cool.

I think this was in Au Train.

I actually arrived at the Munising Days Inn at just about 1pm. By 1:30 I had showered, changed, and walked across town to the pier, and bought a ticket on the 2pm boat. I also bought a sweatshirt, which I'm going to find a way to carry. This has been a problem with the cold. I've been riding in my rain jacket rather than my wind jacket so that I have something to wear out to dinner that doesn't smell terrible. So I sweat like a pig all day in my rain jacket while I'm freezing. I also don't have shoes, so I wear sandals with black cycling socks when I go out. I really wish it would warm up. Anyway, tomorrow I can wear my wind jacket for riding since I have a sweat shirt for apres ride activities.

So I got on the boat and sat up on the open roof in the cold. I took about 50 pictures, here's a few.

This is the Miner's Castle.

This is what it looked like if I stood up and snapped a picture.

This tree receives all its nutrients from the roots that reach over to the mainland.
Many years ago there was a land bridge there. Now just roots.
Tree's doing well though.

Crystal Falls. This is where we turned around.

This dude was letting gulls take bread out of his mouth.

A "schoolhouse"-style lighthouse of 19th Century vintage.

After the cruise I went out to dinner and ate a lot of food. Soon I will sleep.

I have no real plan for tomorrow. The weather is supposed to be good--even a little warmer--so I'm just going to ride as far as I can. I might be camping and I probably won't have Internet access tomorrow night. We'll see.


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