Day 8

Thursday, 4 Jun 2009
  Munising, MI to St. Ignace, MI
124.6 miles, 9h29m, 13.1 mph
Elapsed Time: 11h47m, Max speed: 31.1mph
Total Climbing: 3386ft, Max elevation: 895ft
Total mileage: 504.1

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

The map says it all. I had a basic plan to ride as far as Naubinway, which would have been about 80 miles. I got there about 2:30 and decided to ride until 5pm and make another decision. I bought some groceries in Naubinway because I figured I'd probably have to camp (wrong, there were many little motels along the route) and that there wouldn't be other stores or restaurants (wrong, there were several--although many were closed or out business--times are tough on the UP). Anyway, Linda called me a little after five, and I asked her to book me a room in St. Ignace--so I had to ride to the end. She booked the hell out of this room, by the way. It has a jacuzzi tub that I just got out of. My poor, tired legs really appreciated the power soaking.

The morning started with an unexpectedly steep climb out of Munising into a stiff southwesterly wind. Soon, however, the road turned east and the wind helped me along nicely. Then came the 20 mile perfectly flat straightaway. It just went on and on. I started to think I was in one of those Hanna-Barbera cartoons were the same scenery keeps passing by in the background. I would watch a truck pass me and slowly disappear in the distance...hoping it would turn one way or the other before it became too small to see...and being disappointed every time. I just turned up the Marvin Gaye tune that was playing inside my head (which is much better than the jingle that was stuck in there the other day).

Straight, flat, forever.

There is one rest area along the straightaway. I stopped there and was immediately set upon by hoards of hungry mosquitoes. Needless to say, my break was not very relaxing. And I was soon back on my way. Within a couple of miles, the straight ended, and I turned south into the wind.

This is the curve that ends the straightaway.
I'd never been so happy to see a nondescript bend in the road.

I worked my way south, stopping for lunch in a place called Germfask, and eventually reached US 2. I turned left and was soon in the presence of Lake Michigan. At the first opportunity I bagged lake #2.

When you touch Lake Michigan, it touches you. Yes, it does.

The lake was a little choppy from that SW wind.

I pedaled happily along US 2 for a few hours. The going was slow when I was exposed to the wind, and faster when the road turned inland. There was a nasty detour in Epoufette where there was no shoulder for a while. The view was nice though.

The road is right down on the lake in many places.

Under normal circumstances I would never pass by a Mystery Spot without stopping.
But this was, like, 115 miles in.

The big annoyance over the last few dozen miles was this gnat-like bug that swarmed over the shoulder, right at bicyclist height. I was riding through clouds of these things. It sounded like rain hitting my jacket. They were all over me.

If you look closely you can see a freighter heading toward the bridge.
If you look even more closely you can see lots of little black dots.
Those are bugs.

I lurched into St. Ignace at about 8pm, and found the Holiday Inn Express. I did laundry and ordered a pizza.

Tomorrow I plan a much easier day, including a trip to Mackinac Island.


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