This day was supposed to be a 245 mile day with 4:45 hours of riding according to Apple Maps. Well, without cell service and no detailed map and with all the county roads it took me a little longer to find the right route. We didn’t exactly get lost but burned some daylight getting on the right track.
So much traffic on the UP (upper peninsula). Riding from Newberry down to Cedar River it was campers, fifth wheel trailers and more campers on the road.
Blue skies and temps in the 70s somewhat made up for the traffic though. We are heading back east and will cross over into Wisconsin today hoping to stay at the Governor Thompson State Park. Lots of county roads to get there, some without center stripes but at least we got away from the campers.
We were happy for our day of rest yesterday, even knowing full well that we might be riding into rain the next day. I felt the benefit of having a day off outweighed the potential for rain. We talked about how we would break camp if it was raining and I had put the camp kitchen with all the food we would need for breakfast into the tent so I could cook in the vestibule if needed.
We have been in and out of phone service areas hence the lack of updates. I’ll try to post some text only posts later. No photos at these speeds but will provide an update once I have uploaded pictures.
This morning, we spent over two hours figuring out where to go and stay. Not only are we approaching the weekend and the corresponding full campgrounds, but we also want/need a day off from riding which we haven’t had since Devils Tower, WY on the 9th :-o. We finally settled on a private campground in Crystal Falls, MI – a two hour ride and back in central time zone. Thankfully the host allowed us to check in early and select a site.
Eating on the road can be a challenge if you are not prepared to ‘cook’ for yourself. Finding a place to eat three meals or even only two if you skip one is time consuming and inconvenient. Nothing to say of the available food choices or quality. The quotation marks around ‘cook’ are deliberate. Our ‘cooking’ involves nothing more than boiling hot water yet we still manage to eat semi-healthy.
That’s right. We started the day leaving Cascade River State Park in Minnesota, rode through Wisconsin on US 2 and ended up in Silver City, MI just outside the Porcupine Mountains, within walking distance to Lake Superior :-). A longer day of riding made more draining by a lot of construction and traffic on US 2. Waiting in line at a construction light regulating one lane traffic for 5-10 minutes with our riding gear on in 85F is not fun. You are literally soaked in sweat within minutes since the jacket vents only work when moving. Knowing it was going to be a long day, we had reserved the last campsite at Union River’s Big Bear campground the day before.
Given the extrovert that I am, when we first arrived at Lake Vermilion park we talked to the camp host for a bit because the instructions on what needed to be posted to the campsite post were vague to me. We told him where we were headed the next day (Cascade River SP) among other things. This morning, while out walking his dog, the host stopped by our campsite to let us know that state highway 1 from Ely to highway 61 was closed due to a forest fire. That piece of information saved us quite a bit of frustration and doubling back on our route. The way we rode instead wasn’t much longer.
Savanna Portage has been the most challenging campsite so far to pitch a tent. I don’t think there were 2 square meters of level ground. Restrooms were so-so, everything was definitely on the older side.
Unfortunately, there were signs warning that the water contained coliform bacteria but supposedly no E. Coli. Water spigots were turned off except in the bathroom. They said water was safe to drink but we passed and made due with what we had left – just enough to drink in the afternoon and make breakfast.
We only had 150 miles to ride today so we took our time getting ready this morning. Leisurely breakfast at the hotel at 7:00, haircuts over the kitchen sink (we brought our hair clippers sans flow-be) and a second coffee. We rolled out of town at 10:30 with thankfully light traffic heading north to our destination. Traffic heading south on the other hand was very heavy, people returning from their weekend get aways. It was an easy ride up route 65 all the way until we came to another closed bridge just 5 miles shy of the state park with a detour sign which we duly followed.