6/27/19: Florence, WI to Escanaba, MI- 77.0 miles
In spite of running the fan and AC all night, the motel room was too warm for Betsy. There’s something to be said for the cool, fresh air of camping. Today we were up at 6 am and on our way at 6:45 am, cruising into Florence on US Hwy 2 (the same highway we rode along in MT). The 13 miles to Iron Mountain, Michigan went quickly. Three miles west of town, we crossed the Menominee River into Michigan. In Iron Mountain, the friendly folks at BJ’s Cafe served us an excellent omelet and coffee.
As is often the case, our biking attire prompted questions about where we were going and where we had come from. We continued east on US Hwy 2 for 30 miles past half a dozen small towns. The discovery of rich iron ore deposits nearby in 1873 doubtless attracted thousands of miners and others to the area. After resuming our ride, we enjoyed a short rest at a well-maintained, shady wayside. We continued onward to the junction with US Hwy 41, where we turned east on US Hwy 2 and 41. In 8 miles, we stopped for lunch at a convenience store next to a massive casino. We dined in style on tortillas and cheese and leftover lettuce, sitting on chairs in the shade.
Today’s weather was lots of sun. We pressed on for 9 more miles to Escanaba and saw four squashed porcupines on the busy highway. In Escanaba, we stopped at a bike store to top off our tires. We also bought and drank a half gallon of chocolate mile and bought food for our dinner at Elmer’s County Market. The route headed north from Escanaba for 8 miles along the shore of Lake Michigan, specifically Little Bay de Noc. Cool winds blew us north. The exceptionally high water in the lake lapped at the edge of a bike path that ran along the highway. At 4:30 pm, we arrived at Gladstone Bayside Park and for $15 got a camp site by Lake Michigan (see photo). We’re happy to be here. No bugs.