Day 33 – Crossing the Upper Peninsula

6/28/19 : Gladstone, MI to Gould City, MI - 76.1 miles.

Rain fell when we awoke at 5 am. We chose to fall back to sleep until 7 am, when the rain stopped. We packed our gear and ate breakfast under an overhang between the campground office and the bathrooms. At 8 am, we set forth on our day’s journey, riding 7 miles on old US Hwy 2 to Rapid River. At Rapid River we had a huge breakfast of pancakes and scrambled eggs. With our bellies full, we headed southeast, then east on US Hwy 2, towards Manistique - about 44 miles away.

Heavy traffic zoomed by while we rode, but the wide, smooth shoulder made riding more enjoyable. Most of our route passed by dense coniferous forests in low-lying areas and deciduous forests in areas of well-drained soils. Fog accompanied us for many miles but the rain didn’t return. We met cyclist Ryan at a wayside. He was riding around Lake Michigan from his home in southern MI. As we neared Manistique, we rode along the scenic shore of Lake Michigan. At about 1:30 pm, we arrived in Manistique and ate lunch on the front porch of the information center.

After buying food, we traveled east toward Gulliver. In route, Betsy and I stopped to work on our front derailleurs. A neighbor stopped and asked if we needed help. He mentioned that he had an air compressor that could remove the grit from our derailleurs. We rode 100 yards to his home and garage where he cleaned and lubricated our derailleurs. How kind of him! After we stopped in Gulliver for a cold drink, the skies cleared for an hour and the warm sun shone. On the north-trending ride to Blaney Park, a tail wind and smooth, new shoulder made things easier. At a convenience store at Blaney Park (a defunct resort), we bought a half gallon of chocolate milk, drank half of it, and packed the rest.

We ventured eastward for 7 miles, past more stunted coniferous forests in wet areas (see photo). At the Michigan RV park, where we got a fine tent site in an open area, bugs seemed to be scarce. After showers, dinner, and drying out our tent, we felt great. We chatted with our campground neighbors- a couple from Switzerland making a 5-month round the world trip! At 8 pm, the skies were clear and the air was pleasantly cool. Today was another great leg of our journey.

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