Day 3 & 4 – Ashwaubenon (Total Miles = 64)

Did you know that Ashwaubenon (ash-wah-ben-on) is home to Lambeau Field, the stadium for the Green Bay Packers?  It is also home to Festival Foods, a most amazing grocery store!  And, to a fine bike shop, Stadium Bike West.  We headed to the grocery store to finally get some food into our packs, then set our sights on the bike shop to have kickstands added to our bicycles.  Yes, additional weight!  We were finding it frustrating leaning the bikes together, or on trees, or walls, and then getting into our packs and having everything fall into a heap on the ground (we are such rookies!).  The shop took us in right away and put the stands on our bikes.  In the meantime, we were discussing the fact that my bike, Honey Badger, is just too big for me.  I have never been comfortable on her and have modified it several times to no avail.  Probably part of the reason I screamed, cursed, and cried the other day (it’s a good excuse, anyway).  Well, wouldn’t you know it, they had access to a brand new Trek in a small frame!  Reasonably, priced too!  So, we are taking a bit of a detour.  Tomorrow we will ride up into Door County, the peninsula off of Green Bay.  We were told it is the gem of Wisconsin!  We will spend a few days there exploring Algoma, and Sturgeon Bay, then head back to Ash-wah-ben-on, where I hope to meet Honey Badger II.  Stay tuned and I promise to capture more pictures of this beautiful state.


Day 2 – Point Beach State Park to Denmark WI (Total Miles = 42)

We dis-embarked from the ferry and road 12 miles to Point Beach State Park on the shores of Lake Michigan.  We were both pleasantly surprised at how easy it felt to ride our loaded down bicycles and thought this is going to be a breeze!  I should mention here, that Wisconsin is very bicycle friendly.  They offer a lot of paved bike trails, rails-to-trails gravel routes, and the main roads have a wide bike lane.  Best part!?…the drivers are really respectful of cyclists on the road.  We were able to make good time to the campground, set up camp, and eat before hitting the sack.

Day 2 we awoke and headed out for a run.  Now, you would think that living in North Carolina, we would have our fair share of mosquitos.  But, we don’t!  The mosquitos come out late in the summer and they are a miniature version of what we encountered on our run.  I had forgotten the mosquitos here are like 747s flying through the sky and they sound just as loud, too!  I thought it would be an adventure to run a trail instead of the road.  I am always one to take a trail less traveled.  Well, this one was less traveled for a reason.  It was full of swamp and we climbed over trees and through mud.  At one point, I looked down at the back of my legs and had mosquitos covering me from my thighs down to my ankles.  We were so relieved that the loop was only 1 mile long.  We were done, but happy to get in a total of 2.5 miles.  Then, a very nice lady offered us a frittata and some fresh cherries for breakfast.  In hindsight, that food was a blessing!

We are learning many rules of the road very quickly:

  1.   Never turn down free food.
  2.   Do not get on your bike and ride until you are carrying plenty of water.
  3.   Always be sure your electronics are fully charged.
  4.   Wear sunscreen whether you like it or not!
  5.   Never underestimate the power of a westward wind.

So, look, I have always thought of myself as a very strong athlete.  I can power through some tough terrain, although my Glamazons would say…only after a few choice words have been screamed and cursed from my mouth…sometimes some whining, okay?  I figured Ken and I could easily knock out 25 mile days and spend the rest of the time meeting people, playing, and taking lots of photos.  I understood I wouldn’t be riding my lightning fast triathlon bike, but sheesh, it’s only 25 miles, right?  But, our first big day on the road, we headed out directly into the west wind, mostly riding uphill.  I underestimated the mileage and it turned out to be 30 miles.  14 miles were spent on Devils River State Recreational Trail, a secluded gravel rails-to-trails bike path.  14 miles of pedaling a 100 pound pack-laden bicycle…the Honey Badger.  All I can say is, I did not meet expectations.  In those 30 miles we came across one gas station.  As a matter of fact, we still have not seen one single grocery store and we have no food.  It was scorching hot, and I was getting burned because I never use sunscreen…hey, I always tan.  The horseflies were attacking me because I was riding so slow.  Ken, on the other hand, was cruising along just fine and he had his sunscreen on!  I just know he was rolling his eyes when I hit the screaming, cursing, crying stage (but I didn’t want to look to know for sure).

We did finally make it to our Warmshowers home.  Warmshowers is a free worldwide community of cyclists that offer up their homes for touring bicyclists.  Ken and I have been hosts for years, but this was the first time we arrived as guests.  Fay opened up her home to us even in the midst of this Covid crisis.  She cooked us dinner, served beer, and a fudgesicle!  We camped in her yard, watched the fireflies, and were serenaded to sleep by the bullfrogs in the pond.  We shared our lives and our thoughts on the state of our country’s affairs.  Our views did not always coincide, but the one thing I took away was we all love our country, and we just want what is best for her in the long run.







Day 1 – Ludington to Point Beach State Park (Total Miles = 12)

Day 1
We started out today from Ludington MI.  This was a great town right on Lake Michigan. Growing up in Michigan, I had heard of Ludington…one of those party towns you head to for the weekend. But, this was the first time here for us.  Our motel was one of the old fashioned small town affairs. It was old, yet a wonderfully refreshing beginning to our journey.  I thought these unique motels were a thing of the past, but Ludington was full of them.  Ours was Snyder’s Shoreline Inn.  Snyder’s still had old fashioned keys to open and lock the room doors, along with antique-ish round doorknobs, and a wooden door that creaked when you opened it.  Our room overlooked the lake, so we enjoyed the view while organizing our bike panniers.  Which, by the way, I could write a story on in itself! It will be interesting to see if we can even find anything in all these packs, and how long it will take us to actually discover the needed item!  So, I am using the word ‘organizing’ very lightly here.

We left the motel in the morning and headed to the SS Badger ferry that would carry us across Lake Michigan to Manitowoc, Wisconsin.  We would then ride 12 miles to Point Beach State Park to camp for the night.  Ken and I had a lot of anxiety on whether we would be able to even hold up our bikes, let alone push them to the ferry, and then ride them once we hit the road.  We have never ridden our bikes loaded down before!  Not even for a trial run.  Actually, we are more accustomed to flying on our triathlon bikes, which I can literally lift up with one of my arthritic fingers.  And, I do have to tell you, I almost took out the ferry’s check-in podium, and the gal working it, in an effort to control this bike!  They say when you tour on your bicycle that you should give the bike a name. Ken named his bike Traveler.  I could not think of a proper name for my bike until just now.  I will name her Honey Badger.  Not after the ferry, although, yes, it is apropos, but after the Honey Badger that is my sisterhood’s, the Glamazons, fearless mascot.

The SS Badger is the largest transport ferry we have ever seen.  It had a movie theater, 2 television rooms, a store, a museum, video games, a bingo hall, food, a bar.  It can definitely keep anyone occupied with one form of entertainment or another for the 4 hour cruise across Lake Michigan.  We enjoyed the outside deck for about 15 minutes then headed indoors to stay warm.  Immediately upon entering the main deck of the ferry, though, we had met Mary.  She turned out to be our companion for the rest of the 4 hour cruise.

Mary was a sweet, warm woman who was happy to have us as friends so she would not have to travel alone.  Mary is a Mennonite who grew up in Pennsylvania.  She wore a long modest gray dress and a bonnet on her head.  Right away, I thought what a perfect person God chose for us to meet on our first day!  Mennonites do not watch television, they do not use the internet, or a smart phone.  Mary does have a flip phone and recalled how she asked the phone service to remove the texting ability and was upset that they could not do so.  Ken and I are addicted to television, our phones, and the internet.  All of it makes us crazy, too!  The news is nothing but hype, our government is falling apart, social media is disturbing, nothing is real, and the weekly tv shows are full of smut.  So, why would we continue to be plugged in?  We put ourselves through so much turmoil, for what?  Mary knows, that in the scheme of life, only one thing matters, only one person is in control, only one person can change the course of humanity, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ.  She is beautifully content living a simple life, without worldly expectations, or burdened down with material things.  Mary recited a poem for our GoPro that she wrote, and later sang a song about serving others.  She had a 7th grade education, and has spent her 68 years serving others and loving God.  Period.  Just a free, unhindered soul running the race God put before her with absolute grace.  I am humbled to the core.

Revival Tour Re-Ignited

Well, for anyone that knows us, you’re very aware that our revival tour has been a long time coming. Our plans have been cut short several times for one reason or another. In fact, we should have been on the road in April of 2020. This time, however, all of our lives were derailed and we were all forced to take a major detour. Hopefully, everyone used this downtime for positive renewal. Sometimes, having to take a step backward, or in this case, a leap backward, can lead to personal growth…an opportunity to get off the merry-go-round of life, take a rest, and get to know yourself again.

I have to admit though, that Ken and I felt like we were knocked down and defeated. We just could not believe the door was slammed shut again. It didn’t help that the rain came, day after dreary day, causing us to be homebound indoors. No running, no biking, no fishing. It got to the point where I got dressed up and styled my hair just to go to the dump and grocery store! I mean, how clean can you get your house, already!? Frustration, loneliness, the constant loud drone of the doomsday media, All of It!, was pushing us over the edge. We definitely had to jump off the merry-go-round. Our recharge came from our church pastor in a “30 Days of Prayer To Build Your Home” podcast. Then following that, his current series, “Gateway to Freedom”. We were pulled back up by our bootstraps and re-centered again. The Word of God will do that! The Lord really can free you to live the life He wants for you.

Yet, it took a pandemic to understand how much we all need each other. But, it will take the Spirit of the Lord to penetrate the hearts of people who are hurting so badly, who are so lost in their feeling of emptiness, that their only outlet is to riot and destroy, in order for people to feel their pain. Ken and I realized that we had to resurrect the revival tour. Waiting again is no longer an option! If you wait until everything lines out perfectly, it will never happen. The perfect time is now! For us, and for you, too! We all need to reconnect with ourselves, our families, God, and with each other.

The Revival Tour begins tomorrow! We will be bicycling the entire perimeter of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (1200 miles). We found the idea through a supported bike ride aptly named, “Tour Da Yoop, Eh”. It’s a beautiful place for us to experience our love of biking, running, swimming, camping, Adventure! We want to reconnect with people along the way by sharing our story and hearing yours. We are all hurting and disconnected in one way or another. But, our connection is in our humanity, our love for country, and our spiritual yearning.

Ken and I need to have our faith in humanity restored. We need to feel our hearts pumping wildly out of our chest and our muscles screaming from hard work! We need to have fun! For the next few months we will be sharing our exploits, our pictures and videos, our stories and yours. Click the Follow button and come along for the journey!