Day 32 – 33 Ironwood Back To Wakefield (Total Miles = 504)

So, we backtracked today. We knew what we were doing! Yes, we did!

Ironwood is the start of a paved bike route called the Iron Belle Trail. Man…if we could only have that to ride on for our entire journey! It is smooth, relatively flat, and pleasantly occupied by runners, walkers, and cyclists. It provides great shade, displays a myriad of wildflowers and berries, and, believe it or not, goes right by a Super Walmart! Alas, it is only 8 miles long as yet, although there are plans to expand it. We rode the trail into Bessemer, and then took Highway 2 into Wakefield. We have a warmshower hosting us this evening. Tom actually hosts because of his son, Michael, who lives in Minnesota. Michael took off on a 3 wheel bike, pulling a trailer, back in 2014. He made it all the way to California and made quite a name for himself along the way. The bike was cumbersome though, and at times, Michael had to detach the trailer, ride the bike to the top of the mountain, then come back and hand pull the trailer up to the top!! Uh, nooo. I would be putting my thumb out at that point!! Not surprisingly, Michael needed some down time, so his dad drove for 36 hours to California to get him. What a dad!! And, although Michael is now in Minnesota, Tom still enjoys hosting cyclists on his 30 acre home site. We are sorry to not have met Michael, but he is currently writing a book about his travels. I, for one, hope he finishes the book because I know it will be full of many interesting stories of bike travel. And he should mention his hero Dad, too!!

We had arrived at Tom’s place early in the day, expecting to have some internet service, but it was a dead zone there.  I was so behind on the blog, I really needed to get my posts published.  We decided, after much consternation, to get a hotel in Wakefield and spend a day on the blog.  So, here we are backtracking again!  Not planned!  I am ready to move on…but, apparently, God is not ready for us to move on…accepted!

We are at Indianhead Mountain Resort…in Wakefield!  It is home to both Indianhead and Blackjack Ski Resorts.  The views here are awesome at the top of the ski runs.  Boy, really makes me want to be skiing!!

We hope to be entering the Porcupine Mountains tomorrow! It is supposed to be beautiful!  We have nowhere to camp.  All the campgrounds are 100% full and have been since January.  We will be stealthing it and probably without internet.  We are expecting to spend 3-4 days riding through the park and seeing the sights.  So, we will check back in on the other side!!

Iron Belle Trail

Iron Belle Trail

Non-Biting (I think) Glowin Green Bug

Michael’s Tin Man

Tom, Michael’s Dad, And Our Warmshower Host

View From Atop Of Indianhead Ski Resort

One Lone Hummer

Day 30 – 31 Black River Lodge to Ironwood (Total Miles = 484.2)

We left the Black River Lodge feeling like we were leaving home. But, we also knew our ride into Ironwood was going to be short, with only a few hills. On top of that, the weather was cooperating. We took all back roads and relished the joy of having little traffic. We tooled along, appreciating the countryside and farm homes. Ken and I had not seen a deer in at least a week! We still didn’t see any on that day, but we did see a family of sandhill cranes. The cranes always seem to hang out in fields, so getting a good view is difficult. As usual, they were out in the field, but I could see that there were little ones…a lot of little bitty cranes! Oh how I wish I could have snuck up on them to get a closer look at the babies! I couldn’t count all of them, but there had to be over half a dozen.

Before we knew it, we were in Ironwood. We had another reservation at the Budget Host Inn.  Again, this was another one of those old family run motels that is a gem. Friendly owners, staff, and patrons. The rooms were huge and clean, and inexpensive.

We had a lot to do in town. We had to do laundry, get Ken’s bike fixed (his derailer turned out to be bent), go to the post office, and go to the thrift shop. I also wanted to check out the Ironwood Museum. We went, but sadly, it was closed.

Ironwood has a lot going for it. It is near skiing, snowmobiling, hiking, ATVing, and waterfalls. There is a small downtown area that is very quaint. We ate twice at Ben’s Place. We stopped in because they had ice cream (what do you expect), but the lunch was delicious. We spoke with Selena, the owner. She grew up near me, downriver from Detroit. We shared stories of Allen Park, the AP Theater, Sears & Roebuck (with their hot peanuts), and why not, ice cream (Selena was a Calder ice cream fan, I am a Sanders ice cream fan)! She mentioned that, right across the street from her restaurant, the town is putting in a park with water fountains, picnic areas, and a winter ice rink that would actually encircle the park area. She was excited about the future, and that was so refreshing to hear in these times of uncertainty. Yes, they were already hard at work on it and I would love to be able to come back and see it finished. I would definitely ice skate around the park, stay at the Budget Host Inn, and eat at Ben’s Place.

Let’s pray for our service men and women, our police officers, and firemen, current and past.  Without them, we would not enjoy the life we have today.  Please, let’s not forget that!

Hard To Count All The Little Sandhill Cranes

First Thing We Saw Entering Our Budget Host Inn Room…An Open Bible!

Ironwood Museum

Ironwood Museum

Carved Tree Stump

Wood (sp? hehe) Have Been A Big Tree!

Mural Paying Respect To Early Miners

Brewster’s Northwood Bar and Grill

Ever Eat With Chainsaws Above Your Head?  Say Yah To Da Yoop, Eh!

Ben’s Place

Selena Made A Nice Outdoor Seating Area

Selena of Ben’s Place


The Future Of Ironwood


Day 27 – 29 Black River (Total Miles = 474.2)

We left Wakefield, and Eddy Campground, for the Black River.  It was not a long bike ride and the roads were all paved for easy riding.  We had reservations for a hostel at The Black River Lodge.  This lodge is fabulous.  There are standard rooms, but we chose the hostel hoping others would be staying there, too.  But, Ken and I were the only ones in the hostel area. Then again, that was kind of nice.  We had a great kitchen to use, a shower, and bunk beds.  The lodge was full, so we had plenty of other people to talk with.

The lodge is owned and run by Justin and Brittany, along with their 2 young boys and their great dane, Copper.  Upon arrival they said to make ourselves at home, and that is exactly what we did.  There is a large pool and hot tub, 2 living areas, one with a pool table and fooz ball, along with outdoor areas for bonfires and picnics.  The family puts a lot of love and work into the lodge and they do a great job.  Justin built a blazing fire one night, and we enjoyed just hanging out and talking.  We also relaxed in the hot tub, and were able to cook fresh vegetables in the kitchen.

Ken and I finally stopped long enough to just be tourists.  We headed out on our bikes, pack free, to go sight seeing!  The area is home to Copper Peaks, the only ski flying facility in the Western Hemisphere.  The hill saw a total of 12 ski flying competitions from 1970 to 1994.  Although it was expanded in 1980, the hill could not keep up with current technology, as flyers went further and further off the jump, so it closed down.  Today, they open the area to allow people to climb the jump and see the phenomenal views from the top.  The jump is 1782 feet above sea level and 1180 feet above Lake Superior.  It provides the tallest structure in the midwest with 360 degrees, and over 40 miles, of panoramic views.  Then, to imagine someone skiing down a 35 degree, 469 foot long, cantilevered ramp and flying off the end of it?!  Nerves of steel!!  No words, no pictures, can ever describe the thrill and beauty of it all.  You just have to come see this for yourselves!!

From Copper Peak, we continued on to see 3 of the 5, Black River falls.  We were able to leave the bikes at a trailhead parking lot and hike/run in to see the falls.  Our first one was Conglomerate Falls, then Potawatomi Falls, and last Gorge Falls.  The Black River water is actually black.  Tannin, from hemlock trees, leaches into the water, and the black rock base, all add to give the water a deep, dark, reddish brown look.  Hiking in was wonderful!!  It was so freeing to be on our feet and running a trail.  We could hear the falls roaring through the woods, long before we even laid eyes on them.  Each one special in their own uniqueness, I can’t really say I had a favorite.  They were all majestically beautiful, each one holding firmly to their rank that makes the Black River a must see.  One of our best experiences was stopping and talking with Fran.  Fran is 85 years old and is still getting out and hiking.  She was so grateful that her 2 daughters encourage her to join them in their activities.  It pushes her and helps to maintain her fitness.  Her advice was to always keep moving.  I will listen to that advice, Fran.  Just Keep Going!

The ‘Tour Da Yoop, Eh’ route goes into Ironwood.  So, Ken and I loaded the bikes back up after a 3 night stay at the lodge, and rode off to Ironwood.

 Justin, Brittany & Family of Black River Lodge

Nope, Not A Deer…It’s Copper The Great Dane!

Bessemer Architecture

Someone Needs To Bring This Home Back To Life!

Just A Nice View From The Road

Copper Peak From A Distance

Info On Copper Peak

Looking Down From The Starting Gate

View of Lake Superior From The Top

Big Powderhorn Ski Area

We Walked Down…No Skiing Today!


I Don’t Know About Skiing But He’s My Number 1

Conglomerate Falls On The Black River

View Of The Black River

Can’t Resist An Adventurous Trail!

Potawatomi Falls (Reminds Of A Wooly Mammoth or Mr. Snuffleupagus)

Potawatomi Falls Video

Gorge Falls

Gorge Falls Video

85 Year Old Fran Hiking In Sandals!

Day 26 – Lake Gogebic to Wakefield (Total Miles = 446 Miles)

Let me start out saying, we are having a blast!  Really!!  But, this was another doozy of a day!  Good thing was…no greenheads.  Bad thing was…Highway M28…for starters.  It kicked off with beautiful weather after we had the rain during the night.  We met Hannah in the campground. She too, is a triathlete missing the race season. She was going to do the Ironman race in Madison WI, but of course it was cancelled. It’s hard to maintain one’s motivation, but sometimes it allows your mind to open up to new possibilities. Hannah is thinking she may get into mountain biking. Just keep going Hannah! She loaded us up with granola bars for the road and we said goodbye.

We were riding along Lake Gogebic.  Not hilly, no buggers, not much traffic.  Then we hit Highway 28.  I guess this was another bad decision.  In order to get to the campground at Lake Gogebic, we had to veer off the original route as designated by Tour Da Yoop, Eh (they never would have taken the Twilight Zone route).  Again, we thought we could take a shortcut and get to our next destination by taking M28…we knew it was paved afterall.  This was not on the original route either, and we found out why.  The speed limit was 65mph, it was only 2 lanes, and the shoulder was one of those that just barely fit our bikes in.  The worst…this was the route for 15 miles.  The white knuckles came out and we struggled with the cars, trucks, and RV’s whipping us about like batter in a bowl.  Ugh!!  I was so tensed up, and stressed out, I had to keep stopping to gain my wits.  On one of these stops, just past an old unused railroad track, a truck pulling a trailer streaked by and we heard zzzzzziiipppp, crack, like one of those fireworks you set off at home, and then rubber was being launched all around us.  He blew a tire, and the truck just kept right on going.  By the grace of God, we were not hit by any of it, with most of it landing just feet from us.  Then, before we could react, cars were swerving to avoid hitting the huge rubber alligators in the road.  We got out of there quick, and continued down the road.  Let me tell you, riding that road was like watching a clock dial turn, time and distance never seemed to change, but we finally reached our camping destination in Wakefield.  We brushed it all off by taking a nice swim in the lake.

And then, like Deja Vu, the campers started coming by, one by one, to let us know another storm was in the making.  We thought, yeah, okay, we’ve weathered these before, no problem.  Oh…my…goodness!  The wind blew over that lake like a tornado.  For a few seconds, the tent literally laid flat, then popped back up again.  I gathered my computer, phone, money belt, and warm shirt and made ready to run to the bathroom for cover.  It lasted for about an hour, and again, that darned little tent kept standing.  I video taped it again.  It was scarier than Storm I.

In the morning the campers came by again…one by one…all concerned as to how we made out in the storm.  Strangers caring about strangers!

Before Highway M28

Where The Rubber Met The Road

Beautiful Lake For A Swim

The Calm Before The Storm

Video Of Storm II

Day 25 Watersmeet to Lake Gogebic (Total Miles = 421)

A tough day!  Before we left the hotel we took a few pictures.  The hotel was run by the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians.  They had an old dugout canoe that was over 32 feet in length.  It was found back in 1953 (the year Ken was born).  I was so fascinated by it, and could just picture that old white pine log being hewn out and then floating along the Michigan waterways in it.  I have always said I should have been born back in the 1800s.  But, maybe after you read this blog…you might say it was a good thing I wasn’t!

We stopped at the local grocery store to stock up on water and ice and it was there that we met Lyssa. She was riding the perimeter of the UP too, except in the opposite direction.  She was staying in hotels, so was not as loaded down as Ken and I.  But, she was doing it by herself.  I am always amazed at women who can take off on such an adventure alone.  Lyssa was putting in twice the miles per day that we were, so she was much closer to reaching her goal.  We parted ways with her going in one direction, and the two of us in the other.

The route we were taking was Old Hwy. 2.  It was lightly traveled, a bit broken up, but not a bad road to ride at all.  We passed a sign that said Rogers Bar 8 miles.  We don’t typically stop at a bar when we have so far to ride (30 miles), so I had forgotten all about it.  I had my head down to avoid the flies, when Ken spotted it.  Rogers Bar was so small and out of the way, I never would have noticed it.  We rode past, but something made us turn around and go back.  The ATV’ers were there, the locals, a guy who stops whenever he is passing through, and a group of young women (tourists for sure).  There was nothing special about the place at all except that it had been there since 1939.  At one time, when the road was the main highway, Rogers Bar was a lifeline to many folks who called the area home.  You need to read the history of Rogers Bar in the picture below.  The best part, it is still run by the same family!  It is an institution in these parts and I am so glad we stopped in.  We decided to have a beer and eat a vegi pizza, and that turned out to be one of our better decisions!

At one point, Old Highway 2 crossesd new Highway 2, and suddenly we entered a whole different world.  This section of the road is being taken back by nature.  The flowers and weeds will eventually fill the cracks in the road, and the road will disappear.  One thing that won’t disappear?  The horseflies…or as Ken calls them, the greenheads.  Once they catch a glimpse of you they glom on, knowing you are fresh blood for the taking.  The faster we would pedal, the faster they would fly.  I don’t remember why I was going to stop but, I forgot I had clipped into my pedals (I usually don’t), and ended up falling to the pavement.  Ken gathered me back up and we quickly rode on.  We were so thankful we had eaten that pizza, indoors, because we usually stop along the roadside and eat lunch.  We never could have stopped due to the flies.  We had to keep moving or be eaten as their lunch!

We came to new Highway 2 again and turned onto it, thinking we would get some relief.  Not for long.  Our turnoff to Lake Gogebic was just a mile away.  We stopped when we got there because the turnoff was a dirt road.  It would be 4.5 miles long.  We could take that route, or ride an extra 6.7 miles to stay on paved highway.  Here, we made a bad decision and took the dirt road.  It was a ride right out of The Twilight Zone.  I can hear Rod Sterling now…This is the story of a husband and wife, too lazy to ride an extra 6.7 miles, and where did it take them?…The Twilight Zone.  Like the ATV road we had taken a week ago (or was it 2 weeks ago?…a day ago?), it was deep, rocky dirt.  Just like the last time, we could barely keep the bikes upright.  This time though, there were hills to contend with.  It was hot.  And there were greenheads.  It was like we had ridden right into the middle of a hornets nest.  They were attacking our faces, legs, hands, and arms.  Hundreds of them!  Ken stopped and put his mosquito net on.  I was too afraid to stop.  My bike was like a ship listing in the water.  I couldn’t keep Honey Badger moving, and the greenheads were taking advantage of every moment.  I finally took courage and stopped to find a long sleeved shirt and my biking gloves.  But, in my panic, I couldn’t find anything and the greenheads were swarming me.  I almost relented, falling victim to their unceasing torture, I screamed out with every ounce of energy…”Okay, just carry me away into the woods and suck the life out of me”!  The only reason I am here today is, I couldn’t let Ken and Honey Badger go it alone.  As Jack, my stepdad would say, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going”, and that’s what I did.  I grunted, I growled, and I pshawed my way to the main road, and we still had another 4.5 miles to go, uphill, to get to the campground.

Side Note:   I am so very thankful for my husband!  Ken doesn’t say a word, or laugh at me, or complain about the circumstances.  He just lets me get it done the way I need to get it done, while he quietly plugs away.  We meet up in the end and usually have a good laugh, or a good cry.  We’ve been together for 10 years, but are learning more about each other with every day.  He needs my motivating presence to get him going on those days when it looks like rain, or wind, or it may be hilly.  Once we are going and we run into trouble, he always gets me through it.  Solid.  Yep!  Solid.

We finally rode into the campground, and I could barely tell the man our reservation details.  He looked at me real funny, but I just ignored him.  We set up camp and I still had to cook something to eat.  We finished eating and then I had to wash the dishes!!  What a wimp I would have been back in the 1800s!  To top it off, the neighbor came over to let us know a foul storm was brewing.  Sure enough, later that night we had another rain storm, but we made it through just fine…or we were just too tired to care.

Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians

Story About The Dugout Canoe

The Journey Home

The Dugout Canoe

The Dugout Canoe

Hannah On A Journey of Her Own

They Need These Charts In The UP!

Sign Pointing To Rogers Bar

Rogers Bar

Roger’s Story

Old Highway 2 Being Taken Back By Nature

Flowers On Old Highway 2

Ken Waiting For Me At The End of Stagecoach Rd. (aka The Twilight Zone)

The View of Lake Gogebic From Stagecoach Rd.

Lake Gogebic – Beautiful Large Lake


Day 23 & 24 – To Watersmeet (Total Miles = 390)

We had an awesome ride out of Golden Lake Campground to Watersmeet.  Before we left, we each had 3 beets.  They must have given us back our energy because the ride could not have been better.  We rode Highway 2 the entire time.  I tell ya, riding a bike allows you to see the beauty of a roadside highway!  Things people in cars don’t see as they are speeding by.  It was like we were on air, too.  Have you ever experienced the runners high?  It is like your feet are off the ground and you are moving without effort.  That is how we both felt on our bikes!  We were riding so fast the cattails looked like an optical illusion.  The hills were a nice challenge for a change, and we took them using little energy.

Watersmeet is known for their high school sports team, the Nimrods.  Come on!  The Nimrods?  I am sorry, I apologize, but I just laughed so hard at that.  Here I go again, Ken is sleeping, and I am laughing uncontrollably…quiet like, with tears rolling down my cheeks.  The signs were everywhere as we rode into town and I was cracking up, pedaling my Honey Badger (she was laughing too).  As kids, we used to call people nimrods to tease them.  What is a nimrod anyway?  Well, okay…a nimrod is a skillful hunter.  Hunting is big in these parts, so makes sense until you read the second meaning…an inept person.  I rest my case.

We made it to the hotel/casino where we had to have our temperature checked before we could enter.  If it was okay, you were given a band to put around your wrist.  We had to wear masks if we left our room, which is where we stayed unless we ate.  The next day we had to go find laundry detergent, because although they have a guest laundry, there is no product to purchase to actually do the laundry.  On our return, we had to have our temperature re-checked and new bands put on.  Imagine my surprise when my temperature read 99.8, causing the security guard to say, “uh-oh”.  My mind started to quickly process the situation.  I wouldn’t be allowed back to the room, Ken would have to pack everything up and meet me outside, I’d never get the laundry done, no more of that delicious ice cream (more on that later), and seriously…I’m not sick!  She checked Ken’s and it was good, then re-checked mine…it was fine.  I didn’t tell her this, but she needs a new thermometer!!!  We stayed and washed dishes, clothes, packs, and ourselves!  Ate ice cream (if you haven’t figured it out yet, we love ice cream AND we are not supposed to eat it…REBELS!).  I have to laugh, too, because my daughter Sarah commented on the marshmallow roast we had.  She said, she didn’t know marshmallows were plant-based.  I told her, well, now you do!  Hey people, we are doing the best we can!  We did eat this great vegi sandwich, so it all offsets.

We head out tomorrow for Lake Gogebic State Park Campground.  We are cleaned up and re-organized.  We definitely need to get some beets before we leave town!!!


Shoulder of Highway 2 and Ken


Highway Flowers


More Highway Flowers


Pretty.  Not Sure What They Are Though


A Stream Winding Along to Somewhere


Something Was Playing In The Water


The Watersmeet Nimrods

Day 22 – To Golden Lake Campground (Total Miles = 371.5)

We had a nice ride down more back roads, and some highway.  Not too many hills either.  We were able to make all of them and we felt pretty good about that.  Also, we were back on Highway 2 with wide shoulders.  We didn’t see anyone until we hit the highway.  A large road crew was out tarring the cracks in the road and we had a pleasant conversation with the stop sign guy.  He doesn’t live in the upper peninsula, but up north in the mitten.  He was so thrilled to tell us that him and his wife just purchased their first home.  He has been working in the UP for months, just moving along the highway, tarring a section at a time.  He was able to go home during the 4th of July, but will be in the UP working for the rest of the summer.  The work is grueling, and hot.  But, here was a young man, willing to work hard, wherever he has to, so that he can have the American dream.

The part about not seeing anyone really hit home when we arrived at Golden Lake Campground.  A really nice area, with a large calm lake, big trees, clean restrooms, and a water pump.  Yet, there was not a soul there.  No one.  The entire campground was deserted.  On one hand, it was eerie, on the other hand it was, YES! we have the whole place to ourselves!  We set up camp and went swimming!  The water was refreshing and the lake was very clean.  You could see the fish swimming and felled logs laying on the bottom.  All we saw that evening was the fish, and a resident deer grazing through the park.

It started raining that night and the entire next day.  I was happy that we had a place to stay and that there was no wind, or booming thunder and lightning, like the last storm we were in.  We assembled our little camp chairs and hung out in the tent most of the day.  The rain would stop for short spurts, and we would venture out to brew our coffee, grab food, or use the restroom.  While enjoying our cup of coffee, an older gentleman pulled up.  He said he comes at least once a day to get out and walk his dog.  We had a short conversation and then he went on his way.  But, it was fun seeing a human and getting a dog fix.  It’s funny though, there were cars cruising the park like they were out on a Sunday drive.  I would try to see out the tiny vent of our tent to catch a glimpse of the vehicle out of boredom and curiosity.  Our campsite must have given them something to talk about and ponder.  The only one occupied in the campground, we had our red and yellow packs all over the place, clothes hanging soddenly over the laundry line, muddy shoes, small barely-habitable orange tent, and two bicycles dripping raindrops.  They must have known we were inside the tent staying dry, probably wondering who we were and what we were doing on bikes.  On one rain respite, we ventured out of the tent just as a car drove through.  It was Jerry, and he stopped to chat.  We found out a lot about Jerry, who lived most of his life in the UP.  He stashes a bar of organic, water safe soap in a tree stump and takes a swim several times a week.  He’ll also bring rubber gloves and a garbage bag to pick up trash.  He warned us of the bears roaming the park, too.  He was just fun to talk with, but he had to leave so he could get his swim in before the rain returned.  And, return it did.  We crawled back into the tent and were sitting staring at each other for a few hours when we heard a honk.  It was Jerry!  He brought us a couple of cold beers to pass the evening away!  Such a nice guy!!  I must say, we enjoyed the beer tremondously, if not for the novelty of it all!

It was 2am when Ken woke me up sure that something was trying to get into our packs.  I unzipped the tent and cover, grabbed a flashlight and aimed it at our packs.  Sure enough, I saw two glowing eyes staring at me.  Big eyes.  Not the small ones you might see from a racoon.  Bugger!!  It was a bear!  I yelled aggressively out to the bear to get out.  He ran off, so I put my sandals on to assess the situation.  The bear had moved just across the road because I could see the eyes still staring at me.  I yelled again and waved my arms and the bear ran off.  The bags were still intact, so I did what you are not supposed to do, I brought the food bag to the tent and set it outside under the rain cover, on Ken’s side of the tent.  I know!  That is a big no, no.  But, we don’t have heavy enough rope to hang the bag and frankly, all the tree limbs were so high up, we could never reach them.  Ken and I layed there wide awake and sure enough, that pesky bear came back again.  I looked out with my flashlight and saw it raise up and put its’ front paws on my bag.  I growled out for it to get lost, and the bear left for good, although we were left unsettled and awake.  I guess we finally fell asleep, because it was daylight before we knew it, and our food bag was still safe under the cover.

The rain had stopped and the sun was beginning to peek through the clouds.  We were worn out and ready to gather up the drenched, dirty clothes, equipment, and bags, and get out of Dodge.  We had a hotel reservation with showers and a guest laundry awaiting us.  As we were packing up camp, an RV moved into the park.  Les and Jo Ann were walking the loop finding the perfect spot.  Of course, they had a lot to choose from!  Ken and I talked with them for at least an hour, telling our story and hearing theirs.  A Christian couple, who like to travel in their RV, they were on their way to Montana.  They were ready to get out of Dodge, too.  Except their Dodge was their hometown.  Just tired of the politics, Covid-19, and the heartache of losing some friends and family to death (not due to Covid-19), they needed to get away. We had a chance to talk about the state of our country.  I really feel that the church, meaning all Christians worldwide, individually and institutions, have dropped the ball.  Not just now, but for many years…beginning with the day they removed God and prayer from the schools.  We all stand by silent, afraid of rocking the boat.  We sit at home complaining, but never acting.  With every day that passes, we are slowly losing our religious freedoms.  This country needs a revival…the reason Ken and I started this journey in the first place.  It really does begin with you and me, and we can’t wait until our timing is right.  I encouraged Les and Jo Ann to just sow a seed here and there.  Don’t be afraid to share your love for Christ.  Standing in the checkout, seeing the sights, taking a walk through the neighborhood.  Be on the lookout for someone you think needs a listening ear.  Pay it forward.  Pray it forward.  Preach it forward.

Golden Lake Campground

Maggie’s Snow Peas!  So Sweet We Ate Them Right Out of The Bag!

Golden Lake

See Her?

Our Shelter

Jerry’s Beer…Buusschh

Drying Out Before Leaving

The Sweetest Couple – Les and Jo Ann

Sorry…No picture of the bear.


Day 21 – To Iron River (Total Miles = 353 Miles)

We left Camping In The Clouds, late again.  Guess we just didn’t want to leave!  We were still enjoying conversation and stories!  I met the owners’ dad who is a runner.  He is in his 70s and runs 6 miles everyday.  He was helping his daughter at the camp by cutting wood.  He is from Marquette, where I lived for 4 years after high school.  In fact, I gave birth to my amazing daughter at the Marquette Hospital.  But, he was such an interesting man who had no problem shutting down his task just to speak with me.  I could have kept talking about running and Marquette connections, but we were on a mission to reach Iron River and meet Maggie, our ‘warmshower’ hostess.

Ken and I did quite a bit of walking on the way to Maggie’s.  There were just so many steep sections to the route, but we just kept going.  Also, Ken is having issues with his gears.  While at Camping In The Clouds, we googled how to adjust the derailer, which we did, and then cleaned the chain, etc. which helped, but Traveler could definitely use a professional!  Although we did have to walk some, it was nice to be on back roads with little to no traffic.  Also, there was even a small section of paved bike trail toward the end.  We thought we had made it through the worst, when we called Maggie about 4 miles out, just to give her a heads up.  You could tell she was really excited to have us as she explained how to get to her home…when you turn right, just go up the hill and I am at the top.  And a hill it was!  Roller coaster steep, like when you are heading up the first climb right out of the wheel house, and everything is going clickity, clickity, clack…and you are so full of excitement when you reach the top to fly down!  Not!  Our bones were clickity clacking no doubt, but we did not even attempt it.  We just walked the old steeds up the roller coaster road, up Maggie’s driveway, and called it a long day done.

Maggie was there to greet us!  Such an inspiring, earthy woman.  Everywhere we looked was a labor of love, a vision she painstakingly brought to reality.  We had this remarkable apartment above the garage that had a vintage 5 gallon galvanized steel water dispenser with a spigot, a dry toilet, and a solar shower!  Ken took a refreshingly cold shower there.  I went over to Maggie’s and used her modern one!  The yard was cascaded in a colorful array of flowers, some of which she displayed in vases in the apartment.  She nurtured a substantial vegetable garden that looked healthy, lush, and green.  Like us, Maggie is a vegetarian.  She invited us to dinner and served the most delicious meal.  It was such a blessing really, to have healthy food to eat.  We found out that Maggie is following the same dietary regimen as we are.  You might want to check it out, “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease” by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn.  Also, the short film, “Forks Over Knives” by Brian Wendel.  Maggie even made dessert…a berry sorbet!  While sitting outdoors enjoying our dinner, a doe was enjoying hers in the yard.  Maggie also has a wren family residing in one of her bird houses.  She has been patiently waiting to see the littles ones fly the coop.

Maggie told us that at 10pm the town sounds an alarm reminding parents that their children should be home.  Wow!  When was the last time you heard of that?  She also said that the alarm will sometimes kick off another alarm, the howl of the coyotes.  Sure enough, the curfew alarm rang and the coyotes returned the call.  Ken and I had such a restful sleep that evening.  We awoke to the birds singing!  Maggie has her own little eden here and we were sorry to have to leave.  She made us oatmeal for breakfast, with wild blueberries, then sent us off with our own little doggie bag of fresh snow peas!  Those peas were such a motivation to get us to our next campsite!  We were off!!

Back Roads, No Traffic!


Maggie’s Log Home

Solar Shower

Maggie’s Grill and Me