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