Day 38 & 39 – Union Bay Campground to Ontonagon (Total Miles = 593)

Just short of 600 miles so far!  We rode to Ontonagon, unpacked the bikes, and haven’t touched them in 2 days.  We are staying at another mom and pop motel called the Inn Towne Motel.  These older places are delightful.  They creak, they moan, and sometimes gurgle, but the atmosphere makes me feel like a kid again.  My grandparents would take me along on their vacations and we always stayed in these smaller motels.  It brings back loving memories of my childhood and I treasure them all over again when I stay at these old classics.

Ontonagon is a treasure of a town, too.  Not much going on, Covid-19 has many businesses closed.  We hoped to walk through the county museum, but it was closed.  Lake Superior was nearby and 2 really good restaurants were open for business.  And of course, the locals were hungry for new faces.  We talked at length with Stan, a Vietnam veteran.  He had a lot of good insights into the state of our country.  Also, we talked with Jim.  He was a funny guy and lucky to be alive.  At 18 he was in a car that was speeding at 140 mph when it crashed.  He barely survived, but did, and found his wife of 39 years.  He said he has been sober that long too!  And then there was Ingrid.  Our granddaughters name is Ingrid and so we shared stories about that.  We can’t forget the lady selling her 90 year old dad’s wooden sign artwork from her front yard.  She shared some vegetarian recipes with us, including coconut bacon!

We also found a sweet little shop called Nonesuch Gallery.  It is located in an historical storefront and is owned and run by Edna Yonker and her husband Brad.  Edna has quite a long, interesting story that brought her to Michigan from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, her home as a Mennonite.  Although her family long ago left the Mennonites, her artistic talents, which I am sure grew from that experience, are displayed in every part of the store.  Her husband handcrafts guitars out of local wood, along with other superb wooden art.  If you are ever in this neck of the woods, Nonesuch Gallery is a must see!

Lighthouse In The Bay

Sailing On Lake Superior



Nonesuch Gallery

Nonesuch Sculpture

 We’ll Get Through This Together

Day 36 & 37 – Presque Isle Campground to Union Bay Campground (Total Miles = 576.25)

After spending a full day exploring The Porcupine Mountains from Presque Isle Campground, we moved on to the other side of the park and Union Bay Campground.  Again, we did not have a reservation.  We had Presque Isle call over to Union Bay before we left, and they confirmed they had no sites available.  We considered the fact that they are really against stealth camping and figured they would find a spot for us somewhere.

On this day of biking we had the longest climb yet.  The road gradually ascended for 7.3 miles.  The best I can tell is the steepest portion had a 5.6% incline.  Add to that, we made a stop at Summit Peak to see the view…from the top…higher than whence we had already come.  It was 2 miles up…up…hill.  Needless to say, we said forget it!  We left the bikes on the roadside and walked the remaining 3/4 mile.  The view was beautiful, but we are now spoiled.  I have to say, after seeing the view from the Copper Peak ski jump, I wonder if any view will ever rival it.  Good thing was, after this point in the ride, the road was mostly downhill.

We arrived at Union Bay Campground and explained our situation.  As we hoped, they found a spot for us, outside of the campground, but close by.  We even had a picnic table, electric hookup, and water!  We were able to use the showers and laundry, so it worked out perfectly.

Like Presque Isle, we stayed an additional day so that we could go to Lake of the Clouds.  This was a 7 mile bike ride from the campground.  It too, was an uphill climb to get to the parking lot.  Ken made it all the way to the top!  I got off my bike and walked it.  This was certainly worth the trip!!  You can see all of the Porcupine Mountains from here.  BTW…the park has but one main road.  Everything is wilderness and only backcountry hiking, and I think biking, is allowed.  The most fantastic part of Lake of the Clouds was, from here, you could look out over the mountain top and see the Copper Peak ski jump!!!  I just could not believe it!  I attempted to take a picture, and it is posted below, but you can barely make it out.  It was so far away, so far into the distance, yet so tall we could see it.  Plus, we thought, we came all the way from that point!  Ha Ha!!  That was a cherry on top kind of moment.

Summit Peak

View From Summit Peak

A Summit Peak Flower

Yooper Bar!  Yes…It Was Delicious!  I Deserved It After All That Mountain Climbing, Right?

Lake Of The Clouds


Lake Of The Clouds – Only Backcountry Hiking and Camping Throughout

The View Of Copper Peak On The Summit Of The Sharp Mountain Top…It Is Angling To The Right

Day 35 Videos

A Michigander’s pastime is skipping rocks across the water.  The shorelines have a lot of smooth, thin, round rocks to choose from.  My first try I only skipped it once, but eventually made 4 skips (which isn’t saying much!).  We will keep working on it!

Sit and watch the sunset with us.  Did you see the green flash?

The waterfalls of the Presque Isle River need to be experienced with sound and sight.  I do wish you could smell the earthiness of the woods and water though!

Day 34 – Indianhead to Presque Isle (Total Miles = 525)

We left Indianhead with the day appearing like night, and the sky getting ready to hurl lightning and rain our way.  We were more than eager to get on the road after all the backtracking we had done, so we prepared mentally for whatever the day might bring in the form of bad weather, and moved on.  About 3 miles into the ride the rain started, so we stopped and put our rain gear on.  One mile later, the rain stopped, the wind was at our backs, and we were soaring!

What a fantastic ride it was to Presque Isle from the Indianhead Ski Resort!  We stayed ahead of that storm the entire way, and it didn’t catch up to us until later in the evening.  We left for The Porkies knowing we had nowhere to camp, so we were a bit on edge as we rolled into the Presque Isle Campground.  I had been checking and re-checking the website for 2 weeks in the hopes of snagging a campsite, but it only said full, full, full.  There it was too, the big sign that said ‘Campground Full’.  My heart sank.  I looked up at the gal in the box with my puppy dog eyes and asked if there were any campsites available, and she smiled back at me and said, “Yes, there are two”!  Two?!!  I can choose??!!

See?  It never pays to worry about the future!  God always has it under control!  Not to mention the toll, stress and worry, take on your body.  In most cases, the worry was for naught.  It just wastes your time, and more importantly, robs you of your joy.  That is not to say that turmoil might not be around the corner.   But, when you learn to trust God in the small things, like securing a campsite, the big things are so much easier to manage.  It’s good to know God has our backs!

How do you explain that to an unbeliever?  It is nothing that you can touch, see, smell, or hear.  But, for us who trust in Jesus, it is literally a piece of who we are…like, why do I use the methods I do to get through a swarm of biting insects, or why do I long to hear my daughters voice, and why does the sight of a soaring eagle bring me to tears.  The marvel of it all is, that sense of security and freedom, is available to anyone who wants it.

The reason I am questioning this is, when Ken and I arrived at the campsite, our neighbors, mom-dad-son, were thrilled to see us pull in on bicycles.  We were not even off our bikes before the woman came over and excitedly asked us what we were doing.  Before she forgot, she wanted our card so she could follow our journey.  From the moment she read the card, she walked away and never said another word to us.  I think “Spiritual Revival Tour” frightened her.  Like we were some holy rollers or something…well, I guess we are.  But, we don’t push ourselves on people.  In fact, we have simply been listeners.  I am feeling a bit of a loss over this, and of not having that joy of just talking to a family and hearing their story and sharing ours.  What, if anything, could I have said to break down her wall?  How can I handle the situation in the future?  Should I have approached her and asked?  Suggestions and Comments are welcome on the blog!  Ken and I just enjoyed our time there, seeing the waterfalls and sunsets, and let the family have their space.  They were so very kind though to pick up some ice, and marshmallows for us!

We did meet Sue and Bill, a retired couple from Florida spending their entire summer touring the northern tier of the United States.  They had their Windstream and were headed to Washington state.  Free birds, with only one appointment on their schedule…November 3rd, election day!

We finally got a real taste of Lake Superior, or as it is known, Gitche Gumee.  Actually, the Ojibwe dialect, which the name comes from, is Gitchi-Gami, meaning Big Sea or Huge Water.  It is 348 miles in length, 160 miles wide, and has a surface area of 31,700 square miles.  That is huge!!  And, absolutely beautiful and clear.  See for yourselves.

Entering The Porkies

75 Years!

Bill and Sue On Their Own Journey

Thimbleberries – They Are Everywhere.  They Are Sweet and Tart All At The Same Time

The Shores of Gitchi Gumee

Cold Clear Water

Sunset Over Lake Superior



Dragonfly Enjoying The Sunset Too

Moon Settling In For The Evening

Rock Homes

View From Camp

Storm Is Brewing

Rain In The Distance


Presque Isle River

Ken On Top Of The World

Manido Falls

The Falls Look Like Shimmering Ribbons

Still Looks Like It Is Living

Presque Isle River – Shelves Of Rock Causing Waterfalls

Manabezho Falls

Another of Manabezho Falls

Rock Home